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Looking for a Safe Place

Security and Transnational Somali Muslim families

Marja Tiilikainen

This article explores human security from the perspective of those who live under the securitization and governance of Islam, i.e. Muslims themselves. I focus on one hand on the insecurities and threats that have been identified by Somali Muslims in the diaspora, and on the other hand on their means for managing insecurity and creating a sense of safety. The challenges, opportunities and experiences of the Somali diaspora are linked to the histories of immigration and race in different settlement countries, and also to global discourses and policies on Islam and Muslims. The experiences of Canadian Somalis will serve as a mirror on the situation in Europe, in particular the Nordic country of Finland, where both similarities and differences may be found.

Series:

Yafa Shanneik and Marja Tiilikainen

Abstract

In this chapter, the meaning and importance of material religion and culture for the formation of migrant women’s religious, cultural, ethnic and national identities in the diaspora will be investigated. The chapter will compare two groups of African Muslim women coming from Sudan and Somalia who migrated to two different European countries – Ireland and Finland respectively. The focus of the chapter lies in the investigation of the impact various material objects and symbols have on the women’s sense of belonging and self-understanding in a European context. The chapter will examine how Sudanese and Somali women create their private spaces within their houses through particular objects, symbols and artefacts in order to construct a ‘home’ for themselves in the diaspora.