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Contextualizing Islam in Europe and North America: Challenges and Opportunities


Transatlantic Paper CoverAbstract:

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:

  1. Gender inequality is a fundamental challenge to contextualizing Islam in Europe and North America.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

Read more about the 2014 U.S.-Islamic World Forum »

Peter Mandaville

Former Brookings Expert

Professor of International Affairs, Schar School of Policy and Government - George Mason University

Director, Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies - George Mason University

Senior Research Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs - Georgetown University

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