Church-state regimes and their impact on the institutionalization of islamic organizations in Western Europe : a comparative analysis
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Journal of muslim minority affairs. - London
, p. 61-76
University of Antwerp
Since the 1990s, the establishment and recognition of representative bodies for Muslim communities in Western European countries have been an important political and social topic. In many immigration countries in Europe, there were a variety of initiatives. In this article, we shall discuss to what extent particular churchstate regimes are crucial to the understanding of the genealogy of these representative Muslim organizations. Four countries in Europe, including Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK, are studied in a comparative manner. These countries have very different churchstate regimes which makes it possible to explore how and if the emergence of several Muslim councils was structured by pre-existing churchstate practices and arrangements. After an introduction and a description of the research hypotheses, the paper provides first a brief overview of the churchstate relations in the four European nations and then outlines the genealogy of their Muslim representative bodies. Finally, the similarities and differences among these institutions are discussed in the light of three research hypotheses. In conclusion, we are able to demonstrate that, contrary to general belief, it is largely not the case that the emergence of various Muslim councils in the different states was structured by pre-existing churchstate arrangements.