Islam in the West

On September the 30th took place the third and fourth session of the International Conference of Islam in the West. A series of conferences under the patronage of HRH of Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), which aimed to create an space for dialogue to discuss, explore, analyze, and understand the multi-fold aspects of ‘’Islam in the West’’ phenomenon. The whole discussions were organized by three speakers discussing several issues regarding the topic of each session, after which an open debate took place and then a round of questions.  

The third session was aimed to learn about Muslim’s active citizenship in a political system that is not completely concurrent with their religious beliefs and practices. Here, the issues that were mostly discussed were multiculturality and tolerance, especially according to the French model of laïcité and its contradictions with other laws that protect the religion expression. Also, questions emerged about the difference between religious expressions on private and public sphere. The fourth session objective was to explore how Islam in the West is evolving as new phenomenon that is manifested in distinct religious practices, new unprecedented interpretations of religious texts and new trends in religious beliefs. The most discussed issues were the narratives around Western multiculturalism and Islam, especially about ignorance, misconception and prejudices as well as the definition of the identity of Islam itself. Calls for a revival of philosophy in Islamic education, for distinguishing between two contrasting conceptions of Islam, one as a conquering and other as an inviting faith, and for pointing out the shortcomings of the integration of Muslim minorities in foreign societies were made.