Political Participation and Identities of Muslims in Non-Muslim States

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The involvement of minorities in politics has been the subject of a considerable number of studies. However, these studies are rarely concerned with the views of Muslims on their participation in the political processes of non-Muslim societies. Several Western scholars have thought and still think that the world, from the perspective of Muslims, can be divided in accordance with the dichotomy of the classical Islamic Law that distinguishes between the Territory of Islam and the Territoryof War . however, during the last decennia various Muslim scholars have tried to reinterpret the position of Muslims in non-Muslim societies in new religious terms by which this classification has been emended and corrected. In this book, four different views are distinguished: the pragmatic, idealistic or utopian, re-interpretative, and traditionalist views. It goes without saying that the practical implementaion of these views to a large degree depends upon the types of Muslim organizations and representative bodies in those societies, as well as their denominational and ethnical backgrounds. From an international comparative perspective it appears that, contrary to the situation in Australia, Muslims of most Western European states have been thus far unsuccessful in creating representative organizations at national levels. This is also illustrated by studies of Muslim organizations in Germany, Italy and the united Kingdom. Another important factor consists of the views of the younger generations of Muslim immigrants about the compatibility of their Islamic identiity and full participation in the non-Muslim, secular societies in which they are living. Research on this subject contained in the present book responds to this question in an affirmative way.