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White Islam: A New Religion for Europeans

Project description

Illiberalism and Islam: A complex relationship

The rise of forces that challenge liberal democracies has been linked to increased anti-Islamic rhetoric. Those who oppose cultural liberalism tend to insist on the endorsement of Christian values to resist the supposed Islamisation of Europe. Some scholars paid attention to seemingly paradoxical cases of fringe fluidity as members of marginal ultraconservative groups joined religion-inspired (Islamist) movements. The EU-funded WhIsE project explores instances of deeper convergence and investigates how Islam today offers a viable framework for expressing critique of both economic and cultural liberalism. In particular, WhIsE will focus on an international network of converts to Islam—the Murabitun World Movement—that explored the possible rapprochement between European revolutionary conservatism and Islamic norms.

Objective

The project investigates how Islam provides a new framework of ethical norms and religious practices for a number of Europeans who are dissatisfied with the social role occupied by the Christian Churches and who express their concerns about continuous secularisation and cultural liberalisation of their societies. Contrary to prominent Islamic thinkers in Europe who aim to reconcile the Islamic doctrine with liberal values, these Europeans embrace Islam precisely for its supposed opposition to norms of modern Western societies. The study seeks to understand how certain groups among European converts to Islam adopt and consequently appropriate this religion for expressing critique of economic and cultural liberalism.
The project will focus on the ideas developed by members of the Murabitun World Movement (MWM) in the period between the 1970s-2000s. Specifically, the project will investigate works produced by MWM branches in Germany and Russia, for there had been different readings of what this conservative European Islam was supposed to entail. WP1 encompasses a collection of data related to the activities and publications of the MWM members. WP2 includes fieldwork in Europe that centres around interviews with MWM affiliates. The outcomes of these two phases include a database suitable for future research inquiries, as well as a visualised network that enables understanding the scope of the MWM activities. WP4-5 centres around disseminating research results across the scientific community, as well as outreach activities that target policymakers and the broader public. WP6 deliverables place emphasis on deepening PI’s research skills and extending the collaboration networks.

Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM
Net EU contribution
€ 271 052,16
Address
SPUI 21
1012WX Amsterdam
Netherlands

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Region
West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 271 052,16

Partners (1)