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Workshop Program: Mosques, Power and Politics

10 December, 2019 13:10
Workshop Program: Mosques, Power and Politics

Date: January 22-24, 2020

Venue: University of Copenhagen, South Campus Karen Blixens Plads 8, 2300 Copenhagen, Denmark

Organizer: Danish Mosques & Nordic Mosques Research Network

For this workshop we address the changing politics of mosque building, the different kinds of conflict surrounding the building of a mosque and the symbolic appropriation of territory by the mosque.

The building of a mosque can be seen as a social transformative interaction and accounts for the many stakeholders involved in the construction of mosques (e.g., Muslim organizations, international donors, local politicians, anti-Islam groups and other critics). As such, the mosques and the politics of construction can be seen as microcosms of the discourse on Muslims in a country. Concerns with security, extremism and visibility of Muslim institutions in the Nordic and Western European countries are causing “existential” difficulties for mosques.

The state criticizes mosques and change the politics of religion with reference to incidents in mosques as in Denmark in 2016-18. This seminar will examine the power strategies used by national and local politicians, examining national legislation and municipal planning on mosques, and will investigate a number of concrete cases of contested mosque building. The operable questions are what are the political power dynamics at play in mosque building? Do the mosques challenge the existing models of state-religion-relations? How may mosques present and organize themselves to defuse these tensions of power?

This is the second in a series of three workshops on Nordic Mosques in Context – On the institutional embeddedness of Islam in the Nordic countries sponsored by a NOS-HS Workshop Grant.

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Workshop Program: Mosques, Power and Politics
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