April 16, 2007
It is difficult to find a country in the world that has absolute uniformity in terms of religious identity. Whether this is the self-proclaimed Jewish state, the heartlands of Islam, or the Catholic states of southern and western Europe, no state today is completely devoid of religious diversity. In attempting to cope with this challenge, academics, non-governmental organisations and others made the protection of ethnic and cultural minorities a subject of great consideration in the European Union. The results were more imaginative models upon which the state could be based in order to manage such diversity. It is striking to note how many of the issues that have been discussed in relation to ethnic minorities are now being repeated in relation to religious groupings, particularly Muslims, as well as other types of groups. Some thoughts on where these societies are, where they want to get to, and how to do that in the context of this debate are thus rather pertinent to any analysis relating to European Muslims.
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