Islam in Europa: Religioses Leben heute. Ein Portrait ausgewahlter islamischer Gruppen und Institutionen. (Islam in Europe. Religious Life Today: A Portrayal of Select Islamic Groups and Institutions).
Edited by Dietrich Reetz
Munster: Waxmann, 2010, 247 pages, ISBN 9783830923817.
This book presents the results of the collaborative research project "Muslims in Europe and their Societies of Origin in Asia and Africa" which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the "Social sciences in societal dialogue" initiative. The project, which received a total of 1.3 million [euro] in funding over a three-year period, was concluded in 2009. The book, which was edited by senior researcher Dietrich Reetz, summarizes the results of a series of subprojects that were presented to the public during the conference "Living Islam in Europe: Muslim Traditions in European Contexts" which took place between May 5 and 7, 2009, in Berlin. Some of the most important results of these sub-projects were subsequently published in a single volume by the Waxmann publishing house. Numerous academics from the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMA) in Berlin, Hamburg University, the Europa-University Viadrina, and the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg actively participated in the project. The subprojects investigated a) Muslim groups with roots in Asia and Africa in Europe, and b) the role of Islamic educational institutions in European countries.
The handbook is structured as follows: After a general introduction by the spokesperson of the collaborative project, Dietrich Reetz (from theZMA), each of the subprojects is briefly summarized in 25-35 pages. In the first of these chapters, Dietrich Reetz examines aspects of the "Strategies of adaption and dissociation: Islamic missionary groups from South Asia in the European diaspora--the Tablighi Jama'at and the Da'wati Islam!" subproject in the article "Public piety among European diversity: The lay preachers of the Tablighi Jamaat" (pp.19-52). Thomas K.Gugler (also from the ZMA), who was jointly responsible for the subproject "Strategies of adaption and dissociation", subsequently focuses on the Da'wat Islami movement in the article "The standardization of modern life and traditional religiousness. The Pakistani missionary movement Da'wat-e Islami" (pp.53-78). In the following chapter, Andrea Lathan (Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg) briefly summarizes the subproject "The Ahmadiya in Germany. Reforms, Faith and Development: The challenges for the Ahmadiya community in Germany" (pp.79-108). This is followed by an article from Shirin Amir-Moazami (Europa University Viadrina) in which the author, who directed the subproject "Pioneers of Euro-Islam? The role of Muslim women in the Milli Gorus. Crossed views: Germany-Turkey", examines elements of the Milli Gorus movement in her article "The Islamic community Milli Gorus in an area of tension between transnational dynamics and German policies towards Islam" (pp.109-144). In the following chapter, Frank Peter (Europa University Viadrina), who directed the subproject "Islamism, the Reform of Islam, and Civil Religion in France", briefly describes the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) in "The Union of the Islamic Organizations of France and the tradition of the Muslim Brothers in an era of increasing integration measures" (pp.145-170). These portrayals of Muslim communities in Europe are followed by two articles examining Islamic educational institutes in Germany and in Europe as a whole. The first of these articles, "Islamic training institutes in Germany and Europe" (pp.171-190), was written by Melanie Kamp (from the ZMO), who carried out research as part of the subproject "Islamic training institutes in Germany. Links to training institutes in the Middle East and Europe". The final chapter was written by Inga Nie-haus (Hamburg University), who led the subproject "Between participation and disengagement: The Muslim minority and its schools in South Africa and Europe" in the article of the same name (pp.191-212).
The handbook aims at making information about the structures and organizational forms of Muslim organizations and Islamic training institutions in Europe available in an easily understandable fashion to wide sections of the general public. In order to do this, the contributions are usually structured in a similar fashion, and the following five issues are examined (in the following order): 1) formation and history, 2) the type and structure of the organization(s) in question, 3) teachings and philosophy, 4) the movement in Europe, and 5) appraisal and further information. The articles are made even easier to read as they contain the views and opinions of people actively involved in the organizations under consideration as well as a large number of charts and tables. Further information on the groups and organizations in question can be obtained from the relevant websites. In addition, many of the Islamic terms employed by the authors are also defined and explained in more detail in the glossary located at the end of the volume.
Bulent Ucar, Universitaet Osnabrueck