Spring 2016

Religious Freedom and Islam in Europe

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-318

Moodle site: Course


Alicja A. Gescinska (Section 01)


[SC, G] Throughout the twentieth century the Muslim population of Europe has grown significantly, and this growth has given rise to tensions and conflicts that go to the heart of European identity and the principles of the open society. This course will examine the history of Muslim migration to Europe--from the Middle Ages onwards--and the development of religious freedom and secularity as foundational values of the polis. We will explore the demographic features, socio-economic status of Muslims in different European countries, their representation in media and literature and the different religious beliefs and conflicts within different Muslim communities.

After examining the history, we will explore why and where in Europe anti-Islam movements and political are on the rise, and the legitimacy of their claims and concerns. We will pay specific attention to Islamist movements in Europe supporting the shariah and the nature of the shariah—whether it claims to replace secular law or to supplement it—and take a closer look at the figures and facts concerning the popularity and strength of these movements. In addition, we will examine the (alleged) radicalization of a minority of Muslim youngsters in Europe in the wake of international conflicts such as the Syrian war and the rise of ISIS and consider the roots of this radicalization, as well as the validity of different perspectives on these issues.

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester.  Loewenstein Fellow Gescinska.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to Political Science majors

Cost: 21.00 ?


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016