How Europe’s Secularism Became Contentious

Sam Cherribi

in In the House of War

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199734115
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866113 | DOI:


How Europe’s Secularism Became Contentious

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This chapter examines the opinions of Islamic religious leaders based on a sample of 90 sermons in on contested social issues in Dutch mosques during the early 1990s. The chapter’s analytical approach takes into account the personal characteristics, life histories, and the power of the imams in the context of the politics of their mosques, as well as how the Muslim communities are in fact confronted with a new interpretation of Islam in Europe, in which the imam is the holder of symbolic capital. He defines the normative rules of behavior. Moroccan imams in Amsterdam generally stayed away from using the word integration and instead used the term cohabitation or coexistence. They consequently prompted parents to send their children to exclusive Islamic schools. The number of such schools multiplied during the mid-1990s.

Keywords: secular; imams; mosques; Arkoun; Submission; sociogenesis; diaspora; Umma; politics of the sacred

Chapter.  9807 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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