Ahmet Kuru on Islam in Europe
Date: February 21st, 2011

How is contemporary Europe adjusting to the growing presence of Muslim immigrants and their second and third generation progeny?  Prof. Ahmet Kuru — assistant professor of political science at San Diego State University — joins Tony to discuss the origins and demographic composition of Muslim immigration in post-WWII Europe.  We primarily focus our discussion on France, Great Britain and Germany, though the responses of other countries are mentioned as well.  Prof. Kuru notes how the demand for labor in the post-war era, combined with differering colonial legacies, shaped the issues surrounding the accomodation of Muslim immigrants in different parts of Europe.  While Great Britain made citizenship for immigrants easy based on whether an immigrant came from a former colony, countries such as Germany made citizenship more difficult and existed under the expectation that immigrants would eventually return to their place of origin.  Our discussion covers Prof. Kuru’s research on assertive secularism, wherein nations (e.g., France) intentionally seek to remove religion from the public sphere (though the implementation of such policies is not always consistent).  We cover the recent ban on the Muslim headscarf (hijab) and oher controversies such as mosque construction and funding for religious education.  We close out our discussion with a discussion of how religious policy is changing in Turkey and how that relates to the European situation, and why Muslims in the United States have found it esier to accomodate to the cultural and political landscape than in Europe.  Recorded: February 7, 2011.


Prof. Ahmet Kuru’s website at San Diego State University.

Secularism and State Policies toward Religion: The United States, France, and Turkey by Ahmet T. Kuru.

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