The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims: The State's Role in Minority Integration

By Jonathan Laurence | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO
European Outsourcing and Embassy Islam
L’ISLAM, C’EST MOI

THE FIRST MONTH OF 2010 brought several reminders of the Muslim world’s residual paternalism toward the Islamic diaspora in Europe. The Tunisian presidency organized a conference on “Youth and the Future: Contemporary Challenges,” and invited an Italian Muslim leader to participate with a delegation of young Italian Muslims. The Algerian government signaled that it would replace the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, the oldest and most prominent Islamic institution in metropolitan France. A columnist in the Saudi Gazette reminded the Saudi leadership of the Muslim world’s responsibility to protect and promote their minorities abroad. He cited the “Swiss ban on minarets, French aversion to burqa, Danish blasphemy, and the American call for assimilation” to rile his readers out of their inaction. He asked: “What have we done to help those affected minorities?” The answer is: quite a lot, actually Embassy Islam—in other words, the international advocacy, summitry, and intervention on behalf of the Islamic minority in Europe—has been under way for three decades, and shows no signs of abating, although it is adapting the content of its offerings as the European Muslim population nears the point of being majority native-born.

The religious infrastructure of Muslim communities in Western Europe was, in a sense, decided in advance—not by the communities themselves, but by those who had the power to set the conditions: sending and receiving states. The homeland governments of the majorityMuslim sending states have exercised a strong hand in Islam in Europe since shortly after the first guestworkers first emigrated. European governments were content to “outsource” the day-to-day management of Islamic religious observance, a practice that dovetailed with the interests of the countries of origin. The policies of the host and sending states were entirely convergent for the first decades of Muslim settlement. The Europeans embraced return-oriented integration policies that meshed well with the religious and cultural outreach of three principal labor-exporting states—Algeria, Morocco, and Turkey—as well as

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The Emancipation of Europe's Muslims: The State's Role in Minority Integration
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Tables xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Preface xvii
  • Chapter One - A Leap in the Dark 1
  • Chapter Two - European Outsourcing and Embassy Islam 30
  • Chapter Three - A Politicized Minority 70
  • Chapter Four - Citizens, Groups, and the State 105
  • Chapter Five - The Domestication of State-Mosque Relations 133
  • Chapter Six - Imperfect Institutionalization 163
  • Chapter Seven - The Partial Emancipation 198
  • Chapter Eight - Muslim Integration and European Islam in the Next Generation 245
  • Notes 273
  • Interviews 309
  • Bibliography 317
  • Index 355
  • Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics 367
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