The situation of Muslim minorities in the West is not altogether different in all respects, but it presents clear markers of specificity that make it particularly interesting in terms of potential future developments. These phenomena caused the importation of traditional socio- cultural marks of identity by a variety of ethnic groups of immigrants to the West. However, the status of minority in secular countries has contributed to lead Muslims living in the West in a number of very different directions.
The term Muslim world (also known as the Ummah) has several meanings. In a religious sense, the Islamic Ummah refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, the Muslim Ummah refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization. In a modern geopolitical sense, the term Islamic Nation usually refers collectively to Muslim-majority countries, states, districts, or towns.
As of 2010, over 1.6 billion or about 23.4% of the world population are Muslims. Of these, around 62% live in Asia-Pacific, 20% in the Middle East-North Africa, 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 3% in Europe and 0.3% in the Americas.
Globalization, migrations and the wider spread of information about Islam around the world have contributed to a situation in which Muslims amount to a very sizable minority group in many countries. This is the case in most Western countries, in which the recent decades have been characterized by an influx of workers from Muslim countries, while also presenting a significant, although difficult to quantify, movement of conversion to Islam on the part of individuals with a Christian or Jewish Western heritage. Since the 1950s the Muslim element within the worker migration to Western Europe has grown from almost nothing to over 6 million.
In the US there are seven million Muslims. In the European Union, there are 35 million Muslims. Their conditions vary from one country to another. In Italy the number of Muslims reaches more than one million. On top of this there are 80,000 [native] Italian Muslims and 450 mosques. Yet the government does not acknowledge Islam as an official religion. In Germany, Muslims exceed three million; most of which are Turkish. Germany considers Muslims as foreigners and dangerous. In Britain, Muslims represent five percent of the entire population, originating from 56 different nations. Muslims have 600 mosques registered as religious charities and 1,400 Islamic organizations. The Muslim situation in Britain is much better. They can express themselves in politics and in government under the political freedom allowed to the different nationalities. France embraces the largest Islamic community. There are six million Muslims, 1,300 mosques, 600 organizations and [a number of] local radio stations. This includes 100,000 Muslims with French origins. However, there is a noticeable perplexity toward Muslims and the issue of integration. Thus, the government adopted a new policy to stop hatred directed at foreigners.
In spite of these challenges, through the last decade Muslim minorities established a major presence and began boldly to step out in Western communities. In recent years we witnessed a new Muslim generation coming to prominence. They were brought up in the West and raised with its culture. The same period also witnessed the growth of cultural activities of Muslim minorities living in the West.
There are now more ‘new’ Muslims in Europe than in the indigenous groups of non‐CIS Europe. The situations differ very substantially between the main western European countries in terms of origins and the degree of integration of the groups concerned. The project presents an overview of the current position dealing particularly with the numbers in different countries.
The situation of Muslim minorities in the West is not altogether different in all respects, but it presents clear markers of specificity that make it particularly interesting in terms of potential future developments. We must take into consideration the importation of traditional socio- cultural marks of identity by a variety of ethnic groups of immigrants to the West. However, the status of minority in secular countries has contributed to lead Muslims living in the West in a number of very different directions:
• Relate the spread of Islam to historical events and processes of historical change
• Trace the spread of Islam chronologically and regionally
• Assess the importance of cultural and political factors in the spread of Islam
• Evaluate the importance of shifts in economic and political power, and cultural influence in the spread of Islam.
• Use a map key to identify and locate regions of the western hemisphere to locate regions of the world that have minority Muslim populations today, and to describe their geographical features.
The Muslim diaspora, which has become established as a significant area of publishing in the past 2 to 3 decades, is being charted by a number of books and journals.
The study is designed into sections exploring the Muslim experience in North America, Europe and The best way to view this report is to consider it a series of case studies examining how Muslims in different contexts have moved from being temporary and peripheral individual sojourners to being, within their adopted societies, generally well-established communities that have largely overcome their internal differences and external structural barriers in order to be publicly recognized as a part of multicultural and multi faith communities and societies. Many of the contributors believe that Muslim minorities are growing, dynamic, confident, and demographically “young” in most of their new societies, and that wherever they have established themselves; they have sustained their presence and thrived, sometimes in the face of extreme hostility.
Many of the contexts and cases suggest that Muslim minorities have become more visible by challenging the established frameworks of law and civil society, and gradually are becoming more accepted by the government, media, local populations, and so on. Over time, their priorities have shifted gradually from straightforward material and economic survival to combating Islam phobia and overcoming barriers toward symbolic and political recognition in public life. In working from exclusion at their society’s edges to inclusion in the mainstream of public life, the role of Islamic organizations, religious leaders, and Muslim activists has been studied and investigated.
This survey brings together a fascinating collection of diverse and often rich accounts of Muslim life in different contexts, such as:
• Historical notions of integration & assimilation
• Muslim minority Challenges and experiences in the West
• Cultivating a Self-Authenticity of Indigenous Muslim Culture
• Preserving Cultural Difference
• Muslim Population Percentage by Country
• Muslim minorities in the West and the problem of integration
• Tough Realities of Muslim Minority Communities in the West
Muslim minorities can act as a bridge between Islam and the West. The increasing Islamic presence in the West is facing many challenges that stem from the nature of the relation between Islam and the West.
This relation conceals a considerable amount of contradictions that make the improvement of such a relation challenging. Muslim minorities should have an effective role in Western societies, and put an end to their isolation.
The result and outcome of this Project will be a total and comprehensives report of Muslim Communities in Western Countries. These reports are useful for those who want to continue their studies or doing some kind of trade and business or traveling or following some kind of cultural or publishing activities to the target countries.