Integration, homogenisation and radicalisation: contemporary muslim identity in the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic

Hukelova, Miroslava
Integration, homogenisation and radicalisation: contemporary muslim identity in the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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The thesis deals with one of the most important challenges of our times: how to forge political unity and societal cohesion in an environment of increasing cultural diversity and ever increasing politicisation of identities. Explicitly, it investigates shifts in Muslim identity and its relationship with the European Union, European nation states and their societies from a comparative perspective. Existing literature and case studies often treat Muslims in Europe as a homogeneous group and fail to connect how policies of state and non-state actors influence Muslim identities. Located within the theories of multiculturalism, the argument introduced in this thesis suggests that Muslims in Europe are a heterogeneous group with diverse cultural, social but also religious traditions. These factors all contribute to developments in Muslim identities and their relationship with host societies. As such, the study evaluates perceptions of Muslim communities in a comparative perspective with three case study countries, the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic, on their inclusion, civic participation and belonging. This critical assessment is complemented by objective analysis of the EU strategies on religion, integration and minority groups. The purpose is to illustrate, within this complex web of relations, the most effective approach from the Muslim perspective. The novelty and unique contribution of this research to knowledge lies in its socio-political and cross-country approach which is supported by the use of structured questionnaires followed by semi-structured interviews. By using a combination of questionnaires and interviews, participants were given space in which they could gradually express their views and feelings. The results show that religious traditions and places of origin are very important. However, national policies play the most significant role in the formation of Muslim identities. Multicultural policies in Britain have been, thus far, most successful in the integration and inclusion of Muslim communities. On the contrary, the largely state-centric policies of Germany which provide social provisions but often exclude political participation, contribute to split identities and segregated communities. In the context of post-communist Europe, the Czech Republic is yet to devise policies and legislation addressing the question of religious minorities. At present, the Czech Republic stretches liberal policies to almost an extreme and fails to accommodate minority cultures. The role of the European Union has been rather minor with most participants being sceptical of the EU’s mechanisms and relevance for Muslims in Europe.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-10 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Identity, Muslim identity, the UK, Germany, the Czech Republic, multiculturalism, nationalism
Subjects: ?? BP ??
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 10:02
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:41
DOI: 10.17638/00016335