How do European Young Muslims View European Identity?

  • Branislav Radeljić School of Humanities and Social Sciences University of East London
Keywords:
Young Muslims, European identity, adaptation

Abstract

This paper examines the situation in the European Union where the growing presence of Muslim communities has already taken place. The initial understanding of the then European Economic Community as Christian Democratic, thus as Catholic, is no longer valid. In fact, from a social constructivist perspective, the presence of Muslims has posed a challenge and led to numerous debates relating to what has been promoted as European identity. Accordingly, this qualitative paper focuses on the coexistence of the two identities and questions to what extent young, EU-born, Muslims are ready to accept European identity, or, by contrast, continue to cultivate their own Muslim identity. The paper argues that the young Muslims can be divided into three different groups – traditionalists, neo-traditionalists and liberals, a division that is easily ignored by the society and, more importantly, policy makers, who consider only the first category when portraying Islam as a serious challenge to European identity. Conclusively, the paper notes that bigger efforts are needed on behalf of both the Europeans and the Muslims, efforts that will lead to successful co-existence and validate the EU’s cosmopolitan approach towards its otherness.

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Published
2011-12-06
How to Cite
Radeljić, Branislav. 2011. “How Do European Young Muslims View European Identity?”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 6 (4), 871-84. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v6i4.3.