From 1878 to 1923, around two million Ottoman Muslims became citizens of new European states. This happened suddenly, without their consent and often against their will, as a series of treaties shifted the political boundaries of the region.
In the aftermath of conquest and mass violence, diverse communities of Muslims were promised equal civil and political rights; but the cost was acceptance of an inherently discriminatory and violent system and a mandate to work within it.
What did citizenship look like for Muslims? Why did European statesmen decide to integrate Shari’a law (Islamic law) into their political and legal structures, and what did this mean for the ways that Muslim citizens of Europe would be understood, as fellow citizens and as legal Other?
And how does wrestling with such questions inform our understanding of the historical field of “Muslims in Europe”?