Home Institution

Claremont Mckenna College

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


As practicing Muslims become an increasingly large share of the population in Western European countries, governments encounter the challenge of preserving liberal democratic societies in the face of a force often considered to be in direct opposition to the values of those societies. This paper discusses the challenges of the governance of Islam in Western Europe and evaluates the validity of the perceived threat of Islam to European values. Through analysis of scholarly work and interviews with experts in relevant professional and academic fields, this paper identifies three myths about Islam that contribute to this perceived threat: Islam is anti-democratic, anti-modern, and cannot function in a secular society. This paper attempts to deconstruct the manufactured binary between East and West that paints Islam and Europe as oppositional forces by highlighting the many common values and ideas shared by both worlds.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Islamic Studies | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Sociology of Religion