Toward a European Islam

Lecture Series at Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies Addresses Islam as Part of European Identity / Lectures on June 3 and 24 at Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung

№ 191/2014 from May 27, 2014

How has Europe been shaped by Islam? This issue is being addressed in a lecture series of the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, which is hosted by Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität. The lecture series is being held in cooperation with the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO). The series aims to change patterns of thinking that consider the Muslim presence in Europe as a problem. Muslim life needs to be seen as an integral part of European history and identity. In the series, Muslim history in Europa is not examined solely as migration history, but in light of its own traditions, for example, in the Balkans. The lecture on June 3 will be given by the French historian Dr. Xavier Bougarel, a visiting researcher at the Centre Marc Bloch, and the one on June 24 will be given by the political philosopher Dr. Anya Topolski. The discussants will be Prof. Dr. Hannes Grandits, a professor of Southeast European history at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Dr. Yasemin Shooman, the director of the migration and diversity program at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Both lectures will be held at 7 p.m. at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL). They are open to the public, and advance registration is not required. The lectures will be given in English.

The lectures portray how Muslims, with their religious practices and lifestyles, present a challenge to common perceptions of the secular state and the treatment of minorities in Europe. In addition, the series, which was organized by Schirin Amir-Moazami, a professor of Islam in Europe at the Institute of Islamic Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, aims to bring a broader perspective to the issue. By including the Balkans, it is clear that the perception of Muslims as migrants in Europe is as equally untenable as the idea that Europe was dominated exclusively by Christians.

The Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, operated jointly by Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, and the ZMO, educates doctoral students who are doing research on the inner diversity, historical mutability, and global networking of Muslim cultures and societies. The doctoral dissertation projects are in fields ranging from Islamic studies and Arabic studies to political science, history, anthropology, Asian studies, and African studies. The diverse research projects are united by a view of Islam as a frame of reference for religious, cultural, and social phenomena. The faculty for the doctoral education is made up of 20 researchers from different research institutions in Berlin, as well as numerous visiting researchers from other parts of Germany and abroad.

Time and Place

  • June 3, 2014, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Dr. Xavier Bougarel (Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris / Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin): What do Bosnian Muslims mean when they say that they are Europeans? Discussant: Prof. Dr. Hannes Grandits (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Principal Investigator at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies); Moderation: Dr. Dietrich Reetz (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Principal Investigator at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies).

  • June 24, 2014, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Dr. Anya Topolski (Universität Leuven): Good Jew, Bad Jew. Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Regulating European Subjects. Discussant: Dr. Yasemin Shooman (Akademie des Jüdischen Museums Berlin); Moderation: Prof. Dr. Schirin Amir-Moazami (Freie Universität Berlin, Principal Investigator at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies).

  • Both lectures will be held at the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL), Schützenstraße 18, 10117 Berlin.

Links to the Homepage and Flyer

Further Information

Dr. Bettina Gräf, Managing Director, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-53260, Email: md@bgsmcs.fu-berlin.de