From the moment the first Turkish and Moroccan workers migrated to Europe in the early 1960s, the Turkish and Moroccan states have been concerned with how to bind emigrated citizens to their country of origin. In this article, we focus on Islam as a multi-dimensional binding mechanism. Religion is a broad register that links emotion, affect, and senses of belonging and binds individuals to political and cultural projects of collective actors and states. As we will demonstrate, it is a field in which both states and migrants have developed a variety of activities and initiatives, but it is difficult to single out what pertains to the state and what not. We argue that although state involvement in these two cases differs markedly, there are some intriguing parallels when we concentrate on religion. In both cases, religious affiliation is a very complex source of binding and of fission. State-monitored transnational networks have been tools of binding, but the same networks have engendered processes of disengagement from the state.