Euro-Islamic identity?: An example of hybrid identities in contemporary Europe
In-mass presence of Muslims in Europe dates back several decades ago, after Second World War; a presence which has been intricate since the beginning. After many years, Europe-born generations of Muslim immigrants are yet facing the very same question as their parents: How to identify themselves in Christian/secular European societies; how to be neither submissive nor self-alienated as a Muslim in contemporary Europe. Besides, recent hostile incidents in Europe have once again sharpened public opinion upon Muslims (residing) in Europe. Some scholars have suggested a third path to Muslims, known by some as Euro-Islamic identity, as a route to a constructive and pleasant presence while still connected to their religious thoughts/background. The chief objective in current study was to (i) discuss the theoretical ground for such an hybrid identity (ii) introduce individuals as real examples of that and (iii) characterize the concept by deep interview of the individuals. Hermeneutic principles in understanding a text, nominalism and Wittgenstein family resemblance, core message of Islam and civil rights in Europe are the main concepts this work appealed to, in order to found its theoretical ground. Two Muslim individuals were deep interviewed; a Swede convert and a second generation Muslim with Pakistani roots. Accordingly, the study concluded six features as discerning characteristics of their Islam - permissiveness, reference to fundamentals, societal concerns, tolerance, art-friendly and hybridity - and delineated how the theoretical ground provided a field for such a reading of Islam to come to life.