Compatibility of “Islam” and “Europe”: Turkey’s EU Accession
Turkey’s membership in the European Union (EU) is contingent on economic, political, and cultural factors. Rather than a geographic area with a particular cultural and religious history, the EU defines “Europe” as a political project that espouses values such as human rights, pluralist democracy, and a liberal economy. Hower Turkey’s EU accession process highlights the cultural and religious dimension through which “Islam” and “Europe” may be mutually redefined. This article examines how Turkish Muslim immigrants in Europe have become an example of the compatibility of “Islam” and “Europe.”It is concluded that opposing Turkey’s EU membership based on essentializing arguments of cultural and religious difference is misleading and counterproductive, as it fails to address the shifting boundaries of Europe and of Islam.
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