The Working Group “Muslim Communities in Europe & North America: A Transatlantic Dialogue on Contextualized Religion” convened scholars, civil society actors, and community leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the nature and significance of key challenges in achieving a contextualized understanding of their religion that is suited to the unique circumstances, challenges, and opportunities that face religious minorities in contemporary Western societies.
Among the key findings:
Gender inequality is a fundamental challenge to contextualizing Islam in Europe and North America.
Without greater institutional support, it will be difficult to unlock potential for contextual solutions to issues faced by Muslims. Educational and research capacity, enabled by venture philanthropy from both within and outside Muslim communities, is necessary for advancing strategic and intellectual visions.
Contextual approaches to Islam are often inaccessible to diverse Muslim publics. There is a lack of innovative publications and multimedia formats that combine theology, academic work, the arts, and community life, including online, social media, and other digital components.
ISIS is also keen to target Italy now because it’s one of the few major European countries it hasn’t yet struck. They’re hoping to inspire violence there so that they can say, in effect, 'we’ve already attacked your capitals in London, in Paris, and in Barcelona, and now we’ve attacked Rome. There’s nowhere we can’t reach.'