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

By Jonathan Laurence | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
Imperfect Institutionalization
ISLAM COUNCILS IN EUROPE

EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS LEARNED valuable lessons in institutional design from the early, ineffective efforts at organizing Muslim communities in the 1990s. The idling of the initial consultations with Muslim groups and their lack of legitimacy and an enforceable consensus had frustrated ministry officials across the continent. The “Europeanization” of Islamist terrorism in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, however, led to a second and more enduring attempt at organizing Islam Councils between 2000 and 2010.

A succession of harrowing experiences contributed to the impetus to accelerate state-mosque relations: the Hamburg cell that committed the attacks of September 11,2001, the murder of Dutch filmmaker and Islamcritic Theo Van Gogh in 2002, the involvement of residents of Spain and France in the Casablanca bombings in May 2003, the Madrid bombings of March 11,2004, and the London Underground suicide attacks of July 7, 2005, in addition to reports of European Muslims traveling to fight U.S. and European troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Beyond the repressive measures that governments could (and did) take to combat the radicalization of young Muslims—such as deportations of extremists and radical imams, and the usual activities of counter-terrorism policies, including political and financial surveillance—authorities also pursued a constructive response to the challenge of Islamist terrorism. Indeed, the international events renewed governments’ determination to press forward with state-Islam consultations, and added to the arguments for regulation of the still unsettled status of Islam in Europe.

National governments have followed the same two phases of statemosque relations—outsourcing followed by incorporation—and this is due neither to “post-nationalism” nor to “shared values.” It has taken place instead through parallel processes in which each country asserted its national sovereignty in the face of potential social conflict influenced by transnational political actors. With this second phase of reshaping state-mosque relations, European governments engaged in a partial revival of an institutional arrangement that earlier had been used in the realm of postwar economic policymaking. The Islam councils share some of the characteristics of neo-corporatist mediation between “capital” and “labor,” as codified by political scientists in the 1970s and 1980s

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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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