The Impact of Islamic Civilization on the History and Culture of Central Europe

The Impact of Islamic Civilization on the History and Culture of Central Europe

  • 4 February 2008

This lecture is based on Dr. Mendel’s thorough research of
influences from Islamic civilization on European political
and social life, with particular emphasis on the presence
of Islam in the politics, social life and cultural values of
central Europe. This region of Europe has been affected
by Islam in a rather marginal way when compared to
such historical chapters as in Islamic Spain or the Balkan
Peninsula under Ottoman rule.
The speaker confirmed that Islam’s presence in
Europe today is examined, with a closer look at the
Islamic political influence in today’s Germany, Austria,
Poland and the territory of former Czechoslovakia, which
has been an integral part of Austria for three centuries.
He alluded to the Islamic values and influences in Czech
and Slovak architecture, fashion, literature, folksongs
and painting as a highly relevant component of the
broader European artistic trend, commonly known as
“Orientalism.” He cited various examples of political
rivalry and/or cooperation between Germany, Austria
and the former Czechoslovakia on the one side, and
the Ottoman Empire and other parts of the Islamic
World on the other. In the last part of the lecture, he
presented a concise history of the Muslim community in
Czechoslovakia (1918–1993) and the Czech Republic in
the last few years.

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LECTURER

Monday 4 February 2008

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Monday 4 February 2008

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