Being European / being Muslim: International Relations and contending forms of Muslim presence in the West

JVF Conference Papers

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., the European continent saw the Madrid bombings of March 2004, the murder of Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh in November 2004, the London bombings of July 2005, the riots in Parisian neighborhoods, the Danish cartoon crisis, reactions to Pope Benedict’s remarks about Islam, and finally the Swiss Minaret referandum.

These events brought to the fore “the Muslim question” in Europe. Despite a growing body of literature on Muslims in Europe in recent years not only from prominent scholars of religion, sociology, theology, and political science, but also from think-tanks, polling organizations, and governmental bodies, the current arguments do not focus on the existential link between domestic policy measures aiming at integration and European foreign policy instruments. Indeed, this is exactly why we need to re-think the role of religion in international relations.

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