Neither visitors, nor colonial victims: Muslims in.. (NEITHER NOR)
Neither visitors, nor colonial victims: Muslims in Interwar Europe and European Trans-cultural History
Start date: Jun 1, 2014,
End date: May 31, 2019
"No comprehensive attempt has yet been made to cover the history of Muslims in interwar Europe. Historians of the modern Middle East underestimate the role of interwar Muslim actors in writing a history of Islam, whereas historians of Europe underestimate their role in intra-European developments. Existing works focus either on the nineteenth-century Muslim travelers, diplomats, students and residents or on the later post-World War II influx of Muslim immigrant workers.Based on personal and official archives, memoirs, press writings and correspondences, this project analyses the multiple aspects of the global Muslim religious, political and intellectual affiliations in interwar Europe, broadly defined. How did Muslims in interwar Europe act and interact among each other; and within the European socio-political and cultural context? The project answers this question by studying the intellectual and religio-political roles played by Muslim “intellectual agents” during the interwar years and up until the rest of World War II (1918-1946).We hypothesize that histoire croisée (entangled history) is the most appropriate approach to study the encounters and experiences of Muslim actors in interwar Europe from within. By exploring the complex relationship between the historical data and the social, political, theological and cultural patterns of Muslims as a new social structure in interwar Europe, the study represents a step towards a systematic global approach of Muslim connections in interwar Europe.The project contributes to our historical conceptualization of Europe itself as much as to our understanding of the contemporary scene of Islam in Europe and the world today, without resorting to a neatly tailored hypothesis. Many Muslim groups in the West nowadays still trace their heritage to the ideas of the great reformers of the early 20th century. More historical reflection on Islam in Europe can put the present “fear"" for Islamization of the West into perspective."
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