What the conflicts over the newly planned mosques in countries such as Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the United States have in common is the attitude that it is acceptable to build a new mosque, as long as it does not look like one. Notwithstanding the fact that Muslim citizens in these countries have a legal right to build their places of worship, such an understanding of the mosque as a specific building type very much goes against its fluid architectural concept and its multifaceted formal possibilities. While a lack of understanding and knowledge is evident in such debates, the growing public visibility of Muslims in Western Europe and the United States conditions an increasing fear of and preoccupation with the “other.” Ongoing debates over cultural and religious pluralism in the West also reveal the xenophobic and orientalist thinking that often informs these discussions. (excerpt from text Echo of Islam in the West: Reactions to the Wearable Mosque) Azra Akšamija
The lecture / performance by Azra Akšamija will continue with the round table Who is Afraid of the Other, moderated by Lana Zdravković (Slovenia).
Organization: City of Women; In collaboration with: SRC SASA; Supported by: Austrian Cultural Forum - Ljubljana.