1st Edition

Former Muslims in Europe
Between Secularity and Belonging

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 22, 2021
ISBN 9780367682187
July 22, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Within contemporary Western European academic, media, and socio-political spheres, Muslims are predominantly seen through the lens of increased religiosity. This religiosity is often seen as problematic, especially in the contexts of the securitised discourses of Islamist terrorism. Yet, there are clear indications that there is a growing number of people who grew up in Muslim families, but who no longer subscribe to Islam, nor call themselves religious at all.

Drawing on fieldwork in the UK and the Netherlands, this study examines those experiences of people moving out of Islam. It rigorously questions the antagonist nature of the debate between ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’, of who is in and who is out, and argues for the recognition of the ambiguity that most of us live in. Revealing many complex forms of moving out, this study adds much-needed nuance to understandings of secularity and Muslim identities in Europe.

Table of Contents


1 Religion, secularism, and the production of discourse

2 "We are the tsunami that is coming"

3 "When I finally heard my own voice"

4 "It’s not just about faith"

5 "Oh no! I can’t eat that!

6 "Speaking out would be a step beyond just not believing"


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Maria Vliek is a Research Associate and Lecturer at the Department of Islam Studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.