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The Islamic ChallengePolitics and Religion in Western Europe$
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Jytte Klausen

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231980.001.0001

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Europe's New Muslim Political Elite

Europe's New Muslim Political Elite

(p.15) 1 Europe's New Muslim Political Elite
The Islamic Challenge

Jytte Klausen

Oxford University Press

Islam is now the largest minority religion in Europe and there are more Muslims than Catholics in Protestant Northern Europe and more Muslims than Protestants in the Catholic South. Europe's Muslims far outnumber European Jews. Yet, while there is constant debate on the place of Islam, few changes have been made to existing public policies on religion. At this point in time, one of the most significant findings is also the fact that the current political leaders—elected representatives of Muslim background or leaders of Muslim associations and groups—are themselves immigrants. They are typically not descendants of earlier generations of labor migrants who have risen to the top in mainstream politics because of their acculturation to European norms and languages.

Keywords:   Islam, religion, Europe, Muslims, political elite, Muslim leaders, Muslim associations, unity, political ideology

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