Islam in Europe
Week 4, 11-16 hrs
Not only recently, has the enlargement of the European Union raised questions about the boundaries of Europe and the existence of a distinctive European identity that would help define these boundaries. Particularly with regard to Turkey's request for accession, many politicians and intellectuals were quick to state that it is Europe's joint Judeo-Christian identity that effectively excludes Turkey from joining the European Union. This reference to Turkey's pre-dominantly Muslim identity reflects popular fears of Islam in Europe. The killing of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam, the bombings of Madrid and London, or the harsh and partly violent response of Muslim believers to the Mohammed cartoons in the Danish Jyllands-Posten only seem to have cemented these fears. The European response, meanwhile, manifests itself in banning particular Islamic symbols from the public sphere (e.g. the ban on building minarets in Switzerland or the ban on publicly wearing burqa-style Islamic veils in Belgium and France).
The seminar aims to explore contemporary discourses over Islam in Europe. This will require to journey into the histories of Muslim migration to the European Union and to discuss the kaleidoscope of national integration policies as far as Muslim minorities are concerned. The class will focus on debates like Islam and secularism, outline the diversity of Islam in Europe, and study how Muslim intellectuals define a distinctively European version of Islam.
The course involves introductory lectures by the instructor, short presentations by the students, discussions on contemporary conflicts over Islam in Europe, as well as an analytical session on the visibility of Islam in the public sphere.
Students are expected to read the preparatory texts, give a short presentation, and engage in discussions during the course.
- Al-Azameh, A. and E. Fokas (2007) Islam in Europe: Diversity, Identity and Influence, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Pauly, R. J. (2004) Islam and Europe: Integration or Marginalization? Aldershot: Ashgate.
- Zürcher, E. J. and H. van der Linden (2004) The European Union, Turkey and Islam, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Résumé of Dr. Pierre Hecker:
* Since 2010 research associate at the Centre for Near and Middle East Studies at the University of Marburg; research focus: modern Turkey, youth and youth cultures in the Middle East, gender in Muslim societies.
* 2009-2010 research associate/lecturer at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Leipzig.
* 2009 PhD dissertation in Middle East Studies at the University of Leipzig (Doctor Thesis: Heavy Metal in a Muslim Context).
* 2006-2008 research associate at the Georg-Eckert-Institute for international Textbook Research in Braunschweig; conducted research on Islamophobia and intolerance against Muslims in German-speaking schoolbooks; developed new teaching materials to combat Islamophobia in German schools.
* 1995-2001 M.A. in Human Geography and Middle East Studies at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg (Master Thesis: Political Stability in Pakistan).