Published October 24, 2016
This project began as an exploration of young Muslims in Europe who live on the “left edge” of mainstream faith: nonbelievers, artists, LGBT people and social activists with one foot in secular European culture and the other in the insular religious communities of their parents.
Two things struck Nick Shindo Street as he followed threads and started gathering stories: First, the intense focus of news media coverage on violent Muslim fringe groups like ISIS tends to obscure or distort the daily, lived reality of the vast majority of Muslims in Europe and elsewhere. And, second, far from being disaffected Millennials and GenXers stuck between two worlds, the men and women on Europe’s “other Muslim fringe” are at the forefront of efforts to adapt minority religious communities to dominant cultures—and vice versa.
In other words, the future of Islam in Europe is being charted not by the violent extremists whose depravity dominates headlines but by artists and activists on that “left edge” of the faith, whose stories we hardly ever hear. Nick Shindo Street spotlights some of those stories and amplify some of those voices.