ISLAMIC CULTURE AND EUROPEAN CULTURE CAN COEXIST

About European culture and Islamic societies, an interesting debate has been created regarding  the compatibility  of  democracy  and  secularization with Islamic values. The rise of political Islam in the 1970s has intensified this debate, leading it towards new perspectives regarding the compatibility of Islam with issues such as development, citizenship, identity, democracy and globalization.

Western Academic discourse about the relationship between Islam and modernity revolves around the distinction between essentialist and reductionist approaches. While Orientalists claim that the essential background of Islam opposes modernization, secularization and democracy,  reductionists argue that Islam is not a significant factor preventing  the development of secularization.  Culture of Islam and European citizenship can be compatible.

This compatibility can be achieved by specific youth policies addressing education and cultural issues, including education for diversity, active citizenship, intercultural learning and many other related to both  concepts. To achieve the integrity of individuals living in Europe as well as inclusion of Muslim population of Europe the concept of active European  citizenship  can  be  the  best  policy  option  to  be  promoted at different levels of youth work.

To describe the compatibility of Islamic Culture with the concept of  European citizenship, the relationship between secularized Islam and  respected/accepted diversity should be analyzed. As it was defined above the respected diversity as cohesion ideology of the European citizenship is able to include several levels of different cores of self-identity formation. Therefore, Muslims living in secularized countries of Europe can believe in the supreme power of the God, and at the same time to identify themselves as European citizens.

Respect to (or acceptance of) diversity  as  the  central  element  of  European  citizenship identity can also be followed by Muslims who live in the  institutionally  secular  societies  of Europe.  In fact,  mutual  respect  serves as a ground principle for the mutual self‐preservation and  secure self‐identification among different groups. Thus, threatening the concept of respected/accepted diversity by Muslims, who are  additionally minorities with less voting potential of European political  system,  can  ruin  the  mutually  favourable  environment  of  the  coexistence.  To conclude, within the frames of the above defined concepts of Islam and European citizenship are mutually compatible and they can coexist.