Sharia Law

Sharia Law in Europe

The Conflict of Cultures. Sharia Law in Europe

Agnieszka Gutkowska, from the Faculty of Law, Warsaw University, made a contribution to the 2012 Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, in the category “Crime and Society,” under the title “The Conflict of Cultures. Sharia Law in Europe”. Here is the abstract: The Prevent strand of the British counter-terrorism strategy and the related normalisation of exceptional measures to combat terrorism have had a significant impact on the ways in which British Muslim communities can play out their Muslimness. State treatment of Muslims as a suspect community facilitates the (re)production of widespread Islamophobia that penetrates the social fabric and reinforces a popular image of Muslims as folk devils of late modernity. As carriers of visible, stigmatized signs of Muslimness, some Muslims become an immediate target for state discrimination and social prejudice. Muslims' discrimination operates on a prima facie level, thus potentially jeopardizing fruitful contacts and socio-ethnic integration with non-Muslims. After exploring how this vicious cycle is reproduced, two tentative recommendations will be provided. First, preventative measures to fight terrorism should follow bottom-up approaches that empower Muslim communities and enhance their self-policing capacities. Second, a better understanding of Islam should be promoted within society through intercommunity engagement activities and the reduction of grounds for media demonisation.

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Further Reading

  • “The Conflict of Cultures. Sharia Law in Europe”, by Agnieszka Gutkowska (Proceedings)

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