Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and Across by Stefano Allievi, Jorgen Nielsen

By Stefano Allievi, Jorgen Nielsen

The subject of this number of articles is the more and more transnational nature of Islam in Europe in addition to the mechanisms wherein the transnationalism is activated, specifically the media. The papers combine particular case stories with extra common and thematic issues.

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Additional info for Muslim Networks and Transnational Communities in and Across Europe (Muslim Minorities, 1) (Muslim Minorities, 1)

Sample text

The Moroccan govern­ ment has actively attempted to maintain political control of its emi­ grés through its workers’ association, the Amicales (Dassetto and Bastenier 1984, 187–189). In France the situation has regularly been complicated by the impact of Algerian politics and political organi­ sations, not made any simpler by the anomalous status of the Paris Mosque (Boyer, 1992). 1. Example UK Let me before proceeding further give an example of how these ‘first-generation’ networks were developed in the United Kingdom as part of the first phase of immigration and settlement into the 1980s.

Often in Britain such groups represent an alliance between a charismatic spiritual leader and a group of fam­ ilies or clans led by a business or professional elite. Such a more informal type of grouping has in the past been more ‘invisible’ to outside observers and has been slower to establish a recognisable form of organisation. This delay has had the consequence that just when funding from external sources, often related to oil wealth, has withered and thus affected the more ‘orthodox’ groupings, we begin to see Brelwi groups taking their place as sponsors of major mosque construction projects funded overwhelmingly by the community itself.

As this shifting of identity takes place, the importance of the media of communication rises. Above all, the language associated with ethnic and national identity loses an absolute role and is complemented by those languages which enable Muslims to communicate across the particularities. This has, of course, meant an increasing attention being paid to Arabic among those communities where Arabic is not the mother tongue. As young Muslims are seeking to discover for themselves what it means to be Muslim in Europe, they have nat­ urally had to turn to Arabic to be able to read the source texts of Qur"àn and Óadìth.

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