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Secular–Religious Competition and the Exclusion of Islam from the Public Sphere: Islamic Welfare in Western Europe

  • Matthias Kortmann (a1)

Abstract

This paper deals in a qualitative discourse analysis with the role of Islamic organizations in welfare delivery in Germany and the Netherlands. Referring to Jonathan Fox's “secular–religious competition perspective”, the paper argues that similar trends of exclusion of Islamic organizations from public social service delivery can be explained with discourses on Islam in these two countries. The analysis, first, shows that in the national competitions between religious and secular ideologies on the public role of religion, different views are dominant (i.e., the support for the Christian majority in Germany and equal treatment of all religions in the Netherlands) which can be traced back to the respective regimes of religious governance. However, and second, when it comes to Islam in particular, in the Netherlands, the perspective of restricting all religions from public sphere prevails which leads to the rather exclusivist view on Islamic welfare that dominates in Germany, too.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Matthias Kortmann, Faculty of Humanities and Theology, Technical University of Dortmund, Figge-Str. 50 44227 Dortmund, Germany. E-mail: matthias.kortmann@tu-dortmund.de

References

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