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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a comprehensive overview of the literature on Islam in Belgium since the early 1980s. It argues that this interdisciplinary field of study is largely typified by a concern with integration. This concern is expressed through two central themes that emerge as privileged tropes in the literature: the question of the social and economic integration of Muslims and that of their compliance with liberal and secular understandings of citizenship. While the first trope approaches Muslims as an underprivileged working class that needs to be included through education and labour, the second trope regards Muslims as a religious minority and examines the extent to which they comply with dominant forms of citizenship that are defined in liberal and secular terms. The authors show how these different tropes are unevenly distributed across the linguistic frontiers but they also nuance the omnipresence of this concern by referring to studies that disregard this exclusive focus on integration.

Keywords: Muslims, integration, tropes, secularism, citizenship, Islam

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