48th Annual Conference of the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies

Call for Papers
48th Annual Conference of the
North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS)

“Muslim Communities in Europe and North America:Contemporary Developments and Challenges.”

 Cosponsored by:

Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA),
Pardee School of Global Studies
Boston University, Boston, MA

Friday, September 27, 2019

Abstracts: April 15, 2019
Final Papers: August 26, 2019

Although there have been Muslim communities in Europe since the Middle Ages, they have become a sizable part of the population of modern Western Europe only since the 1960’s, when large numbers began to arrive from Pakistan, the Maghreb, and Turkey to provide much needed labor. When the Asiatic Barred Zone act of 1917 was repealed in 1965, Muslim immigrants began to arrive in the United States, joining existing communities of largely African American converts. In Europe, political opposition to Muslim immigrants arose already in the late 20th century, producing anti-immigrant parties such as France’s National Front.

At the turn of the 21st century, Muslims seeking asylum in Europe and North America due to the destruction brought on by wars in Iraq and Syria, became the driving force behind immigration. According to Pew, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was around 44 million and growing, while birth rates throughout Europe have fallen well below replacement level. Political and social frictions emerged in many European countries due to these demographic shifts, and full-fledged turmoil erupted starting in 2015 due to the surge refugees fleeing Syria.

Muslim immigration was a top issue in the two countries that took in the lion’s share of refugees: Germany and Sweden. In 2017, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party became the first political party to the right of the Christian Democrats to win seats in parliament since the Second World War. In September 2018, the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats came in third in national elections with 17.5% of the vote.

In other countries, including the United States, anti-Muslim sentiment has fueled the rise of populist politicians, including in countries of Eastern Europe that have accepted next to no refugees. Throughout Europe and the United States, campaigns against “sharia law” have become common, as have unsubstantiated allegations that Muslim neighborhoods in major European cities have become “no-go zones.” Denmark has recently passed harsh laws that include mandating 30 hours per week of pre-school for immigrants for the sake of fostering Danish values. Many native Europeans fear that Muslim immigrants are intent on Islamizing Europe rather than integrating. Many Muslims in Europe, both native born and immigrants, fear that they will never be accepted as equal citizens even if they do integrate.

We invite a diverse range of papers from professors and advanced Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences. Questions the papers might address include, but are not limited to the following:


  • Consequences of Post-war European Labor Shortage of the 50s & 60s: Guest-workers from Pakistan, the Maghreb, and Turkey
  • Muslim immigration, Populism, and Polarization in Europe and North America
  • Contemporary Developments
  • Challenges of Non-integration of Muslim Immigrants in European Communities
  • Impact of Political Motives of Immigrant Muslim Communities in non-Muslim Majority Nations
  • Demographic shifts and Political Stability in Non-Muslim Majority Nations
  • Muslim Travel Ban in North America and Extremism

Abstracts (250 words) Due April 5, 2019

Abstracts from Professors and Advanced Ph.D. Candidates ONLY


  • Abstracts will be evaluated according to following criteria: clear data & methodology used, relevance & contribution of proposal to conference theme. Abstracts must include a title, author’s full name, contact information, and university position (Professor or Ph.D. Candidate)
  • Panelists required to pre-register by May 3, 2019, and pay non-refundable registration fees of $105.00. Online registration will be available
  • Final papers must be submitted by August 26, 2019
  • Send abstracts & final papers to Layla Sein, NAAIMS Executive Director, and Director of Academic Affairs at conferences@naaims.org


Program Chair: Professor Tim Longman

Boston University, Boston, MA