The Islamic Communities in Berlin between Integration and Segregation

WHAT IS OTHER ABOUT OTHER RELIGIONS? The Islamic Communities in Berlin between Integration and Segregation GERDIEN JONKER Center for Modern Oriental Studies, Berlin ABSTRACT Based on fieldwork among Muslim communities in Berlin, this article examines the encounter between German legal traditions on religion and Muslim immigrant communities. The discussion of German law is juxtaposed with discussions from within various Muslim communities that seek a place for their members as religious practitioners in German society through emerging interpretations of Islamic law. Key Words collective memory Europe migration minorities Muslims religion What is different about other religions? This question was posed anew some years ago by the German sociologist of religion, Joachim Matthes. Matthes points out that the term ˜religion’ is widely used, at least in the German context to which he is referring, in a self-referential way (Matthes, 1993). According to Matthes, the word conveys unquestioned values which came into existence during the Reformation. Originating in the juxtaposition between the sacred and the mundane, in which the religious realm was seen as something extraordinary, the definition of religion has developed into a concept of differentiation which determines how the religiosity of others is judged. Other religions are evaluated according to the criteria of seriousness, membership and degree of worship. Combined with evolutionary theories, this has resulted in a ˜conceptual Jacob’s ladder’ which in turn has led to three different grounds for negative evaluation: that the religious life of others is ˜not serious enough’, that it is ˜not genuine enough’ or that the group in question is ˜not yet mature’. Matthes refers to an ongoing process Cultural Dynamics 1 For a custom paper on the above topic, place your order now! What We Offer: ¢ On-time delivery guarantee ¢ PhD-level writers ¢ Automatic plagiarism check ¢ 100% money-back guarantee ¢ 100% Privacy and Confidentiality ¢ High Quality custom-written papers