From the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to the London transportation bombings, dramatic events of recent years have generated security concerns about Muslim communities in the West. These have added an additional layer to the tensions surrounding Muslim immigrant integration and have generated heated discussions about how governments should address such challenges. This collection assembles leading scholars to address four central themes related to the interactions between Muslims and states in contemporary Europe and North America. Its authors investigate the timing of Muslims' emergence as a perceived security risk; they review the variety of actions undertaken in response to the new concerns; they assess the effectiveness of different kinds of policies in managing the security and social challenges that governmental actors observe; and they identify relevant Muslim sub-groups and their highly divergent views on recent developments. This book thus serves as a foundation for understanding an issue of critical importance and as a touchstone for advancing public, policy, and scholarly debate about Muslim-state interactions. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Erik Bleich is Associate Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College in Vermont. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles on European policymaking in the areas of race, ethnicity, and religion. His book Race Politics in Britain and France: Ideas and Policymaking since the 1960s was published in 2003, and he is currently at work on a book entitled The Freedom to be Racist?