The public visibility of Islam is becoming increasingly controversial throughout European countries. With case studies drawn from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, this book examines a range of public issues, including mosque construction, ritual slaughter, Sharia councils and burqa bans, addressing the question of ’Islamic difference’ in public life outside the confines of established normative discourses that privilege freedom of religion, minority rights or multiculturalism. Acknowledging the creative role of dissent, it explores the manner in which public controversies unsettle the religious-secular divide and reshape European norms in the domains of aesthetics, individual freedom, animal rights and law. Developing an innovative conceptual framework and elaborating the notion of controversy as a methodological tool, Islam and Public Controversy in Europe draws our attention to the processes of interaction, confrontation and mutual transformation, thereby opening up a new horizon for rethinking difference and pluralism in Europe. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in religion, integration, cultural difference and the public sphere.
’Nilufer Gole and her colleagues present an incisive intervention in the considerable and growing literature on Muslims in Europe. This volume goes beyond particular instances of the participation of Muslims in public space to exploring the roles and agency of Muslims in reshaping various national public spheres as well as the evolving, and contested, processes of Europeanization. The central and constructive role of public controversy is the lens through which social life and practices are examined and the public sphere is put to the test of democracy�.’ Seteney Shami, Social Science Research Council, USA and The Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Lebanon Translated from the review, originally published in French: 'As a whole this book provides an interesting contribution to the understanding and analysis of practices related to Islam in Europe today, proposing in particular operational concepts and sheds new light on controversies and debates often characterized and summarized in terms too simplistic.' Lectures 'This book is a necessary read for those who are interested in topics related to religious pluralism, immigration, socio-legal integration, and Muslim diaspora. However, due to the clarity of its exposition, scholars and students who are not familiar with the above-mentioned topics will benefit from reading this volume.' Allegra 'This is a work university libraries should certainly purchase for students studying aspects of the new Muslim presence in Europe, whether for courses in politics, social sciences, history, comparative law, religious studies or anthropology. … The strengths of the work are considerable.' Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations