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SORRY, BUT IT'S THE LAW: The Westernization of Islam
American Sociological Association Centennial Meeting (2005)
  • Gwendolyn Yvonne Alexis, Monmouth University
The last quartile of the 20th Century vastly changed the religio-cultural landscape of the West. Previously the stronghold of Christianity, the West has entered into a period of deep diversity as a result of the unprecedented level of migration of non-Western, non-Christian peoples to western destinations. These new immigrants, with their foreign cultures and unfamiliar religions, came westward with the full expectation that they--like the diverse array of Christian emigrants who migrated westward decades before--would fully enjoy religious liberty in nations long heralded for their commitment to democratic principles and respect for civil rights. How are these immigrants faring on the Western secularist tundra? In this paper I look at one of those immigrant groups--the Muslims--and argue that rather than breathing the fresh air of religious freedom, they are caught in the fumes of religious oppression. Utilizing a nascent theoretical model --TTM (Tripartite Theoretical Model) -- for assessing the vitality of religious freedom, I show how secular law is transforming Islamic rites, rituals, and customs in a manner that brings them more in line with the secularized Christianity that prevails in the West. Although, I focus on the situation in Sweden, my contention is that the eventual homogenization of all non-conforming religions in the West is a fait accompli.
  • Secularism,
  • Religious Liberty,
  • Workplace Discrimination; Non-Christian Religions,
  • Islamaphobia
Publication Date
August, 2005
Citation Information
Gwendolyn Yvonne Alexis. "SORRY, BUT IT'S THE LAW: The Westernization of Islam" American Sociological Association Centennial Meeting (2005)
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