Islam Matters to the West! Islam and Europe, Islam in Europe: Islamic Migration between Cultural Assimilation, Political Integration and Communitarian Ghettoisation

  • Bassam Tibi


When at the present time it comes to addressing Islam, we often encounter references to the notions of modernity, as well as to postmodernity.1 In this context the perennial question was asked in the headline of an issue of the Times Literary Supplement: ‘Can Islam cope with modernity?’ (TLS, 23 April 1999). It is one that matters in many ways to the West in the age of migration. To be specific: in acknowledging the secular character of cultural modernity2 we need to ask whether Islamic migrants accept a decoupling of Islam from politics. Is it possible to reduce their demand for religious tolerance in respect of their cultural identity within a pluralism that puts all religions on an equal footing? Or will they insist on a political determination of the religion of Islam as the only true one and thus insist on its absolutism? What are the implications? And last, but not least: is secular modernity, which is intrinsically secular, at peril if an increasing Islamic part of the population does not submit to it?


International Relation International System European Citizen Political Integration Cultural Pluralism 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bassam Tibi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Cornell UniversityUSA

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