The Cultural Expansion of the Persian Gulf States in Europe: Dynamics, Specifics, and Consequences

Regina Biktimirova, Konstantin Eidemiller, Andrey Anufriev, Yury Gladkiy, Valery Suslov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Throughout the centuries, irrespective of political changes inside the Muslim and Western worlds, the interaction between these two systems always remained. However, the two civilizations stay in a constant state of antagonism and competition which entail deep misunderstanding and confrontation at all levels in both of these societies. Nowadays, the Gulf states, which dispose of vast hydrocarbon reserves, have impressive financial resources and influence on the international political arena. Such concepts as “The Clash of Civilizations”, “Orientalism”, etc. inevitably entail new ones, for instance “Arabic alter-globalization”, “Arabic version of globalization” and “the cultural expansion (of the Gulf states)”. The Gulf states understand the potential weight of the Muslim population of Europe and strive to spread their religious influence and win patronship over the Muslim communities of Europe by various means: sponsoring the creation of mosques and Islamic cultural centers in Europe, educating imams and Muslim scholars who could later promote the principles of the Wahhabi Islam, supporting Muslim infrastructure, Halal industries, the popularization of Muslim culture in European countries, etc. These projects are not only conducted for charitable reasons but practical as well – the Persian Gulf elites, aware of the constant threat of coup d’état and new armed conflicts on religious basis, are forced to search for new potential living environments, and Europe, with its liberal values, open internal borders and large Muslim communities, is an ideal candidate. Therefore, we can conclude that the policy of cultural expansion of the Persian Gulf states is transforming rapidly, adjusting to the ever-changing reality of these states and the world. Moreover, it is obvious that the cultural expansion of the Gulf states has a major impact on the Muslim communities of Western Europe – thereafter, its transformation in the future will inevitably entail changes in the lives of Muslim communities of Europe and the world.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Geography
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameSpringer Geography
ISSN (Print)2194-315X
ISSN (Electronic)2194-3168

Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Urban Studies
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Cultural expansion
  • Europe
  • Multiculturalism
  • Muslim communities
  • Qatar
  • The Persian Gulf states


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