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The Globalization Reader, 5th Edition by John Boli, Frank J. Lechner

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53 Globalised IslamThe Search for a New Ummah

Olivier Roy

[…] The blurring of the borders between Islam and the West is not just a consequence of immigration. It is linked with a more general phenomenon: deterritorialisation. Islam is less and less ascribed to a specific territory and civilisational area. This is visible also in the slow integration of Eastern Europe into Western Europe, and in Turkey's candidacy for EU membership. The evolution of Eastern Europe has, of course, more to do with the collapse of the communist empire than with the expansion of Islam, but one consequence is that Europe has rediscovered that there are European Muslim countries (Albania, Bosnia and, tomorrow, Kosovo). Contrary to what has been more or less openly advocated by many conservative Europeans, Europe, after some hesitation, chose not to side with ‘Christians' against ‘Muslims', whatever the real motivations for the strategic choice of supporting the Bosnians and the Kosovars.

The deterritorialisation of Islam is also a result of globalisation and has nothing to do with Islam as such, even if it concerns millions of Muslims. But through the increase in migratory and population flows, more and more Muslims are living in societies that are not Muslim: a third of the world's Muslims now live as members of a minority. While old minorities had time to build their own culture or to share the dominant culture (Tatars, Indian Muslims, China's Hui), Muslims in recently settled minorities have ...

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