A Silent Quest for New Shīʿa Religious Leaders in Italy

In: Journal of Muslims in Europe
Minoo Mirshahvalad Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Turin Turin Italy

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The special tie between Shīʿas and their religious authority ignites curiosity about the probable evolution of this relationship in a non-Islamic milieu. This paper aims to analyse why the conventional forms of the Shīʿa authority does not suit the life condition in Italy and why there is an implicit demand for new Shīʿa leaders. The answer is given through a two-year empirical research on the Shīʿas’ life in the peninsula. Two factors are deemed responsible of this inadequacy: first, the definition and expectations of the Italian society of the Islamic authority, and second, the Shīʿas’ exigencies that are not met in their relations with the traditional authority.

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