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Muslim Political Participation in Europe$
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Jorgen S. Nielsen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748646944

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748646944.001.0001

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How Politically Integrated are Danish Muslims? Evidence from the Muhammad Cartoons Controversy

How Politically Integrated are Danish Muslims? Evidence from the Muhammad Cartoons Controversy

(p.140) Chapter 8 How Politically Integrated are Danish Muslims? Evidence from the Muhammad Cartoons Controversy
Muslim Political Participation in Europe

Lasse Lindekilde

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses the level of political integration displayed by the Danish Muslims engaged in the 2005/2006 cartoons controversy. Conceptualising political integration as a multi-dimensional phenomenon distinguishing three aspects of political integration – a) political trust in democratic institutions, b) adherence to liberal-democratic values, and c) political participation in the polis – the article investigates the degree of political integration of Danish Muslims against a unique database on political claims-making during the Danish cartoons controversy. In contrast to the widespread public perception of the controversy, the article argues that the Danish Muslims involved in public claims-making displayed a considerable degree of political integration. The chapter argues that Danish Muslims actually demonstrated considerable trust in democratic institutions, relying mainly on procedural forms of claims-making and turning to transnationalisation of the issue only as a last resort. Furthermore, it is argued that the claims-making of the involved Danish Muslims revealed alternative interpretations of fundamental liberal-democratic values, but significant adherence to the basic principles. Finally, the chapter argues that the level of political participation of Danish Muslims was particularly high during the cartoons controversy and that this high level of political claims-making and mobilisation should be understood as active citizenship rather than ‘cultural backlash’.

Keywords:   Danish Muslims, Political integration, Muhammad cartoons, political trust, Denmark

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