Society for the Anthropology of Europe
Oral Presentation Session
What should a mosque be used for? And by whom? These are some of the questions guiding this presentation. The presentation is based on the sub-project Minority Making: How Mosques Shape Muslims, which is part of the larger Danish Mosques: Significance, Use and Influence funded by the Danish Research Council (2017-2020). In this project, we seek to challenge pulic and academic understandings of what a mosque is and can be in contemporary Denmark, and in my sub-project, I take a closer look at mosque users and their (often conflictual) expectations and ambitions.
Taking conversations with board members and members of the youth groups from just one provincial mosque as my point of departure (The Islamic Congregation [Islamisk Trossamfund], Ørbækvej, Odense, Funen), I show how different conceptualisations of minority identity and minority obligations vis-à-vis local and national community building necessitate thinking of authority along new lines. Thus, inspired by cultural geographers Doreen Massey and Tim Cresswell I argue that analyses of usage of the mosque – of the mosque as place constituted by intersecting activities – provide insights into how mosques frame and challenge ideas of authority, community and minority.