Europe and Muslim immigrants at the ıntersection of secularism, religion and racism

Bezirgan, Bengi
This study intends to discuss the problematical relation between Europe and Muslim immigrants in the light of the issues of secularism, religion and racism. Over the three decades, there has been a large body of literature in both theoretical and empirical fields about the peculiar European identity, the implications of secularism for European society and its distance from religion particularly in public sphere. Besides, 1980 onwards, the focus of the theories of racism shifted from biological explanations to culturally designated accounts. European manner of production of knowledge about race has started to concentrate on the incompatible cultural character of Muslim immigrants. Simultaneously, multicultural discourse has been put forward as an evidence for anti-racist and tolerant approach towards these guest citizens. By taking into consideration these theoretical analyses about Europe, the main goal of this study is to point out how specific discursive sphere is produced-reproduced and the representations of Muslim immigrants are shaped by certain Eurocentric definitions and recurrent notions. This attempt contains two interrelated theoretical layers. On the one hand, it is aimed to uncover the stereotyped and racist representations of Muslim immigrants in both public and political discussions. On the other hand, the inherent contradictions of Europe as both sovereign political subjectivity and hegemonic discursive sphere are highlighted.


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Citation Formats
B. Bezirgan, “Europe and Muslim immigrants at the ıntersection of secularism, religion and racism,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2010.