Political Impact of Islam on Europe
Religion, as a societal concept, flows in different avenues of the society and this surely includes politics. The separation of the Church and State falls within this context. This proves the effect that religion has within the political dynamics of the society. In the case of the United States, the separation of the Church and State that was under the first amendment of the congress created a political divide in the country; the division of opinions in politics were based on different perceptions on religion, especially with regards to the power of the church.
Islam is a religion that is widely spread throughout the world; it is also one with a very colorful history that can be traced back many ages ago. As of the present, perceptions regarding Islam as a religion vary because of different social turmoil present around the world that has something to do with Islam. A prominent terrorist group in the world which is called ISIS claims to uphold the religion of Islam. As ISIS uses the identity of Islam in terrorism, the religion is given a different dimension that is anchored in violence. In the context of the society, this presence of terrorism is extremely troubling and has great effects in the sociopolitical landscape of many countries. Putting this aside, it is also important to analyze and consider the demographics of the Muslim community in Europe. In the United Kingdom, Islam is the second largely spread religion amongst the people. This is why the Muslim individuals are also prominent in politics and have already gone to hold positions in office. This kind of acceptance is a way to bring the voice of the marginalized together in order to achieve harmony in the society.
In Europe, Islam as a religion is considered by Muslims more than just a religion but rather as an identity. This shows that Islam exists within a cultural context that varies depending on the cultural landscape it is in. in the case of Europe, there is a so-called branch of Islam tagged as “European Islam”. This pertains to the integration of the dynamism of European culture and the historical and cultural underpinnings of Islam as a religion.
Moreover, it is important to revisit the understanding that the society has of politics. Politics is an aspect of society that transcends other societal aspects; somehow it can be seen as a point of integration of different interests which is of course held by those who hold power. Islam and politics in Europe become intertwined because of how the religion deeply affects the socio political bonds present within the society. In Europe, Islam is appropriated in the cultural landscape of Europe itself which brings forth different conflicts on how the religion is perceived by the society.
As the Muslim community becomes more prominent in the political arena of Europe, especially in specific countries, it is easy to see how Islamic principles are put forward in the European society to flourish and be more understood by people. For many non-Muslims in Europe, it is quite hard to understand the presence of different kinds of Islam. This misunderstanding causes discrimination directed towards the Islamic diaspora to rise which results in the stereotyping of Muslims against their true nature as peace loving individuals.
The journey of Islam around the world is a journey that is shared by other religions. What the society lacks is understanding and acceptance towards religions which do not share their same beliefs. This is very much applicable in politics. The presence of respect towards Islam would go a great way in the political arena of Europe which is also a cultural context that Islam exists in.