Increased Muslim migration has changed the religious landscape of Europe and America. Mosques and Islamic centres are found in many urban areas while Muslim cities now include Paris, London and New York as much as Cairo, Tunis and Damascus. This global presence requires that we speak not only of Islam and the West but also Islam ‘in’ the West. However different their experiences, many Muslims are engaged in the application of Islamic principles and values to their lives – ‘re-Islamization’, or the Islamization of society from below. Islam has always been a visible and dynamic force in Muslim life, yet it has reemerged as a major force in the public sphere both in Europe and the Middle East, with a concomitant resurgence of religious observance (prayer, fasting, dress, pilgrimage), accompanied by the creation of new institutions (Islamic banks, schools, and hospitals). This volume explains the significance of this phenomenon: its origins, scope, influence and impact as well as its implications for the future. Modernizing Islam offers a fresh perspective on the significance and impact of re-Islamization in the Muslim world and the West.
John L. Esposito is Professor of Religion and International Affairs at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. A consultant to the Dept. of State, he is author of Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam (OUP, 2002) and editor in chief of the Oxford Encylopedia of the Modern Islamic World.
Francois Burgat is a Fellow of the Institut de Recherche et d'Etudes sur le Monde Arabe et Musulman, Aix-en-Provence, France (Marseilles III). His most recent book is The Islamic Movement in North Africa.