New Pew Forum Report offers an In-Depth Profiles of Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe
|Thursday, September 16,2010 13:54|
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has released a new report on "Muslim Networks and Movements in Western Europe," profiling several of the oldest, largest and most influential Muslim groups operating in Western Europe today. A close look is taken at the distinct histories, missions and executive frameworks of these groups including the Gulen Movement; the Muslim Brotherhood and Jama'at-i Islami; the Muslim World League and World Assembly of Muslim Youth; Jihadi Networks and Hizb ut-Tahrir; Sufi Orders; and Tablighi Jama'at.
Focusing on transitional networks and movements whose origins lie in the Muslim world but currently have a significant existence the report discusses the influence on daily lives of Muslims living there;
“Many of the younger leaders are pressing for an agenda that focuses on the interests and needs of Muslims in particular European countries rather than on global Islamic causes, such as the Israeli-Palestinian dispute”.
It highlighted that several Islamic groups with foreign roots had changed their focus to European issues because of pressure from younger European-born Muslims with fewer links to the Muslim majority countries their families emigrated from.
The report examines how European governments cooperate with the groups and the growing connections between Islamic groups and European governments, and the integration of some of these groups into the continent's political mainstream concluding that;
“These Muslim groups and movements have become more visible on the European political stage and have not led to a decrease in activism on the part of these groups”.
Other examinations include the possible future challenges these networks face considering shifts in leadership and membership ranks. According to the report;
“Many Muslims in Western Europe participate in the activities of these movements and networks, and the groups' formal membership rolls appear to be relatively small”.
It continues however that;
“Despite the low levels of formal membership, these groups often exert significant influence by setting agendas and shaping debates within Muslim communities in Western Europe. The growing connections between Islamic groups and European governments, as well as the integration of some of these groups into the continent's political mainstream, have not led to a decrease in activism on the part of these groups. If anything, Muslim groups and movements have become more visible on the European political stage."
The report also indicates there is a significant presence in Western Europe and North America.
The report sums up that in short it is difficult to generalize about Muslim groups in Western Europe because they vary so widely in their philosophies and purposes.