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Observing Islam in Spain

Contemporary Politics and Social Dynamics


Edited by Ana I. Planet Contreras

Islam in Spain has been transformed from a historical to a social matter in recent decades, attracting the attention of experts from a variety of disciplines. However, contributions to the field have been somewhat disperse. The multidisciplinary nature of the research done -mainly by specialists in Islamic Studies, Anthropology, Sociology and Law- has not been conducive to debates between specialists or to the publication of comprehensive works that recognize the wealth of views and findings.

Observing Islam in Spain contains the keys to understanding current debates about the presence of Muslim citizens in Spain with regard to symbolism and public space, the law, ritual, the question of re-Islamization and the association-building and political participation of young people and women.

Contributors are Marta Alonso Cabré, José María Contreras Mazarío, Khalid Ghali, Aitana Guia, Alberto López Bargados, Salvatore Madonia, Laura Mijares, Jordi Moreras, Ana I. Planet Contreras, Ángeles Ramírez, Óscar Salguero Montaño, Ariadna Solé Arraràs and Virtudes Téllez Delgado.


Óscar Salguero Montaño

This chapter examines organized Islam in the North African city of Melilla, the product of the city’s complexity in all its dimensions –historical, religious, political, economic, urban– and expressed in the interactions between religious communities, places of worship and the worshippers themselves in the public space of Melilla during the twentieth century and up to the present day. The text draws on the reflexive and critical practice that underlies social research in general and anthropology in particular, applying a spatial and urbanistic perspective to the current composition of Islam in Melilla and to the sometimes controversial influence of the state control and security apparatus on local daily life.