Catholic and Muslim Politics in Comparative Perspective

Author: José Casanova

December 1, 2005

In this article Casanova compares and contrasts current anti-Muslim political discourse with the old anti-Catholic tropes of mid-19th to mid-20th-century Anglo-Protestant countries (especially the United States). Casanova examines current Muslim politics with the Catholic politics of about a century ago on three levels -- the transnational structures of the two religions, their expression in religious political parties and movements, and immigrant incorporation into secular-Christian and Anglo-protestant societies respectively -- and determines that modern European anti-Muslim sentiments amount to "Islamophobia." While not new in form or intensity, this Islamophobia is drawn from a normative vision of secularization that is unique to modern Europe and that holds dangerous import for the prospects of intra-European integration of Muslim immigrants and inter-regional cooperation with Europe in processes of globalization. This article was published in volume 1, no. 2 of the Taiwan Journal of Democracy.

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