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Islam in France and Britain

dudeJoin the UHP and the Institute of European Russian and Eurasian Studies on Thursday, March 24 from 12:30-2:00pm for an engaging talk by John Bowen about Islam in France and Britain. Dr. Bowan is a leading authority on Islam in Europe, and wrote a great book about the headscarf issue in France. He has become a regular contributor to public debates about the various controversies roiling European countries about their Muslim populations.

Alarms over waves of Muslim refugees entering Europe have added to what was an already rising set of anti-Islamic attitudes and false beliefs about an eventual takeover of Europe by Muslims. Missed in the media frenzy, but also absent from most scholarly treatments of the topic, are ways in which Muslims have been adapting religious practices and institutions to the conditions of each country where they have settled. This talk will discuss the contrasting experiences of Muslims in Britain and France, illustrating both the importance of these adaptive processes and the divergent trajectories of Islam in each European country.


John Bowen is the Dunbar-Van Cleve Professor in Arts & Sciences and Sociocultural Anthropology at Washington University. His research focuses on comparative social studies of Islam across the world, and includes ethnographic studies in Indonesia, France, and England. Bowen is particularly interested in how Muslims (judges and scholars, public figures, ordinary people) work across plural sources of norms and values, including diverse interpretations of the Islamic tradition, law codes and decisions, and local social norms. He has published numerous books and scholarly articles, and contributes regularly to public debates about Islam. His most recent book, British Islam: Religion, Law, and Everyday Practice in Shari’a Councils, was published in 2016 by Princeton University Press.

Please RSVP at http://go.gwu.edu/jbowen

The talk will take place in the Voesar Conference Room (1957 E St. NW, Suite 412) on Thursday, March 24 from 12:30-2:00pm.