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Being German, Becoming MuslimRace, Religion, and Conversion in the New Europe$
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Esra Özyürek

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162782

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162782.001.0001

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Germanizing Islam and Racializing Muslims

(p.1) Introduction
Being German, Becoming Muslim

Esra Özyürek

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter discusses some questions on the contradictions and challenges in the lives of German converts to Islam. It aims to provide a preliminary understanding of what it means to embrace Islam in a society that increasingly marginalizes and racializes Muslims. The chapter begins with a discussion of conversion to racialized religions, before considering whether Islamophobia is similar to anti-Semitism or homophobia. Afterward, the chapter narrows the context to Germany, revealing that even though Germany has a long history of racializing religion, especially Judaism, the racialization of Muslims with a clear class dimension is relatively new. This chapter also discusses the role of converts for a European Islam and Germany's long history of European conversions to Islam. Finally, the chapter lays out the methods and sources of research for this volume.

Keywords:   Germany, Islam, racialized religions, Islamophobia, European Islam, Germanizing Islam, racializing Muslims, religious conversion, religion

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