Becoming european, becoming enemy: mosque conflicts and finding a permanent place for ıslam in Europe

Sarıkuzu, Hande
This thesis aims to problematize the cosmopolitan-spirited quest for a proper and permanent place for Islam and Muslim immigrants in Europe today, and to claim that the efforts to establish a European Islam cannot be thought in isolation from the efforts to consolidate a European identity. Since “Europeanizing” Islam is a process of inserting it into the politically acceptable formations of the secular in the European public sphere, not only does this project fail to offer a genuine alternative framework for belonging, or an authentic opportunity for dialogue, but also in fact consolidates the European civilizational identity on the one hand, and sustains the metanarrative about the Islamic threat on the other. The major argument of this thesis, therefore, is that the stranger (Muslim) is allowed to enter the host’s secular space only under the conditions that construct Islam as the enemy. Forging a European Islam under the rules of secularism, without a radical interruption of the secular - religious division, and without referring to its implication in the discourses of Orientalism and racism, is ultimately a reconsolidation of the authority of the self-same European. This argument will be illustrated via a critical study of three cases of mosque debates in European cities.


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Beginning in the 1990s, an increasing tension has developed between Europe and the Muslims who live there. This tension is primarily concerned with the Muslim culture and religion, and their compatibility with the supposed European values. The tension peaked after the bombing attacks of 2001, and eventually resulted in Europe declaring a ‘war on terror’ against European Muslims, with its own ways of addressing, which can be defined as an apophatic mode of address, mentioning by not mentioning, declaring by ...
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Islamism is a concept that has occupied a central place in the political and intellectual life of the Muslim World since the 1860s. With different actors and varying methodologies and objectives, Islamism as a political movement has been practiced in various formations. This multiplicity has led to several conflicts among different Islamist actors. The conflict between Abdulhamid II and the Ottoman Islamist intellectuals is one of the central conflicts in Islamist political thought. Although both sides were...
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Citation Formats
H. Sarıkuzu, “Becoming european, becoming enemy: mosque conflicts and finding a permanent place for ıslam in Europe,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.