The development of European civilisation and, consequently, European identity, is impossible to imagine without Islam and Muslims. A Muslim adhering to sharī'ah, or an Orthodox Jew making halakah his criterion of behaviour, can exit the religious community simply by disavowing its code. The choice of community, however, is not only dependent on its own idea of itself, but on the options made available to it by the mainstream. European identity has been challenged on several fundamental levels in the past fifty years and, as yet, the ambiguity has not been clarified. As history teaches, it is far easier to concentrate on an external ‘Other’, imagined or not, instead of dealing with internal problems; but the problems nonetheless remain. The one consensus may now be that multiculturalism (if not always by name, then by meaning) is the norm; but, as yet, it is a norm limited by contested boundaries. This chapter examines fiqh and the Muslim community's ability to integrate, along with history, representation and Islamophobia.
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