latest news

on Poland

by Agata S. Nalborczyk

in the "Yearbook of Muslims in Europe" vol. 11 (Brill 2021)


on Pilsztynowa, the female Polish traveller from the 18th cent.

by Agata S. Nalborczyk

in Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, Vol. 14 (1700-1800)
(Brill 2020)


on female Islamic religious leadership in Poland

by Agata S. Nalborczyk


Wersja angielska strony i modernizacja zostały wykonane z funduszy/
The English version and modernization of the Web page sponsored by:

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About the department


Along with the increase in the population of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe in the 1970s and 1980s grew the problem of immigrant integration with local communities and of the legal framework for the functioning of Islam. Muslims have lived in Central and Eastern Europe for centuries, for instance Tatars in Poland, and they have been accepted by local governments and societies. This fact, of which the West seems unaware, is an inspiration for our scholars, who describe the phenomena concerning the presence of Islam in the European continent.

Logo ZIE

As early as in 1993 an informal research group was established in the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Warsaw. Its members represented various fields of study and engaged in research on Muslims in Europe. The group included: Anna Parzymies, Ph.D. habil. (Arabic and Turkish studies), Jolanta Sierakowska-Dyndo, Ph.D. (Iranian studies), Marek Dziekan, Ph.D. habil. (Arabic studies), Anna Sieklucka, M.A. (Indology) and Mariam Abdelaal, M.A. (Slavic studies), among others.


The idea to establish an independent department for European Islam studies came from prof. Anna Parzymies, Ph.D. habil., a Turkologist and Arabist (then working in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies). The idea was supported by the Academic Council of the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Warsaw and the Laboratory for European Islam Studies was established. In 1994 the Laboratory was transformed into the Department for European Islam Studies, a research unit with the following goals:

  • conducting research on the history of European Islam, the socio-political movements of European Muslims, the history and current state of Christian-Muslim relations, the organization of Muslim religious life in Europe and on the problems of Muslim integration in European countries;
  • • providing lectures on European Islam for students of the Faculty of Oriental Studies.

Teaching and research staff


Since the establishment of the Department until spring 2009, the office of the head of the Department was held by prof. Anna Parzymies, Ph.D. habil., the originator of the Department. The post is currently held by Ahmed Nazmi, Ph.D. habil. At first, the activities of the Department were confined to collaboration with faculty from other departments. The most committed employees came from the aforementioned informal research group and they were: prof. Marek M. Dziekan, Ph.D. habil. (Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies), prof. Jerzy Zdanowski, Ph.D. habil. (Polish Academy of Sciences), and Anna Sieklucka, M.A. (Chair of South Asian Studies).
Soon, however, the Department hired new permanent staff. In 1995 Agata Nalborczyk, then M.A., was hired as an instructor and Georges Kass, then M.A., as a lecturer, and later as a lector in Arabic. Then, Radosław Stryjewski, M.A. (Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies–a Ph.D. student), Michał Łabedna, Ph.D. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Krzysztof Strachota, M.A. (Centre for Eastern Studies) and Adam Balcer, M.A. (Centre for East European Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw, Centre for Eastern Studies) were employed.
Ph.D. students have also participated in the work of the Department: Marta Widy-Behiesse, M.A. (currently Ph. D.), Konrad Zasztowt, M.A. and Ewelina Juszczak, M.A.

Nasza monografia

Activities of the Department

Research goals of the Department include collecting information about immigrant and indigenous Muslim minorities in European countries and an analysis of religious, historical, social, cultural and linguistic aspects of the presence of these minorities in Europe.

Therefore the research interests of the teaching and research staff concentrate on the following issues:

  • geographical location of Muslim groups in Europe
  • history of Muslim groups in Europe
  • statistical and population data
  • religious life and its organization
  • religious education
  • ideological influences, political ideology
  • cultural life (titles and the place of publishing of magazines and books, location and activities of cultural centres, education in a particular language etc.)
  • language problems (bilingualism, assimilation, the influence of the language of the country of residence on the mother tongue of immigrants etc.)
  • Christian-Muslim relations.

Moreover, bibliographical data of publications on Islam in Europe are collected in a specially created MS Access database. A large monograph of almost 600 pages entitled Muslims in Europe edited by prof. Anna Parzymies (Warsaw 2005) is the most spectacular outcome of the activities in the aforementioned fields of study.

A number of B.A., M.A. as well as three doctoral theses have been written in the Department so far, and the doctoral theses are: Agata Nalborczyk Arabic Diglossia and Bilingualism (Dyglosja i bilingwizm u Arabów), Michał Łabenda Radical Muslim Movements in the Territory of the Fergana Valley in the 1990s Based on the Regional Writings (Radykalne ruchy muzułmańskie na terenie Doliny Fergańskiej w latach 90. XX w. na podstawie piśmiennictwa regionu) and Marta Widy-Behiesse The works of Tariq Ramadan. The development of Muslim identity in Europe (Twórczość Tariqa Ramadana. Kształtowanie tożsamości muzułmańskiej w Europie).

Budynek WO

The official website of the Department is one of the oldest in the Faculty (since 1995) and it provides general and current information about the Department in both Polish and English. Moreover, the website features a list of the publications of the Department's teaching and research staff and a bibliography of selected Polish works on Islam in Europe, especially in Poland.

Text based on: A.S. Nalborczyk, Zakład Islamu Europejskiego [w:] M. Popko (ed.), 75 lat Instytutu Orientalistycznego, Wyd. UW, Warszawa 2007, p. 83-88.

transl. by Anna Czarnecka
(annie.czarnecka at