This introductory chapter provides an overview of the “Muslim Question.” Europeans fret that Muslims will not integrate into domestic societies and politics. Because of their religiosity, communalism, social conservatism, and illiberalism, critics allege that Muslims are not ready to participate in the politics of advanced liberal democracies. Anti-Muslim prejudice among voters also runs high. At the same time, parties face growing electoral incentives to garner Muslim support. In many Western European countries, the largest group of naturalized citizens originates from countries where Islam is the dominant religion, a trend that recent refugee inflows from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq will only reinforce. Muslims are thus beginning to constitute sizable portions of domestic electorates, especially at the subnational level. This book then develops an argument that addresses how parties respond to changing electorates and draws out the implications of these responses for the nature of party politics.
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