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 Islam and Muslims in Europe    by Dr Tariq Ramadan

Independence

More and more associations are acting in a very independent manner and are born of the local, indigenous dynamic. This phenomena which oftentimes goes unnoticed is of great importance. Associations are being created and looking to respond to the needs of the Muslim community at the local level. This process is occurring everywhere in Europe and is a sign that Muslims of the old continent are in the process of finding their voices and mainly, their political and financial independence. It is true that for the moment, this movement appears to be scattered and chaotic but it is the needed transition for the Muslim presence to pass to higher level which is free, independent, self organized, a master of their own destiny and of their representation. A large number of projects are seeing the light of day, responding to an urgency, coming out of the dark, and mobilising the Muslim community at the regional level in financing the new constructions underway and totally independent from a foreign power. The example which sticks out the most is that of the mosques. These are certainly not just mosque/cathedrals, but instead functional, dignified spaces that respond to the needs of the population. Access to this financial and political independence is crucial and pressing for it is through this that Muslims will be able to fully and freely attend to the challenges which are waiting for them in Europe.

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