Will Europe become Muslim?

Islam and Europe

Spread of Islam: While Islam pushed into Europe in the early and late Middle Ages through conquests and gradual conversion of the subjugated population and was also pushed back again, it spread to northwestern Europe in the 20th and early 21st centuries - BC. a. France, Great Britain, Scandinavia, the German-speaking and Benelux countries and, more recently, Spain and Italy - through migration. History: In the 8th century the Arabs conquered almost all of Spain and Portugal over the west (in the 9th and 10th centuries also temporarily Sicily and southern Italy), were pushed back again in 732 (Poitiers), but were still able to settle on the Iberian Peninsula hold until 1492. In the course of the »Reconquista« (13th – 15th centuries), the affected areas were re-Christianized, so that there were still »Moriscos« (crypto Muslims) in south-west Europe, but no recognized Islamic minorities. In 1354 the Ottomans crossed the Dardanelles to Europe, took large parts of the Balkans and 1453 Constantinople and expanded to Vienna, the capital of the Holy Roman Empire (first siege in 1529); Vienna's second unsuccessful siege in 1683 pushed them back to Asia Minor and the Middle East in numerous wars up to 1913. Because the Albanians and Bosniaks remained mostly Muslim even after the reconquest, minorities remained in the so-called Balkan countries. 20th century and present: The third Muslim expansion into Europe essentially began in the 1950s. Muslims predominantly from North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan migrated to wealthy industrialized countries in search of work and over the decades became influential minorities. According to official estimates, between 35 and 53 million Muslims live in Europe today, i.e. 5–8% of the total population of Europe, around a third of them in Russia, 16 million in the EU and almost 6 million in Europe. Part of Turkey.

Muslim majorities can be found among others. in Albania, large parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Northern Cyprus, Kosovo, in some provinces of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece as well as in Russian republics. In the last few decades, v. a. Since the beginning of the 21st century, there have been various new interpretations of Islam in those countries and parts of Europe in which Muslims live in a minority situation, ranging from so-called "fundamentalist groups" to "Euro-Islam". The former have i. d. Usually the aim is to reshape one's own societies in the spirit of Islam, and relate to Europe, v. a. by opposing a globalization dominated by the West, which sets Western values ​​such as individualism and secularism as absolute and seeks to supplant traditional oriental values ​​such as a sense of community and family. The neologism Euro-Islam was introduced by the political scientist Bassam Tibi, who distanced himself from Sharia and Jihad, as these hindered the integration of Muslims in Europe, and called on Muslims living in Europe to accept the separation of religion and state, to ghettoization and from this to avoid the resulting potential for violence in the 21st century. Current situation: In view of the growing Muslim population due to immigration and high birth rates, tensions have arisen in connection with the fears resulting from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, such as on the local trains in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005, which in the dispute over the headscarf, burqa Honor killings and minarets flow. The more the Islamic minority population in Europe pushes for the establishment of visible mosques and community centers, the more emphatically parts of the majority population, under the impression of relevant discussions in the public media, articulate their fear of the creation of a parallel society with traditional Islamic values ​​and laws or even Islamization of western societies (»Islamophobia«).

from: Große Hüttmann / Wehling, Das Europalexikon (3rd edition), Bonn 2020, Verlag J. H. W. Dietz Nachf. GmbH. Article author: A.-B. Renger