OUR RESEARCH / islam, diversity & context

Exploring contemporary Islam in practice

Islam, Diversity & Context discusses the lives and experiences of Muslims around the world.

From 2017-2019, we conducted research in 19 different countries, looking at:

-        contemporary dynamics within Islam in diverse societies

-        how to enhance the ways that citizens live together in harmony

-        how different Muslim communities and intellectuals are dealing with issues of citizenship, identity and civic engagement

Despite the wide geographic range, there was striking similarity in Muslims’ experiences across all the European countries studied; and many of the same themes were echoed in countries outside Europe.

At the forefront for the younger generations in particular are pragmatic issues of how to live as a Muslim in a local context, under the impact of modernity and social polarisation. Key themes were religious practice, identity, gender inequality, gaps in communication and world-view between generations and with religious leaders, issues of exclusion, discrimination, hostility, and even violence.

For a sustainable, inclusive, religiously diverse society, what is needed is not an attempt by the state to define Islam, but more attention to the ‘context’ while supporting those that may feel vulnerable at these polarised times. Government bodies should not try to engineer a ‘European Islam’ – but rather, work towards making Europe a place Muslims can comfortably integrate their faith and national identities. That is the surest way of allowing a more organic European expression of Islam to emerge in the future.

Funding sources include a grant from the European Union, through its Foreign Policy Instrument. Click here to read the report.

As a way to meet our report recommendations, Lokahi ran two exchange events to empower and connect civil society actors. Find out more about them here.