The panel will focus on the understanding of, and the relationship that Muslims in Europe have with, the concept of the secular, and how this affects the development of a Euro-Islam.
One of the most controversial debates that has characterised the recent discussion on the European Constitution focused on the role that Christianity has to play in it. The majority of European politicians rejected the suggestion on the basis that politically Europe is a secular entity. Indeed, secularism has marked Europe for centuries. Islam is today the second religion in Europe, and the increasing presence of second generations has brought some scholars, as well as Muslims intellectuals, to advocate a Euro-Islam. One of the principle features of Euro-Islam is the acceptance of the secular division between Church and State. There is no doubt that Muslims, both Europe-born and migrant, have formed their ideas on the concept of the secular, which they have expressed through religious and political views. Indeed, the relationship between religion and everyday life is still a central issue in the lives of millions of European Muslims. This panel will try to discuss how Muslims in different contexts debate, criticise, reformulate, rethink or reject the concept of the secular. So, some questions may arise: Have European Muslims formed their own idea of the secular? Do they reject both the concept of secular as well as secularism? Do they perceive Europe as a secular place? Do Muslims and non-Muslims differ in their conceptualisations of the secular? How has the idea of the secular, or its rejection, affected European Muslims' understanding of Islam? Papers exploring these as well as other questions in the different contexts of Muslim life in Europe are welcomed.