This timely and stimulating Handbook, edited by world-class experts in the field, provides a comprehensive guide to Islamic Studies today. It examines the main issues in the field and explores the key debates. It provides readers with an indispensable, balanced guide to the roots of Islam and the challenges it faces in the twenty-first century.
Chapter 2: Islam, Diaspora, and Multiculturalism
Islam, Diaspora, and Multiculturalism
Introduction: The Muslim Diaspora and the Secular State
With religious renewal and growth in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, ‘global religions’ such as Islam have come to exist as diasporic cultures and have had to cope with different secular sociopolitical environments, especially multiculturalism. Thus, while postcolonialism and postcommunism have created new opportunities for religious revivalism, they have also brought new political complexities. For example, many Muslims now live in secular societies as a minority group, and new generations of Muslims grow up in societies that promote cultural assimilation as the long-term objective of the ‘ethnic mosaic’. As a result, for Muslims, the principal challenge of the new global environment is how to sustain an Islamic identity in the context ...