The public visibility of Islam is becoming increasingly controversial throughout European countries. With case studies drawn from France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, this book examines a range of public issues, including mosque construction, ritual slaughter, Sharia councils and burqa bans, addressing the question of 'Islamic difference' in public life outside the confines of established normative discourses that privilege freedom of religion, minority rights or multiculturalism. Acknowledging the creative role of dissent, it explores the manner in which public controversies unsettle the religious-secular divide and reshape European norms in the domains of aesthetics, individual freedom, animal rights and law. Developing an innovative conceptual framework and elaborating the notion of controversy as a methodological tool, Islam and Public Controversy in Europe draws our attention to the processes of interaction, confrontation and mutual transformation, thereby opening up a new horizon for rethinking difference and pluralism in Europe. As such, it will appeal to scholars across the social sciences with interests in religion, integration, cultural difference and the public sphere.
style='the United States, France, and the Netherlands-are reacting in different ways. hijab and burqa lie at the intersection of the political and legal spheres. Consequently, the political and legal spheres have each attempted to enforce differing versions of the concepts of equality and neutrality. A cross-cultural and cross-national survey of judicial decisions and legislative action in these countries demonstrates how each is balancing individual rights and communal bonds, and adhering to or retreating from previously accepted human rights norms for women and religious practices.