PIR Evening Forum: Muslim Population in EU
May 25th, 2013
SUBJECT: PIR EVENINGT FORUM REPORT
DATE: 07 MAY 2013
SUBJECT: MUSLIM POPULATION IN EU
a. STAFF: Assist. Prof. Dr. Salih Ozcan, Assist. Prof. Dr. Bekir Çinar, M.A. Niuton Mulleti, M.A. Ismail Soygenis
b. Master students and PIR fourth class students: TOTAL 20
MAIN DISCUSSION SUBJECT:
The main subject of the forum was the role of Muslim population in EU. Mr. Ali Zaimi made an introductory presentation of his Master thesis and participating professors and students gave their opinions and feedbacks. Also, a discussion was held regarding the findings of the Mr. Zaimi research and the around the main topic of the forum.
Mr. Zaimi, in his thesis, looked at the role of Muslim population in EU integration process, by focusing on Albanian case. He presented some important information on how Islam evolved in Albania; the role of religion in Albania from independence period to its transition to democracy; and the role of Muslim population in EU. He emphasized a distinction among indigenous and flight Muslim population, the problem of Islam phobia in Europe and the issue of Muslim populations’ disintegration in EU.
After the existing literature, he presented the case of Albania’s EU integration process by questioning whether being a country with majority Muslim population comprises any problem for EU. In his thesis, he analyzed whether Islam fits in Copenhagen criteria and found out that Islam is compatible with democracy and European values. In the Albanian case, Mr. Zaimi highlighted its three main characteristics including being a country with indigenous Muslim population; the existence of tolerance and communication among communities; and the public support for EU membership in Albania. From his research, he reached to the conclusion that “being a state with a Muslim majority adds value and offers a new perspective for Muslim landscape. “
After the presentation of Mr. Zaimi, the professors and students of the department gave their feedbacks and opinions on Mr. Zaimi research, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bekir Cinar facilitated a discussion on the role of Islam in EU on which student gave their opinions. Student emphasized the need for the integration of Muslims within EU society, and in this regard they mentioned that the role of EU states is very significant. Moreover, they stated that EU states should work on providing possibilities and spaces to Muslims to integrate in EU society without violating or ignoring their values and identities.
The forum was closed by Mr. Ismail Soygenis’ speech with a conclusion on the future role of Muslim population in EU, and the role of religion in Albanian case.