Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Legal Integration of Islam

Legal Integration of Islam

Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Harvard University Press
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Legal Integration of Islam
    Book Description:

    Christian Joppke and John Torpey show how four liberal democracies-France, Germany, Canada, and the U.S.-have responded to the challenge of integrating Muslim populations. Demonstrating the centrality of the legal system to this process, they argue that institutional barriers to integration are no greater on one side of the Atlantic than the other.

    eISBN: 978-0-674-07491-0
    Subjects: Sociology, Law, Political Science, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[x])
  3. CHAPTER ONE Introduction: Neutrality, Liberalism, and Islam Integration in Europe and America
    (pp. 1-16)

    This book’s earliest incarnation was entitled “State Neutrality and Accommodating Islam in Western Europe and North America” (Joppke and Torpey 2006). It is worth revisiting what we originally set out to do because the final product that lies before you is different, we believe, in not merely idiosyncratic ways.

    As students of the nation-state and its transformations in a rapidly changing world, we set out to compare and contrast institutional responses to religious diversity, especially the one religion that for better or worse has received more attention than any other in recent years: Islam. So we are no exception to...


    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 17-20)

      Selecting two North American and two Western Europe an cases of Islam accommodation allows comparisons at two levels: across two continents and within each of them. At the intercontinental level, what distinguishes Europe from North America is that, in the former, state and church have been competing for supremacy over the centuries. In the process, “the state . . . has gradually assumed many of the historic functions performed by the medieval Church,” from education to welfare and the creation of a common culture (Whitman 2008: 90). As a result, there is a tendency in Europe for the state “to...

    • CHAPTER TWO Limits of Excluding: The French Burqa Law of 2010
      (pp. 21-47)

      In June 2009, addressing both houses of French Parliament(Congrès)in a historic Versailles venue, French President Nicolas Sarkozy denounced the burqa¹—an Islamic garment covering the entire body and face—as “a sign of subjugation [and] of debasement” that is “not welcome on French territory.”² One day later, a parliamentary commission led by Communist Party deputy André Gerin was established to “review the practice of wearing the burqa and the niqab by certain Muslim women . . . on the national territory,” with the mandate to “better understand the problem and to find ways to fight against this affront...

    • CHAPTER THREE Limits of Including: The German Reluctance to “Cooperate” with Organized Islam
      (pp. 48-84)

      If France is struggling with the limits of excluding Islam, Germany must grapple with the opposite problem of determining what, if any, are the limits of inclusion. The contrasting dilemmas—call it France’s problem of freedom versus Germany’s problem of equality—are deeply grounded in these countries’ divergent solutions to linking state and religion in an age of secularization. France’s strict separation of state and religion, whose aim is to keep the state free of religion,¹ bears obvious risks for individual liberties, as the current attempts to restrict the “burqa” demonstrate. Germany’s more cooperative approach of linking state and religion,...


    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 85-88)

      The Western European cases we have examined vary primarily in terms of the extent to which their church-state regimes may, when confronted with the problem of accommodating Islam, constrain religious liberty (France) or religious equality (Germany). In North America, the two cases we examine—Canada and the United States—differ in both parallel and divergent ways.

      One parallel with Europe lies in the fact that, of the two countries, only in Canada has the state tended to follow the European pattern of seeking to substitute for the functions of a formerly established church. In this case, however, it has done...

    • CHAPTER FOUR “Reasonable Accommodation” and the Limits of Multiculturalism in Canada
      (pp. 89-113)

      The Canadian experience of Islam integration has overall been positive, in part because Muslims in Canada (much like their peers in the United States) tend to be better off economically and educationally than their counterparts in Western Europe. Moreover, the characteristically Canadian stress on multiculturalist policies has bolstered Muslim claims to acceptance of their different ways of life. These policies are more reminiscent of Europe than the United States, if only in the minimal sense that in the United States no immigrant integration policy of any kind exists at the federal level. In contrast to the United States, the legal...

    • CHAPTER FIVE The Dog That Didn’t Bark: Islam and Religious Pluralism in the United States
      (pp. 114-138)

      In 2010, the United States witnessed a remarkable spasm of concern about the place of Islam in American society. The event that precipitated it was the announcement of plans to build the so-called Ground Zero Mosque in lower Manhattan. Whether or not this is an apt name for a building to be constructed a couple of blocks from the site of the World Trade Center towers, destroyed by world-changing Islamic terrorism in 2001, this framing of the project concretized many people’s objections to the endeavor. Many commentators found the project to erect a mosque so close to the location of...

    • CHAPTER SIX Conclusion: Islam and Identity in the Liberal State
      (pp. 139-162)

      This Study was not immune from an ambivalence that marks the abundant and fast-growing literature on Muslims and Islam in the West: not always to distinguish clearly between the integration of “Muslims” as social category and of “Islam” as religion. Of course, our interest was in the combination of both, as the nonreligious aspects of integrating yet another immigrant group was not our topic; instead, our subject was the lesser or higher hurdles met by individually practiced and organized Islam across Western host societies. Perhaps it is time to finish the obsession with religion as central to the integration of...

  6. Notes
    (pp. 163-180)
  7. Court Cases
    (pp. 181-184)
  8. Bibliography
    (pp. 185-198)
  9. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 199-200)
  10. Index
    (pp. 201-211)