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In-Between Spaces

Christian and Muslim Minorities in Transition in Europe and the Middle East


Christiane Timmerman, Johan Leman, Hannelore Roos and Barbara Segaert

The relationship between Europe and the Middle East has been important, yet tumultuous, for more than a thousand years. In both regions, immigrants from religious minorities found their place and yet often stayed connected through historical and/or religious ties to the other region. Several large Christian communities remained in the Middle East after the Islamization of the region. More recently, immigration from Mediterranean countries has brought Islam back into Europe. Muslim communities with diverging regional and ideological backgrounds are increasingly becoming part of the European landscape.
The influence of globalization has given way to a shift in the position of minorities in their relationship to the majority culture, in which religion is played out as a key element. We are also currently witnessing a reinterpretation of the minority issue in itself and a repositioning of minority communities within the dominant strand of society. The interaction between global and local contexts has created new dynamics in the minority issue and therefore requires renewed academic analysis.
This publication comprises the contributions of scholars and researchers who participated in a conference on the topic organized by the University Centre Saint-Ignatius Antwerp in December 2007 and covers different aspects of the subject matter including the politics of religious diversity, religion and ethnic identity, migration, conversion, virtual communication, European Islam and feminine minority discourse.
Contents: Christiane Timmerman: Preface – Emilio Platti: Christian Minorities in the Middle East in Transition – Dick Douwes: Matching Modernity with Traditional Tolerance. The Politics of Religious Diversity in the Middle East – Herman Teule: The Christian Minorities in Iraq. The Question of Religious and Ethnic Identity – B. Ali Soner: At the Limits of Toleration. How Have non-Muslim Minorities Been Constructed as ‘Strangers’ in Turkey? – Fulya Doğruel: Multiple Identities on the Border. Christian and Muslim Arab Minority Communities in Turkey – Tariq Modood: Migration, Ethno-religious Groups and Integration in Europe – Els Vanderwaeren: A Religious and Feminine Counter-discourse in Flanders Revealed – Iman Lechkar: Conversion to Islam in the Belgian Context. Religious and/or Ethnic Passing? – Peter Mandaville: Hip-Hop, Nasheeds, and ‘Cool’ Sheikhs. Popular Culture and Muslim Youth in the United Kingdom – Inga Niehaus: Between Participation and Disengagement. Muslim Minorities and Their Islamic Schools in Britain and the Netherlands – Johan Leman: The ‘Empowering’ Impact of the Internet (or the ‘Virtual’) on Europe’s Immigrant Muslim Minorities – Stef Van den Branden/Bert Broeckaert: Globalisation and a Living Islamic Identity. English Sunni E-Fatwas on End-of-Life Decision Making – Lenie Brouwer: The Internet as a Vehicle of Empowerment. Dutch Moroccan Youths on the Islam Debate – Felice Dassetto: The Intellectual Challenges and Interpretative Approaches – Umar Ryad: A Prelude to Fiqh al-Aqaliyyaât. Rashîd Ridâ’s Fatwâs to Muslims Under non-Muslim Rule – Rachid Benzine: Markers for Reading the Koran.