Europe: Publication: "Muslim Minorities and the Law in Europe"

"Muslim Minorities and the Law in Europe - Chances and Challenges", by Mathias Rohe (2007).
"Muslims have been present in Europe since the early Middle Ages. Muslim culture once flourished in Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkan and other European regions. A widespread fruitful exchange between Muslims, Jews and Christians contributed to scientific, economic and cultural progress in Europe.
Nevertheless, in many cases and over centuries the encounter between European Christian and Muslim was overshadowed by hostility and warfare. The Muslim conquest of European territory as well as the re-conquest and the colonial expansion of Europe created fear and an antagonist perception of the respective “other”.

Thus, both the existence of Muslim individuals and minority groups under European Christian rule and the existence of non-Muslims under Muslim rule were perceived as an exceptional case at best. In our days, the situation has changed fundamentally. In Europe, millions of Muslims are living in secular democratic states by their own choice, contributing to the societies they are living in and forming now a new part of European identity. European secular legal orders grant them religious freedom and equal rights. Nevertheless, certain challenges for both Muslims and European legal orders should not be neglected. Certainly, freedom of religion and equality before the law prevent legislation and administration from any religious bias. But current legal institutions were developed in a concrete historical and social framework, Christianity playing a major if not crucial role in this regard. The legal integration of Islam, being much less institutionalised than Christianity or Judaism, has become a challenge for European legal orders. They have to find ways for granting the full range of rights to Muslim individuals and groups by re-reading the existing rules without touching their validity as such.

This book discusses the above issues and tries to find out answers for questions like does Shari‘a contain intrinsic instruments to develop rules in consistence with this binding legal framework? Are Muslims defining themselves as being a minority living in the Diaspora? Are there perspectives for them to actively participate in societal institutions, based on a self-understanding of simply being an integral part of the societies they are living in?"


Table of Contents

The migration and settlement of Muslims: The challenges for European legal systems
The Formation of a European Shari'a
Europe: Muslims and the Secular State
The application of Islamic Family law in German courts and its compatibility with German public policy
Fiqh al-aqalliyat al-muslima in Europe
List of Abbreviations


About the Author:

Mathias Rohe

Prof. Dr. Mathias Rohe, holds the Chair for Civil Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law at the Faculty of Law/University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany. Additionally he has a secondary office as judge at the Court of Appeal of Nuremberg. He was born in Stuttgart in 1959 and studied law and Islamic sciences in Tuebingen and Damascus. After completing both state exams and the M.A. in Islamic sciences he received his doctorate (Dr. iur.) in 1993 with a dissertation about Private International Law. As a result of his work he was qualified for lecturing in civil law, Private International Law and international procedural law, comparative law and European law. His research focuses on the fields of modern Islamic law (including economic law), the legal status of Islam in Germany and Europe and German and international banking, credit and securities law. The respective publications are listed on the homepage of the Faculty of Law. Mathias Rohe is the chairman of the Association for Arabic and Islamic Law and member of the Banking Law Association, the Association for Comparative Law, the German-Turkish Lawyers Association, the Scientific Association for International Procedural Law, the Association of Civil Law Lecturers, the Legal Society of Central Franconia, the German University Association, and other organizations.