Being Muslim has become synonymous with pointed questions, with tension and mistrust, even with conflict. It has become a global phenomenon with profound consequences for inter-communal relations, political rhetoric and policies at the local, regional, national and international level.
Hardly a week goes by without the “Muslim question” being raised, through a local controversy, a regional conflict or a national debate, through violence, extremism or literalism, or through the rise to power of Islamist parties in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt (years after electoral victory in Palestine).
Islam, well beyond its extremist, literalist or political interpretations, has become an issue – the globalisation of information reinforces a worldwide collective state of mind that legitimises doubt, mistrust and even stigmatisation, while touching off defensive reactions that range from a sense of victimhood to uncontrolled aggression. In sum, these are hard times for Muslims, who must confront numerous challenges, both locally and on a global scale.