Publication Details

Ajala, I. 2012, 'Mobilizing in Different Political Opportunity Structures The Cases of French and British Muslims', Air and Space Power Journal, pp. 48-84.


I ssues related to Islam in the European sphere have increasingly been at the forefront of public spaces and part of decision makers' agendas. According to the European Union (EU) Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia, the EU includes at least 13 million Muslims, representing 5 percent of Europeans.1 For Jocelyne Césari, "Muslim immigration to Europe and North America can be seen as the foundational moment for a new transcultural space-a space where individuals live and experience different cultural references and values that are now disconnected from national contexts and boundaries."2 Such a transcultural space is characterized by the forceful emergence of a transnational religion (Islam) in a secularized public space (Europe).3 This situation necessarily leads to tensions; that is, European Muslims experience difficult relations with their respective governments.4 The context of the "war on terror" since the attacks of 11 September 2001 (9/11) and the security implied have drawn additional attention to Muslims and their claims-making in terms of economic, political, and religious rights in European countries. Muslims' integration is considered a challenge constructed as a confrontation between religious discourses and secular spaces. Of course, national differences have different effects in terms of the conceptualization of multiculturalism, and one can distinguish among them by different "philosophies of integration."5