European Muslims are not new. Nor are they all the same

With so many passions aroused in Europe by the impact of the refugee crisis, rising populism, fear of terrorism, not to mention confused debates over secularism and burkinis, exploring what European Muslims think has arguably never been more important. One interesting figure is the grand mufti of Slovenia who I met at a recent conference in Austria, held by the International Peace Institute.

Slovenia is a predominantly Catholic country of two million people – among them, an estimated 50,000 Muslims. The country’s first mosque is currently under construction in the capital, Ljubljana. Building it required the overcoming of many political and administrative hurdles – these were eventually cleared when Slovenia’s constitutional court ruled that denying a minority the right to a place of worship ran counter to religious freedoms.

Unsurprisingly, Grand Mufti Nezad Grabus thinks these are difficult times for Muslims in Europe. They constantly have to fend off suspicions of links with radical Islamism or terrorism. [Natalie Nougayrède, 379 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 615 votes] “How European societies embrace growing diversity will in many ways determine the fate of our democracies. Paying more attention to the differences among Europe’s Muslims, rather than seeing them as a homogeneous bloc, could be a way forward.”

Keep pushing, keep raising the temperature with your elitist tone-deafness and you’re going to see the reaction of all reactions.

Europeans do not want this ‘diversity’ yet you continue to tell us that we do.

[2ND 500 ] Why don’t other religions get this blanket coverage from The Guardian? Perhaps if Islam was treated no differently from other religions – tolerated, mocked, ignored etc -then we wouldn’t have seen the backlash against it that we have seen throughout much of Europe.

[3RD 468] Just look at the pew poll data. The vast majority of muslims surveyed across the world hold what would be considered conservative beliefs regarding marriage, homosexuality, equality of the sexes, freedom of speech and law amongst others. If the question was levelled at me “do you want a group primarily comprised of people like that coming into your country in significant numbers?” My answer would be, emphatically, “no”. [Guardian Cif] Read more

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