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Lecture 20

RELG 101 - Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions - Lecture 20: Presence of Islam in the Western WorldPremium

Religious Studies
Course Code
RELG 101
Andres Varhola

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RELG 101 - Introduction to World Religions: Western Traditions - Lecture 20: Presence of
Islam in the Western World
Monday, November 17, 2014 11:59 AM
Presence of Islam in the Western World
Situation of Christianity in medieval Europe - often in a very serious and unwanted
Islam was dominant in Spain for 7 and half centuries
The majority remained Catholics
The conversion was not as black and white
1492 - when the Christian forces reconquered Spain, they were in the position of being
forced to persecuted or convert to Christianity
Reconquest of Spain
Many of them find their place in some European countries as refugees
Ottoman empire
Occupied parts of Eastern Europe
Conversion did not take place
Greeks remained as Christians
Only Bosnia (50% of population) converted to Islam
Had its own heretical type of Christianity that was looked down by
Western and Eastern Church
Felt dissatisfied with the treatment they received
One of the most dominant reasons for the presence of Muslims in the last century or so
is pre colonization
After the first world war, we see the breakup of the former colonized systems -
one of the outcomes of this complex interactions between former colonies and
former colonizers
Many people are coming back to the former colonizing states to look for jobs and
Dominant reason: linguistic reason
Colonizers were pushing education in their own language
Missionary schools promote western type of education
Typically done in English
People from India have a tendency to know English
Language is a major issue when going into foreign countries
Islam in Western Europe to be very controversial
There is often very strong resistance towards display of Islamic identity in Europe
Out of 200 mosques, only 4 were allowed to have the tall tower where Muslim
calls for prayer
The mosques are therefore not easily recognized
There is an ongoing debate over building of mosques built in Bosnia and Slovenia
Mild controversy with the European Union based on Christianity
Many people opposed this because the EU is a model for how the political nation
should be
This is contradicting the separation of church and the state
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