The Erlangen Center for Islam and Law in Europe (EZIRE) conducts multidisciplinary research on Muslim life within European constitutional states. It examines how European laws react to Muslim life, and how Muslim self-conception and religious self-organization develop in this context. These questions are seen in a broader context that includes the social developments in Europe and the connection to developments outside Europe in law, religion, and political and social change. In its research, the EZIRE works from various perspectives such as social science, law, Islamic and religious studies as well as from the historical research perspectives.
The topics of the research projects at the EZIRE are:
- Legal status of Islam in Germany and Europe
- Legal Pluralism in Europe
- Islamic normativity and religious practice of Muslims in Europe
- Muslim presence and Muslim self-definition in Europe
- Development of Islamic law in the present
- Connections and interactions between European jurisdictions and legal systems of countries with a Muslim majority
- Turkish Law
- Attitudes and practices of Muslims in Europe
- Islamic missionary work in Europe, conversion to and from Islam
Researchers from different disciplines such as Law, Islamic Studies, History of Religion and Political Science work together at the EZIRE. Their work and expertise are complemented and enhanced by associated members, who are usually employed at other universities and research institutions. Furthermore, the EZIRE collaborates with various institutes of the Friedrich-Alexander University and other universities. A scientific advisory board of renowned international experts support the EZIRE in its work and advise it on issues regarding research and teaching.
The researches conducted by the EZIRE are available to interested colleagues from different disciplines, policymakers, representatives of the economy and the media, and the general public through a variety of products. These include publications and services such as lectures, training, advice, and expertise.
By offering a variety of courses, the EZIRE participates in the teachings on Political Science, Law, and the Middle East Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander University. The teaching program includes courses on Islamic and Turkish Law as well as on Islam and Muslims in politico-scientific, sociological and religious perspective. Some seminars compare different countries. Seminars with methodological focus are also part of the teaching.
The EZIRE was established on 1 January 2009 with the funding of the Fund for Innovation of the Bavarian Ministry for Sciences and is one of the main institutions within the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg. It strengthens the university’s diverse and traditional research on Islam and the Middle East.