This article investigates multiculturalism by examining the relationship between migrants' group demands and liberal states' policies for politically accommodating cultural and religious difference. It focuses especially on Islam. The empirical research compares migrants' claims-making for group demands in countries with different traditions for granting recognition to migrants' cultural difference - Britain, France and the Netherlands. Overall, we find very modest levels of group demands indicating that the challenge of group demands to liberal democracies is quantitatively less than the impression given by much multicultural literature. Group demands turn out to be significant only for Muslims, which holds across different countries. Qualitative analysis reveals problematic relationships between Islam and the state, in the overtly multicultural Dutch approach, within British race relations, and French civic universalism. This implies that there is no easy blueprint for politically accommodating Islam, whose public and religious nature makes it especially resilient to political adaptation. Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications.