Islam and Secularity: The Future of Europe's Public Sphere
Nilüfer Göle is Professor of Sociology at the Centre d'Études Sociologiques et Politiques Raymond Aron and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris). She is the author of Islam in Europe: The Lure of Fundamentalism and the Allure of Cosmopolitanism and editor of Islam and Public Controversy in Europe.
Europe’s Trouble with Islam: What Future?
This chapter discusses how European frontiers are culturally redrawn by “othering” Islam. General resentment against Turkey’s EU membership was one of the first signals indicating Europe’s trouble with Islam. Europe is defined as essentially secular and not compatible with Muslim presence. Both Turkish candidacy and Muslim migrants become agenda-setting issues for European publics. The resentment against Islamic difference in Europe encourages xenophobic politics and the rise of neopopulist movements and endangers the very foundations of the European project. Euroskepticism and Islamophobia fuel each other, threatening the emancipatory democratic potentials of the European ideal. The future of European democracy depends on its capacity to overcome identity politics in favour of intercultural social experiences.