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7. History: Europe

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on discourses on Muslim women in Europe. In most parts of Europe the "new" Muslim presence has been increasingly debated through women and their bodies. The attention researchers give to Muslim female converts does not reflect their numerical importance, but rather the importance which is attached to them by both pious Muslims and non-Muslim Europeans critical of religion in general and Islam in particular. Religious authority is fundamental in Lena Larsen's research (2011) on fatwas and the challenges Muslim women face in western Europe. Questions of limping marriage and forced marriage are emotionally charged issues and stigmatize mainly Muslims in Europe. These issues also directly point to the intersection between family law in Europe and transnationally connected members of Muslim families. Researchers emphasize that the rights of religious minorities must be safeguarded but that family law must protect the weaker parties, typically women and children.

Keywords: Europe; fatwas; forced marriage; Islam; limping marriage; Muslim female converts; Muslim women



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