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Yafa Shanneik


This article discusses the conversion experiences as recalled by Irish women who converted to Islam during the so-called ‘Celtic-Tiger’ period—the years of Ireland’s dramatic economic boom and major socio-cultural transformations between 1995 and 2007. In this period, the increasing religious diversity of Irish society and the decline of the social authority of the Catholic Church facilitated the exploration of alternative religious and spiritual affiliations. Irish women converts to Islam are an example of the emergence of a post-Catholic subjectivity in Ireland during the Celtic Tiger years. The women’s agency is illustrated through the choice of Islam as a religion and a cultural space different to Catholicism in order to gain status, power and control within the various religious and ethnic communities. This article is the first major study on conversion to Islam in Ireland during this period.

Mapping Shia Muslim Communities in Europe

Local and Transnational Dimensions: An Introduction to the Special Issue

Yafa Shanneik, Chris Heinhold and Zahra Ali


This article provides an introduction to the special issue on Mapping Shia Muslim Communities in Europe.1 With six empirically rich case studies on Shia Muslim communities in various European countries, this issue intends: first, to illustrate the historical developments and emergence of the Shia presence in Europe; second, to highlight the local particularities of the various Shia communities within each nation state and demonstrate their transnational links; and third, to provide for the first time an empirical comparative study on the increasingly visible presence of Shia communities in Europe that fills an important gap in research on Muslims in Europe.