Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 30 items for :

  • Sociology & Anthropology x
  • Open accessible content x
Clear All

Kathrin Herz and Chantal Munsch

Abstract

The paper is based on an ethnographic study of Turkish Muslim Community Centres in Germany. It analyses the multiplicity of these centres at various levels on the basis of participant observations, interviews, plans and photographs. The article describes the multiplicity of religious, cultural, social and commercial functions in the multifunctional clusters that are constantly changing. It clearly shows how individual spaces house a variety of overlapping social practices and how users associate diverse meanings with the centres. The paper develops a new perspective on mosques by focusing on the space and the complexity of everyday routines.

‘Dual Use Research of Concern’ and ‘Select Agents’

How Researchers Can Use Free Speech to Avoid ‘Weaponising’ Academia

Alison Scott-Baumann

Abstract

Creating a suspect community is a time-consuming task and requires persistence. Once achieved, it is difficult to undo. In security terms, inspiring fear of dual use is one of many successful methods used to create suspicion. The concept of dual use research of concern (DURC) is the idea that scientific knowledge can be created by the worthy, stolen by the malevolent and used to make war on the innocent. On campus, ideas about Islam are currently often viewed as if Islam epitomises DURC. By this means, a Derridean binary opposition springs up between Islam and the rest, whereby that-which-is-Islam is demeaned and the ‘rest’ is privileged. This emanates from political intervention on campus and creates a risk-averse ‘othering’ approach to students’ interaction with Islam and Muslims and the Western world. In order to demonstrate how this political intervention influences the university curriculum and university life on campus, the term dual use will function here as a heuristic: the ‘metaphor’ of DURC shows how certain government ideologies are being used on campus to ‘weaponise’ ideas about Islam as if they are malevolent. Using a complementary and mutually enhancing combination of philosophy, empirical research and policy analysis, three positive solutions are proposed that show how important it is that academics be aware of national policy: first, in order to make people cognisant of the urgent need to offer alternatives to the British counter terrorism programme ‘Prevent’ and the work of the Charity Commission with student societies; second, to support the work of academic subject associations; and third, to create a useful debate about free speech.

Muslims Denouncing Violent Extremism

Competing Essentialisms of Islam in Dutch Public Debate

Margaretha A. van Es

Abstract

This article explores statements made by Dutch Muslims against violent extremism, and explains these statements in the context of the growing pressure exerted on Muslim minorities in Europe to present themselves as peaceful and loyal citizens. It problematises the often-repeated call on Muslims to denounce terrorism, and reveals that Dutch Muslims have condemned violent extremism more often than is commonly acknowledged. However, essentialist statements about Islam as a violent religion often provoke competing essentialisms of Islam as a ‘religion of peace’. In analysing such statements as ‘performative performances’, the author demonstrates how public debate about violent extremism feeds into Muslim perceptions of what Islam ‘really’ is.

Klas Grinel

Abstract

This article focuses on a neglected historical example where contemporary museological framings of Islam in Europe were established—the World of Islam Festival in London, 1976. The material consulted consists of the publications and materials from the Festival Trust, media coverage and academic discussions of the Festival. These are analyzed from a frame theory perspective. The Festival is situated in a very specific historical period after the advent of Gulf oil money, but before the resurgence of Islam and the Iranian revolution. It was framed by the traditionalist perspective of Frithjof Schuon and Seyyed Hossein Nasr and in large part funded by the United Arab Emirates. It is argued that what might at first appear to be a festival celebrating the presence of Muslims in modern Britain acted to stabilize a dichotomy between Islam and modernity that is still dominant in museological framings of Islam in Europe.

Shiite “Communities of Practice” in Germany

Researching Multi-Local, Heterogeneous Actors in Transnational Space

Robert Langer and Benjamin Weineck

Abstract

Although few in number, the various Shiite Muslim communities in Germany are highly diversified in terms of their linguistic, national and ethnic backgrounds and ritual practice. In order to come to terms with these multi-local actors and their specific articulations of Shiism, the article aimes at an analytical framework that integrates an open understanding of belonging: employing Leave and Wenger’s concept of “communities of practice”, it argues that a focus on common practice in which heterogeneous actors engage, enables us to grasp, on the one hand, the varying specific characteristics of different groups and, on the other, their mutual belonging to the wider Shiite field.

Series:

R. Michael Feener, David Kloos and Annemarie Samuels

Series:

R. Michael Feener, David Kloos and Annemarie Samuels