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Localizing Islam in Europe

Turkish Islamic Communities in Germany and the Netherlands

Ahmet Yükleyen is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Mississippi. His research focuses on anthropology of religion, ethnicity, Islamic movements, and multiculturalism.

Publication Year: 2011

This book compares how different Islamic communities assert their authority to represent “True Islam” for Muslims living in Europe and how they cope with challenges from rivals with different interpretations and fields of activism. It focuses on five Islamic communities active among Muslims originating from Turkey that represent the spectrum from moderate to revolutionary Islamic opinions: representatives of “official Islam” (Diyanet), political Islamists (Milli Görüş), a mystical Sufi order (Süleymanlı), Turkish civil Islam (Gülen) and a movement seeking an Islamic revolution in Turkey (Kaplan). The research included twelve months of intensive ethnographic fieldwork among Turkish Muslims in Germany and the Netherlands.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Author Bio

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pp. vii-viii

Illustration and Tables

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xiv


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p. xv-xv

Camimizi Yaphracağiz/We Will Build Our Mosque

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pp. xvi-xx

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Introduction: Islam, Identity, and Muslim Public Life in Europe

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pp. 1-36

In 2003, when I went to the Netherlands to carry out my fieldwork, Dutch multicultural society and policies were facing serious challenges. The town where my parents, who had immigrated from Turkey in 1970, lived was home to 3,000 Muslims. That year, the Muslim community had bought a new building to relocate...

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1. Turkish Islamic Field

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pp. 37-89

Several models explain the direction of Islam in Europe by focusing on particular aspects of Muslim immigrant life. Some studies suggest that the socioeconomic conditions of Muslims determine the direction of their religious choices. For instance, Muslim immigrants in Germany radicalize religiously because they...

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2. Islamic Authority and Knowledge

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pp. 90-124

Contextualist scholars discuss how to conceptualize diverse expressions of Islam in each local setting. They emphasize the interactive and changing aspect of religion in a new setting. In the case of Islam in Europe, scholars such as Jorgen Nielsen (1999), Jocelyne Cesari (2004), Werner Schiffauer (2000), and Gerdien...

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3. Islamic Activism: Reinterpreting Islam in Practice

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pp. 125-151

Islamic communities interpret Islamic sources and develop strategies to serve Muslim immigrants in the European public sphere. The process involves more than the intellectual exercise of making textual sources relevant for the daily concerns of Muslim immigrants. The activities of Islamic communities...

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4. State Policies and Islam in Germany and the Netherlands

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pp. 152-182

Despite extensive study of immigrants in Western Europe, the question of their incorporation, particularly that of the Muslim populations, continues to challenge researchers and policymakers. Global security concerns after September 11, 2001, caused European states to develop policies targeting the Muslim community, which...

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5. Islamic Organizations and Muslim Integration

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pp. 183-221

In 2004, a seven-member Dutch research commission concluded its two-year evaluation of the last thirty years of Dutch integration policy, a task it had been assigned by the Dutch parliament’s Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer 2005). The overall conclusion of the commission was that integration policy had failed but...

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6. The Kaplan Community: A Revolutionary Form of Islam

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pp. 222-249

The Turkish Islamic field in Europe has moderate as well as radical Islamic communities. Moderate Islamic communities do not incite hatred or justify violence, and their goal is to raise Islamic consciousness from the bottom up (e.g., the Süleymanlı and Gülen communities) or from top to bottom (e.g., Milli Görüş)...

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pp. 250-262

In early 1990s, the unexpected end of Cold War politics, which was based on ideological struggle and the balance of hard power such as nuclear capacity, left the international arena with a vacuum. Sources of soft power, such as religious and ethnic identities, provide the new basis for international politics. The strong...


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pp. 263-274


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pp. 275-280

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780815650584
E-ISBN-10: 0815650582
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632627
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632622

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 5
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: 1