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Since 9/11, the interest in Muslims in Europe has increased significantly. There has been much public debate and academic research focused on Muslims living in larger Western European countries like Britain, France or Germany, but little is known of Muslims in Ireland. 

Muslims in Ireland: Past and Present, published by Edinburgh University Press, is the first complete study of the Muslim presence in Ireland. Prof Oliver Scharbrodt and Dr Yafa Shanneik are among the five authors of this study.

This book fills this gap, providing a complete study of this unexplored Muslim presence, from the arrival of the first Muslim resident in Cork, in the southwest of Ireland, in 1784 until mass immigration to the Republic of Ireland during the “Celtic Tiger” period from the mid-1990s onwards. Muslim immigration and settlement in Ireland is very recent, and poses new challenges to a society that has perceived itself as religiously and culturally homogeneous. Ireland is also one of the least secular societies in Europe, providing a different context for Muslims seeking recognition by state and society. This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand the diversity of Muslim presences across Europe.

Key Features

  • Makes an important and original contribution to understanding the diversity of Muslim presences in different national contexts across Europe

  • Combines historical, sociological and ethnographic research methods to provide a rich and multi-faceted study of the Muslim presence in Ireland in its historical and contemporary dimensions

  • Provides insights into the dynamics of interaction between Muslims and state and society in one of the least secular societies in Europe

  • Illustrates the central role European networks of the Muslim Brotherhood have played in organising and representing Muslim communities in Europe, with Ireland being a prime example

Jørgen S. Nielsen::

“Set on the margins of Europe, Ireland is different - and this extends to its Muslim communities. In this first full-scale account the authors present a middle-class, professional community, of immigrant origin certainly but more reminiscent of the situation in the US than in Europe. This is a valuable new perspective on the subject of Islam in Europe.” 


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