While two other articles in this special issue look at events and movements in Muslim majority countries, this contribution examines the participation of European Muslims in France and Britain. It focuses specifically on the European Social Forums (ESF) that took place in those respective countries in 2003 and 2004 and presents an overview of the mobilisation of Muslims and their interaction with the existing movements and seeks to elaborate on the impact of this participation. It is argued that what is most significant is the effect it has had on the movements themselves and how it has challenged their own self-interpretation as open and tolerant. The most obvious result has been the series of debates, disagreements, fallouts and splits this caused within the existing groups and associations of the ‘global justice movement’ in both countries. The participation was also divisive for existing organisations representing Muslims and, even in the UK, coalitions between Muslim and non-Muslim activists have been hard to maintain. The differing reactions to this phenomenon in the two countries can be explained by the ‘discursive opportunity structures’ found in each context. In France in particular, the notions of laïcité and communautarisme force social movement actors to adopt ambivalent attitudes towards Muslim associations even though these groups agree upon the importance of the former and danger of the latter.
|Translated title of the contribution||The impact of 'Muslim participation' on the Global Justice Movement in Britain and France|
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Cultures & Conflits|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|