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Swedish Muslims and Secular Society: Faith-Based Engagement and Place
University of Örebro, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
University of Örebro, Sweden.
2015 (English)In: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, ISSN 0959-6410, E-ISSN 1469-9311, Vol. 26, no 2, 145-163 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article sets out to explore how Muslims in Sweden identify with and create social life in the place where they live, that is, in their neighbourhood, in their town/city and in Swedish society at large. In a paradoxical religious landscape that includes a strong Lutheran state church heritage and a Christian free-church tradition, in what is, nevertheless, a very secular society, Muslims may choose different strategies to express their faith, here roughly described as "retreatist," "engaged" or "essentialist/antagonistic." Focusing on a non-antagonistic, engaged stance, and drawing upon a combination of authors interviews, and materials published in newspapers and on the Internet, we first bring to the fore arguments by Muslim leaders in favour of creating a Muslim identity with a Swedish brand, and second give some examples of local Muslim individuals, acting as everyday makers in their neighbourhood, town or city. Third, we also give attention to an aggressively negative Islamophobic stance expressed both in words and in physical violence in parts of Swedish society. In conclusion, we reflect upon the challenges and potentialities of an emotionally engaged, dialogue-orientated Muslim position facing antagonistic interpretations of Islam, and an ignorant, sometimes Islamophobic, environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor and Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles , 2015. Vol. 26, no 2, 145-163 p.
Keyword [en]
Muslims in Sweden; faith and place; faith-based engagement; Muslim everyday makers; Islam in Sweden; Muslims facing Islamophobia
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117363DOI: 10.1080/09596410.2015.1013324ISI: 000352355200003OAI: diva2:807870
Available from: 2015-04-24 Created: 2015-04-24 Last updated: 2015-05-27

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