Muslim Minorities: Space, Religion and Governance

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 6:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony L, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Arshad Isakjee, Robina Mohammad
Chairs: Arshad Isakjee


Muslim Minorities: Space, Religion and Governance

This session aims to provide a platform to discuss the lives and the politics of Muslim minority populations. Muslim minorities have become routinely represented as ‘outsiders’, the paradigmatic ‘other’, whose presence is threatening to ‘Western’ liberalism (Said 2012, Todorov 2010, Alexander et al, 2007). The escalation of migration flows into Europe and perceptions of refugee ‘crises’ globally has seen the surging of islamophobia, which in turn has been drawn on to mobilise a rightward shift, evident in the rise of populist nationalists. Far-right parties in countries including Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland and Australia are increasingly exploiting anti-Muslim sentiment, also reflected in popular discourse. Anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies have also played a role in recent elections and referendums including in the United Kingdom and the US. In other parts of the world too, the imagined (often implausible) threat of Muslim expansion or domination is utilised to assert normative political power and bolster nationalism (Parnini 2013). Similarly, notions of European whiteness may then too may be re-constructed as distinct cultural identities, in direct response to ‘othered’ Muslim identities.
More research is required, in relation to the ways in which Muslim ‘otherness’ and problematisation is constructed/activated through mechanisms of governance, policy and representation - operating at a range of spatial scales. This avenue of work may include explorations of political engagement and its problematics, as well as critiques of Muslim representation. More research is required on the myriads of ways in which Muslim marginality in Europe is produced at the intersection of gender, race, class and sexuality. Research is also sought into the ways in which these global and national politics is affecting and impacting upon everyday life for Muslim minority communities, to add to a body of rich literature produced by geographers over the last decade (see Hopkins 2007). Geographers have recently joined sociologists in exploring the nature of discriminations towards Muslims – and there is evidence that Islamophobic abuse is a distinctly gendered phenomenon (Allen et al 2007). Moreover the cultural politics of religion and secularity (Gokariksel 2009) are applied to or conflated with Muslim minority belonging, and both at individual and institutional levels, Muslims often have to negotiate themselves through societies and communities, not wholly accepting of their presence. This session will provide a forum for discussing these diverse sets of issues.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Arshad Isakjee University of Liveprool 15 4:40 PM
Presenter Robin Finlay*, Newcastle University, Impacts of Islamophobia on the political and civic participation of young Muslims in Scotland 20 4:55 PM
Presenter Amy Piedalue*, Australia India Institute, Muslim Minorities & the Geopolitics of Hate: A Transnational Comparison of India, Australia, and the U.S. 20 5:15 PM
Presenter Shadia Husseini De Araújo*, University of Brasília, “Muslims bring a cosmopolitan flair to Brazil’s small cities”: Media representations of Muslim migrant workers in the Brazilian halal industry 20 5:35 PM
Presenter Alessandro Boussalem*, , Voices from the intersection: exploring the experiences and narratives of LGBTQ people from a Muslim background living in Brussels, Belgium. 20 5:55 PM

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