Islam in the West. The recent attacks in France by Islamists, who were French nationals, have accentuated a long-standing debate about Islam in Europe, and in the West more broadly. This workshop placed in historical and comparative perspective the current debate over immigration and integration, with particular attention to the differences among countries and between Europe and the United States. It also explored the differences between Islam – a religion, and Islamism – a political ideology; the concept of national identity in a rapidly globalizing world; and finally, the growing phenomenon of foreign fighters and their return to the West.
This excellent one-day educational workshop was geared at secondary school teachers and community college faculty from the greater Princeton area.
Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Director, Program in Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
This talk outlined how Muslims encountered Europe from the 7th century onwards. One focus dealt with early encounters in Spain. A second theme was Muslim-European/Christian encounters in the Mediterranean world from the Middle Ages to the early modern period. A last focus was on the modern period, the 19th and 20th century, where both intellectual and social contacts multiplied.
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
This lecture discussed the problematic nature of the terms Islam and Islamism. It gave a brief history of the rise of Islamism in the 20th century as a modern political ideology; compared and contrasted Islamism with the broader Islamic tradition; and discussed the repercussions the debates over these terms have for Western policies and for Muslims living in Western societies.
Islam’s encounter with the Western Europe is a historical process that did not start with the 19th century colonization of North Africa. This talk, therefore, stressed long-standing interactions between Europeans and Muslims. It will as well raise the issue of secularism and Islam building on the French example.
Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics, Princeton University
The horrific Chapel Hill incident demonstrated the ongoing and heightened predicament US Muslims face. While the US has a much better record on Muslim incorporation than Europe, there still remain significant challenges. This presentation looked at both the challenges and opportunities that have arisen in the post 9-11 environment for Muslims and Islam in America.