Paul E. Newall

Originally published as part of the Building a Shared Future: E-Book Series by Our Shared Future for the British Council.

Whether provoked by practices of religious observance in France or proposals to require citizenship tests for Arabs in Israel, questions of citizenship and identity have very real implications for twenty-first-century Muslims.

The working group focusing on Citizenship and Identity discussed two claims prevalent in recent public debates: that Muslims cannot be fully integrated into societies in which they are a minority population and that Muslim values and ideas are transforming traditional European and American principles. In both cases, publics have called for an urgent response to protect and preserve those ’Western’ cultures that are supposedly threatened by Islam.

In tackling these contentious claims, the working group addressed four questions:

  • How do Muslim communities in Europe and the US contribute to creating diverse, dynamic and prosperous societies?
  • What examples, drawn…

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