Muslim Atmospheres as Neighbourhoods of Religious Diasporic Microspheres

Muslims in Argentina

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
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  • 1 Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz

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In many countries around the globe, Muslims not only form a statistical religious minority, but also are mainly regarded as a homogeneous group by the average citizen, the press and politicians. Concepts of Muslim diaspora seem to frequently reinforce this idea, implying that Muslims are building a global community endangering supposedly peaceful cohabitation within nation-states. In contrast, this article, based on a case study in Argentina, shows that diasporic communities can be fruitfully conceptualised as socio-cultural orders with a special ‘atmosphere’, which is formed by the emotional connections between group members and their surroundings, which transcend borders of nation-states. Furthermore, it shows that one of the aims of Muslims in Argentina is to be recognised as integrated into the host society. This analysis is based on data collected during field work in Argentina as well as on ethnographies by various scholars and literature produced by Muslim organisations and their websites.

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  • 12

    Pinto (2015) shows that similar dynamics can be observed in the communities of Brazilian Muslims in Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Foz do Iguaçu, and that practices performed in religious contexts situate the Muslim communities between local and transnational contexts.

  • 13

    When I visited the mosque al-Ahmad in 2008, I spoke with the imam about the ethnic composition of the attendees. He answered: ‘Inside the mosque we do not speak about ethnicity. I only will talk about Islam.’

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