A week after the “re-inauguration” of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, diplomacies are still struggling to understand the full implications of the shocking and yet largely expected choice by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. But beyond the radars of the international attention, the move and its internal welcoming confirm the uncontented grip he continues to have on Turkey, driving it towards an increasingly nationalist, anti-modern path. In this Dossier, we explore the rationale behind those choices, the implications for regional affairs, as well as those on religious pluralism worldwide. For policy-makers on both sides of the Atlantic, there is much to care about, and some dire practical recommendations to take into account.
- Islam is no longer a transitory phenomenon but European societies seem to consider Islam, in recent years, more a threat than an advantage. Our dossier presents some reflections which consider Islam as an element of European society and as a propagator of Europeanization. An analysis is also given of the implications of the role of Islamic organizations working in Europe but connected to governments of other countries, such as the Turkish Islamic organizations active in Germany. Lastly, we propose two essays on two recent films concerning a rapidly increasing phenomenon, the radicalization of younger generations in Europe and a book review on the Burkini debate.
- Three great Arab intellectuals – Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, Mohammed Abed Al-Jabri and Mohammed Arkoun – died in 2010, shortly before the outburst of the Arab Springs and in the midst of an identity crisis that is tearing apart the Muslim world, in a region beset with complex questions related to identity, religion’s place in society and politics, modernity, the democratization process, the status of minorities in Islamic societies and the concretization of a borderless Maghreb and Mashrek. Six years later, many of the important open questions that have for so long plagued this part of the world, have not yet been resolved. However, the intellectual and moral legacy that arises from the life-long work and commitment of these three thinkers can still help us understand and imagine a way out of the darkness.