Olivier Roy on European Islam
What happens when a religious identity is constructed in isolation from one’s country of origin or the rest of the society which one inhabits? Second- and third generation Muslims in Europe have adapted to their respective countries through a deculturation process. At the same time, Muslim intellectuals have made it possible for believers to live in secularised societies while maintaining their identity as true believers.
Olivier Roy is professor at the European University Institute in Firence and the author of several books on minority issues, Islam and the relationship between religion and secularism. He claims that European Islam today is being reconstructed as a religion, and that faith is no longer seen in relation with the social and cultural circumstances in which it arised. The same pattern can be seen in Christian groups. Both places faith is now seen as independent of context. What dangers are associated with this development?