Rethinking European Identity and Muslim Diasporas

    • Cover Porto 2017
    • Presentation speakers
      • Meyda Yegenoglu, Institute for Advanced Social Research, University of Tampere, Finland


    Although the European secularist discourses distance the secular from the religious and relegate religion to the domain of the private, religion has never ceased to appear in the European public space. This is more so in the context of the geopolitics of today’s globalized world which is characterized by mixed temporalities, tensions and religious conflicts between diasporic communities and Europeans. The current European cultural space now witnesses a new discursive articulation of religion with the political and cultural. By examining the different discourses in which religion is articulated in the European public space, my paper aims to reveal how religion enters today’s European public and how this entrance is regulated and redefined by the age old Islamophobic discourses. The discourses, which articulate the fear of Islamic religiosities, render a new border between Europe and its Islamic Others. It is usually the Christian values and the heritage of Europe that is either implicitly and in many cases explicitly evoked to proclaim the externality of European Muslims to Europe. My paper examines whether the religiosities that are articulated by Muslim immigrant groups Europe are capable of transforming the way European identity has been fashioned up until now and thereby foster new forms of dialogue between Muslim diasporic groups and Europeans, or whether Islamophobia will win and hence the myth of Europe founded on Judeo-Christian values be reinforced which fosters the externality of Muslims to Christocentric Europe.