Contemprary Islam in Europe

Contemprary Islam in Europe

  • 25 November 2007

The lecture discussed the situation of Muslims in Austria
as an example of Islamic coexistence in Europe where the
Muslim Austrians Initiative was created in 1999 with the aim
of promoting the social integration of Muslims in the public
domain and to correct the often distorted picture of Islam.
The main challenge is to prevent fears and anxieties from
the wider population vis-à-vis Muslims by encouraging
more intensive interaction and pro-active behavior of
Muslim citizens in the public sphere. The speaker confirmed
that the aim of the project is to facilitate access of Muslims
to the public sphere by allowing bottom-up democratic
participation. Muslims in Austria are familiar with local
cultural structures while at the same time functioning as
“insiders” of Islam and its cultural developments. Therefore
the Muslim Austrians Initiative plays a constructive
role as an intermediary between different religions and
cultures. Muslim women, who are largely absent from the
labor market in spite of their qualifications, have a high
potential for the enrichment of the community. Austria is
committed to helping them gain self-confidence through
the collaboration with existing associations and institutions.
Efforts are directed toward overcoming old prejudices
by providing better information. Wrong assumptions
about Islam and current frustrations can be countered if
Muslims become more visible in the Austrian society. Also,
xenophobia against Muslims in Austria and in Europe
can be addressed by intensified contacts with the Austrian
population beyond personal relationships. A Muslim way of
life has its place in local society.

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LECTURER

Sunday 25 November 2007

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Sunday 25 November 2007

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