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Muslims of Europe

The 'Other' Europeans

H. A. Hellyer

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The interchange between Muslims and Europe has a long and complicated history, dating back to before the idea of 'Europe' was born, and the earliest years of Islam. There has been a Muslim presence on the European continent before, but never has it been so significant, particularly in Western Europe. With more Muslims in Europe than in many countries of the Muslim world, they have found themselves in the position of challenging what it means to be a European in a secular society of the 21st century. At the same time, the European context has caused many Muslims to re-think what is essential to them in religious terms in their new reality.

In this work, H.A. Hellyer analyses the prospects for a European future where pluralism is accepted within unified societies, and the presence of a Muslim community that is of Europe, not simply in it.


Part I: Background and Precedent
1. Religious Diversity and Multiculturalism
2. Muslims as Minorities in Fiqh
Part II: Present and Current Situations
3. Fiqh in Modern Europe
4. Muslims in Europe
5. Muslims and Religious Descrimination
Part III: A Case Study and Conclusions
6. Muslims in the United Kingdom
7. Conclusions

About the Author

Dr H.A. Hellyer is Fellow of the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations at the University of Warwick (UK). A prolific author on Muslim communities of the West in the media, academia and policy circles, he has been an associated scholar of the Brookings Institution (USA), the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (UK). He is currently writing his next book on Muslim minorities in different parts of the world, entitled 'Making it on the Margins'.


Muslims of Europe: The 'Other Europeans' is a thoughtful and ambitious reflection on the place of Islam and Muslims in Europe. Hellyer skillfully unpacks commonly used vocabulary to analyse anew the intersection of history, institutions, religious traditions and the movement of peoples and ideas. This book is a sweeping and useful introduction to key concepts that help understand the process of Muslims' integration in European countries.
- Jonathan Laurence, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Boston College
While many today think we need to go beyond multiculturalism, Hellyer argues that the success of what he calls stage one multiculturalism means neither the end of common citizenship and national identity, nor their re-imposition, but rather their re-making. He draws on theory but is focused on real-world problems and the book is informed by his good sense and a search for the middle ground.
- Professor Tariq Modood, University of Bristol
Dr. Hellyer provides an examination of the situation of the Muslims of Europe that transcends the usual "Islam-in-Europe" paradigm of scholarship. Hellyer¹s analysis does not just provide a description of the diversity of Muslim experiences in European societies nor is the analysis simply a restatement of various theories of multiculturalism. Instead, this book is a thought-provoking synthesis of theory and case study analysis that provides a new inclusive conceptual framework that reframes the concepts of assimilation, multiculturalism, and pluralism in the dynamic reconceptualization of "intregralisation". Both specialists and the general reader will find this book a valuable aid in understanding the dynamics of diversity in the contemporary world.
- John O. Voll, Professor of Islamic History and Associate Director, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
'The book provides the most comprehensive and reliable picture of Muslims in Europe. It deals with the issues of Islam and Muslims historically as well as in contemporary Europe. It is essential reading for students, scholars, policy makers and for those who wish to understand the complex relationship between European Muslims and their societies.'
- Muhammad Anwar OBE, Research Professor, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick
I can think of few books that are more timely and important. H. A. Hellyer’s Muslims of Europe: The ‘Other’ Europeans is must reading for scholars, students and policymakers.
- John L. Esposito, University Professor and Professor of Religion & International Affairs, Georgetown University and co-author of Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think
I am impressed, indeed astounded, by the comprehensiveness of Dr Hellyer's remarkable book. It deals with the history of Islam, particulary in Europe, has total familiarity with issues of Muslim theology, deals thoroughly with the questions of discrimination, and, by extension, the so-called "clash of civilisations" thesis. This will prove to be the best available text and source-book on the subject of Muslim Europeans for undergraduate and postgraduate students alike.
- John Rex, Professor Emeritus, University of Warwick