Published in 1999, this book analyses the development of the recent cultural trend represented by the newer Islamic movements among Muslim immigrants in Western Europe. Included is a comprehensive description of the institutionalisation and organisation of Islam in Western Europe and an investigation of the organisation, activities, visions and strategies of the European and Islamic movements. Particular attention is paid to the most important Islamist trend among the Turkish minorities, Milli Gorus.
The empirical data is original and has been primarily collected through interviews with leaders of Islamic organisations in Denmark, Berlin and Paris. The Islamistic stress on the validity of Islam as constituting the basis of particular social and cultural interest is analysed in the perspective of the concepts of ‘life world’ and ‘system world’ presented by Jurgen Habermas. The investigation demonstrates the existence of locally organised communities, whose social and cultural interests are in need of representation. It is shown that Islamism constitutes a clear and concrete point of departure from a positive identification in the Muslim immigrant societies. This critical relevance of Islamism is discussed in the light of the social and economic marginalisation characterising the situation of the immigrated Muslim minorities in Western Europe. The main conclusion is that Islamism is a collective political representation of an alternative position to the dominant cultural and social marginalisation.