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West by East

European islam


To coincide with the opening of the exhibition ‘West by East', the CCCB is organising a conference to debate the place occupied by Islam in Europe today. The aim of the debates is to reflect on the specific characteristics of European Islam, as represented for many centuries by the Muslim populations of Eastern Europe and, more recently, by the new communities to have emerged as a result of processes of immigration, principally in Western Europe. These lectures are the continuation of the conference ‘Religions in the Balkans', held in Tirana in May 2004.


Tuesday 24 May 7 p.m. Opening session

Abdelwahab Meddeb
, writer, lecturer in Compared Literature at the University of Paris-X and editor of Dédale magazine; curator of the exhibition ‘West by East'.
Fred Halliday, lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Presenter: Bashkim Shehu, writer of Albanian origin.

Wednesday 25 May

Morning session 12 midday ‘Europe: autochthonous Islam?'

The Balkan countries and Turkey with their large Muslim majorities have for some time now been aspiring to European Union membership. What issues does this raise? What are the geographical and cultural borders of Europe?

Soli Ozel, Department of International Relations of the University of Bilgi (Istanbul) and editor of the Turkish edition of Foreign Policy.
Paul Scheffer, publicist and lecturer at the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies (AMIDS).
Piro Misha, Director of the Albanian House of Books and Communication.

Moderator: Pere Vilanova, Professor of Political Science at the University of Barcelona.

Afternoon session 4.30 p.m. ‘The new European Islam'

Recent decades have seen the appearance in Europe of new Muslim communities as a result of processes of immigration, though in many cases their members are second or third generation European citizens. What form do the sentiments of political, cultural and religious belonging of these new communities take? Is there such a thing as ‘Westernised' Islam?

Olivier Roy, Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Paris) and lecturer at the Institut d'Études Politiques.
Dyab Abou Jahjah, President of the Arab-European League in Belgium and Holland.
Seyran Ates, German lawyer of Turkish origin.

Moderator: Jordi Moreras, anthropologist and Director of Tr[à]nsits, Immigration Consultancy.

7 p.m. ‘Existing models, failed models?'

The public profile of the new Islam has generated very different responses in European countries according to differing traditions of integration. What are the successes and the failures of universalistic and multiculturalistic models with regard to Islam?

Nilufer Gölë, Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (pending confirmation).
Fauzia Ahmad, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, Department of Sociology.
Enrique Gil Calvo, lecturer in Sociology at the Universidad Complutense.

Moderator: Remzi Lani, Director of the Albanian Media Institute.

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