Being Muslim in Europe today means something more than being faithful to a specific cultural or national tradition: it is, above all, the expression of multiple belongings that develop within the framework of plural, complex and contradictory societies such as the European ones.
Academic reflection on Islam in Europe began at the start of the 1980s as a phenomenon linked to the settlement of migrant populations. Three decades later, this reflection has had to face new approaches that tend to frequently associate Islam with immigration or with violence, especially in the aftermath of jihadist attacks on European soil.
Profound transformations in terms both of the articulation of Muslim identities in Europe and the changes underway in the European national contexts of which the members of these groups form part mean new analytical approaches are required.
In the issue 115 of Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, (Re)Interpreting Islam in Europe, Jordi Moreras proposes a reading of the collective religious expressions of Muslims in Europe and the reactive scenarios arising in post-migratory terms. From another perspective, Avi Astor examines in his book Rebuilding Islam in Contemporary Spain how Islam went from being an aspect of Spain’s national heritage to be recovered and commemorated to a pressing social problem to be managed and controlled.
CIDOB researcher Moussa Bourekba moderates a dialogue between both authors that will be aimed at answering the following questions: What does it mean to be a Muslim today in Europe? Is Islam in Europe something more than a “religion of immigrants”? To what extent is the treatment of Islam in Catalonia and in the rest of Spain similar or different from other European trends? And, finally, what are the research approaches that allow a better understanding of Islam in Europe?
Jordi Moreras is an associate senior researcher at CIDOB, professor at the University Rovira i Virgili (URV) and teaching collaborator of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), he has coordinated the issue 115 of Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals (Re)interpretando el islam en Europa. Avi Astor is currently the Ramón y Cajal Researcher in the ISOR group in the Department of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB); he is the author of Rebuilding Islam in Contemporary Spain. Moussa Bourekba is a researcher at CIDOB, where he was project manager for SAHWA, an EU-funded project aimed at analysing youth conditions and expectations in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region.
>> The conference will be streamed here.