1st Edition

Rethinking Islam and Space in Europe The Politics of Race, Time and Secularism

Edited By C.J.J. Moses, Tobias Müller, Adela Taleb Copyright 2023
    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    236 Pages
    by Routledge

    The role of Islam in public spaces is one of the most prevalent political questions in Europe. Contestations around the construction of mosques, the ban of Islamic veils and populist rhetoric about “problematic” neighbourhoods indicate Europe’s struggles with the place of its second largest religion. This book advocates for an analytical turn in the study of Islam in Europe using space as a central conceptual lens. While spatial approaches are gaining traction in the study of religion, migration, ethnicity, race, and politics, the chapters in this book argue that the critical potential of a spatialised analysis in the field of Islam in Europe remains largely unexplored.

    This volume presents a collection of nine empirical studies that offer insights into how scholars might exploit the category of space when analysing both current political issues and broader conceptual questions in the social sciences. And more specifically, how does a spatial perspective on Islam contribute to a deeper understanding of the formations of the state, ethnicity, race, secularism, gender, and colonial structures?

    Rethinking Islam and Space in Europe is a significant new contribution to racial and ethnic studies in Europe, and will be a great resource for academics, researchers, and advanced students of Politics, Sociology, Social and Political Geography, Anthropology and Religious Studies.

    The chapters in this book were originally published as a 2021 special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.

    Introduction: Islam and space in Europe: the politics of race, time, and secularism

    Tobias Müller, Adela Taleb and C. J. J. Moses

    PART I: Governing space: state interventions and Islamic practices

    1. State, space and secularism: towards a critical study of governing religion

    Tobias Müller

    2. Choreographies of public space: race, religion and urban regimes

    Mar Griera and Marian Burchardt

    3. Islam, locality and trust: making Muslim spaces in the Netherlands

    Thijl Sunier

    PART II: Islam and institutions: spatial configurations of the secular and the religious

    4. EUrope in focus: Imperial formations in the fabric of the European Union

    Adela Taleb

    5. “The Muslims are taking over”: the politics of space and geopolitical and national imaginaries in an English prison

    Ryan Williams

    6. Establishing a Waqf: space and the study of Islam

    C. J. J. Moses

    PART III: Performance and space: subjectivity, contestation and embodiment

    7. Pietaskscapes of halal living: subjectivity, striving, and spacemaking in Muslim Russia

    Matteo (Teo) Benussi

    8. Spatial performances of gender, Islam and the “secular”: Muslim girls’ playing football in Dutch public playgrounds

    Kathrine van den Bogert

    9. Mobilizing Karbala: sonic remediations in Berlin Ashura processions

    Peter McMurray

    Afterword on Islam and space in Europe: the dynamism of a field

    Kim Knott


    C.J.J. Moses has a PhD in the Anthropology of Religion from the University of Cambridge.

    Tobias Müller is Affiliated Lecturer at the University of Cambridge and Research Fellow at THE NEW INSTITUTE, Hamburg.

    Adela Taleb is a PhD candidate at the Institute for European Ethnology of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.