Administration of Islamic Affairs in Secular States Southeast European Experience

Call for Papers for the International Conference
The administration of Islamic affairs and representation of Muslims in secular states have become hot issues in Western European debates on the social integration of Muslim citizens. South East Europe has over a century of experience in this area. Muslim communities in the region have developed well-established autochthonous Islamic religious administrations. While this experience cannot simply be transplanted elsewhere, it offers many insights for policy-makers in an enlarging and ever more diverse Europe. Also important are alternative Islamic structures in the region. Heterodox Sufi organizations exist in parallel with official Sunni establishments. Both pan-Islamists and secularists have criticized clerical leaderships, and the established order is now facing a more radical challenge by Salafi networks. Independent Muslim women groups, too, are springing up. Leadership contests within the religious establishments, often tied to broader political conflicts, have led to schisms, parallel organizations, and local violence. All this calls for a systematic investigation of the Islamic administrations in the region. In recent years, there has been heightened interest in Islam in South East Europe in the context of European integration. The proposed conference is however the first to focus specifically on these key structural aspects, which have immediate social and political implications.

Papers are invited along the following thematic clusters:

1. Islamic Administrations in SE Europe – State of affairs, common features and issues, relations with the state: Country overviews for Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Romania, Croatia, and Slovenia (one researcher may combine more than

2. Alternative, Parallel, Independent, and “Anti-Establishment” Groups: Pan-Islamists, Sufis, Salafis, women’s organizations

3. Leadership Contests and Organizational Schisms: esp. Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece

The following two themes will be covered by invited conference guests. However if you feel strongly about any of these please submit your abstract.

1. The SEE Model in Comparative Perspective: Between Turkey’s Diyanet and Western Europe’s mosque federations;

2. The SEE Model: Integration and Security Challenges: Islamic leadership and the containment of radicalism

Deadlines & Submission

Proposals (Abstracts) – 5 January 2009. Accepted proposals will be announced within two weeks. To submit a proposal, send an abstract (200 words) to: [email protected] or [email protected]. Please supply a short biographical profile (150 words) with your abstract.

Papers – 27 March 2009.

Conference language: English

Travel & Accommodation

ISEEF has received a grant from the King Baudouin Foundation to pay travel and accommodation expenses in addition to symbolic honoraria (200 EUR) for selected presentations. However we would appreciate if your organization or institution could cover your travel and accommodation costs to allow us to invite more researchers who cannot afford to cover their expenses.

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