Loin du Jihad. Les combattants de culture musulmane dans les armées européennes

Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration  -  293, avenue Daumesnil  -  75012 Paris

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim combatants – the vast majority of them being non-Europeans – fought in the ranks of various European armies in the 20th century. How Islam was perceived by the military authorities supervising these combatants? What role did Islam played for the troops themselves? This conference aims at reintroducing the question of religious belonging and practice into the study of Muslim combatants in European armies by focusing on the combatants’ viewpoint as much as possible, alongside the viewpoint of the administrations and military hierarchy.


  • Xavier Bougarel, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin
  • Raphaëlle Branche, University of Paris 1

Contact : farfromjihad@gmail.com


Thursday 22 May

1:30 pm: Welcome
2:00 pm: Introduction
Army and the State Facing Religious Diversity: Propaganda, Management and Organisation

2:15-4:15 pm • Moderator: Annette Becker

  • Michelle Mann
    Defenders of Islam and Western Civilisation? Pro-Muslim Propaganda in France and Germany, 1914-1918
  • Sarah Ann Frank
    Colonial Prisoners of War and Vichy France: Experiences and Politics
  • Claire Miot
    The Officer for Muslim Affairs in the First French Army (1944-1945): An Intermediary or an Agent of Control?

Coffee break

4:45-6:30 pm • Moderator: Stefan Petke

  • Franciska Zaugg
    Albanians in the Waffen-SS: the 21st Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg
  • Xavier Bougarel
    Islam, a ‘Convenient Religion’? The Case of the 13th SS Division ‘Handschar’

Friday 23 May

Facing Battle: Experiences and Accounts

Moderator: Robert Johnson 9:00-11:00 am

  • Kiril Feferman
    Between Non-Russian Nationalities and Muslim Identity: Perceptions and Self-Perceptions of Soviet Central Asian Soldiers in the Red Army, 1941-1945
  • Franziska Davies
    Muslims in the Russian Army during the First World War
  • Anne Ducloux
    A Muslim Woman, Officer in the Red Army during the Soviet-Afghan War

Coffee break

11:15 am-1:00 pm

  • Julie Le Gac
    Haunted by Jinns: Dealing with War Neuroses among Muslim Soldiers during the Second World War
  • Daniel Owen Spence
    Allah Might Provide the Fuel: Muslim Sailors in British Colonial Navies, from the Second World War to Independence
Faith and Religious Practice in Wartime

Moderator: Pierre-Jean Luizard 2:00-4:00 pm

  • Tanja Buehrer
    Muslim Askaris in the Colonial Troops of German East Africa during the First World War
  • Emmanuelle Cronier
    Feeding Muslim Troops during the First World War
  • Mujadad Zaman
    There Is No Doubt that This Is Not an Ordinary War, but a Very Great One: Understanding Muslim Religious Practices and Identity from World War Two

Coffee break

4:15-5:00 pm: General discussion


  • Annette Becker, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre, Institut Universitaire de France
  • Xavier Bougarel, Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin
  • Raphaëlle Branche, CHS du XXe siècle, University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • Tanja Buehrer, The Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Emmanuelle Cronier, University of Amiens
  • Franziska Davies, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München
  • Anne Ducloux, CETOBAC
  • Kiril Feferman, Lomonosov Moscow State University
  • Sarah Ann Frank, Trinity College, Dublin
  • Robert Johnson, University of Oxford
  • Julie Le Gac, Institut des Sciences-sociales du Politique (ENS Cachan / University of Paris Ouest Nanterre)
  • Pierre-Jean Luizard, Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités (CNRS/EPHE).
  • Michelle Mann, Brandeis University
  • Claire Miot, Institut des Sciences-sociales du Politique (SP-ENS Cachan), Orléans University
  • Daniel Owen Spence, University of the Free State Stefan Petke, Freie Universität, Berlin
  • Mujadad Zaman, University of Cambridge Franciska Zaugg, University of Bern
  • du jeudi 22 mai 2014 à 13h30 au  vendredi 23 mai 2014 à 17h
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