Visibility or Invisibility: The Dilemma of the Muslim Associations of Switzerland

In: Journal of Religion in Europe
Christophe Monnot University of Lausanne, Switzerland,

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The Muslim associations of Switzerland are in the throes of a dilemma: should they remain invisible in order to avoid social stigmatization, or become visible in order to speak out and gain fair recognition? This invisibility especially relates to the local level and the impact and interactions that the associations have with their immediate environment. The visibility is characterized by the decision of the ‘representative’ associations to bring Muslims out of obscurity. It touches on the supra-local level of federal cantonal representation. The analysis in this article will illuminate the two levels of the dilemma, based on observations and interviews conducted with the Muslim religious communities of a large representative region of Switzerland.

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