Islam & the West - The Pitfalls of Mapping the World

Islam & the West - The Pitfalls of Mapping the World

Course dates:
22 July, 2017 to 19 August, 2017
900 €
Multidisciplinary, Social Sciences
Application deadline:
Saturday, 24 June, 2017
Freie Universität Berlin International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS)
Berlin, Germany

General information

Almost fifteen years after the September 11 attacks, the issue whether there is or in fact has ever been a “clash of civilisations” is still being highly debated among both scholars and politicians. In the meantime, a series of protests and demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa – Green Revolution in Iran, “Arab Spring” in Arab countries, Gezi Protests in Turkey – have once more raised questions with regard to the viability of democracy in Muslim countries. Moreover, violent shootings that took place in Paris aiming at journalists and urban lifestyle, as in different parts of the world, on the one hand, and the increasing refugee flows from Muslim countries on the other, attributed the issue of Muslim presence in Europe utmost urgency and importance. While in Europe reports document a significant rise in Islamophobic and racist incidents over the last years, Muslims increasingly claim rights on the grounds that they are Europeans.

In light of the current conjecture, “the West” and “Islam” – two seemingly opposing notions – gained a crucial role in the debates that structure the public opinion and political atmosphere in Europe as well as in North America. What does it mean to be “Western”? What does “Islam” stand for? Are these concepts as mutually exclusive as it is commonly believed? How do Muslims perceive the West and vice versa? Why and how do ideas about oneself and the other change over time?

This course aims at empowering students to critically examine the dichotomies – such as “Islam” vs. “the West” – that are prevalent in their everyday lives, the public sphere, and above all within the context of global conflicts. Hence cross-cultural encounters and the emergence of new forms of identity as a result thereof will be of central interest. Excursions and meeting Muslims from Berlin will help us explore the diversity of Islam in the midst of a “Western” environment.


FUBiS offers the following accommodation options:

  • single room in a shared apartment at the student dorms
  • single occupancy apartment
  • stay with a Berlin host family

For more details on the different accommodation options, please click here.


The easiest way to register for FUBiS is by using the online registration form. You can find detailed information on how to register here.

Registration deadline is June 24, 2017.

A comprehensive overview on fees and registration can be found here.

ECTS accreditation


Contact information


Phone: +49 30 838 73 472