The central research question of this project is: how have different traditions of national identity, citizenship, and church-state relations affected European immigration countries’ incorporation of Islam, and what are the consequences of these approaches for patterns of cultural distance and interaction between Muslim immigrants and their descendants, and the receiving society? We answer this question by focusing on three specific research questions: (1) What are the differences between European immigration countries in how they deal with cultural and religious differences of immigrant groups in general, and of Muslims in particular? This question has two aspects. First, the more formal aspect of legislation and jurisprudence, which we will address by way of gathering a systematic set of cross-national indicators using secondary sources. Secondly, cultural relations are also affected importantly by how conceptions of national identity, citizenship, church-state relations, and the position of Islam in relation to these, are framed and contested in the public sphere. (2) To what extent do we find differences across immigration countries in cultural distance and patterns of interaction between various Muslim immigrant groups and the receiving society population? On the one hand, we will focus here on attitudes, norms, and values. On the other hand, we will look at cultural and religious resources and practices. (3) To what extent can cross-national differences in cultural distance and patterns of interethnic and interreligious interaction be explained by the different approaches that immigration countries have followed towards the management of cultural difference in general, and Islam in particular?
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