Western European nation-states are diverse and plural. Many Muslims are citizens of France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While everybody seems to know, to a certain extent, who Muslims are and w hat Islam is, there is also disagreement about what this label implies. A wide variety of signifiers are attached to this name: when we think of Muslims we alternatively think of religion, we think of migrants and minorities, of populations with a low socioeconomic position, of terrorists and radicals, while many other images also come immediately to mind. These labels may be stereotypes. They may generalize. But they are also used as forms of self-identification. Furthermore, these meanings do not necessarily exclude each other, but together form a field of significance which is constructed by all the actors taking part in the construction of meaning: a field of Muslimness.
KeywordsReligious Minority Grassroots Level Citation Context Muslim Organization Grassroots Initiative
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