Nilüfer Göle

The disruptive visibility of Islam in the European public space: political issues, theoretical questions

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Islam; Europe; public space; visibility; chronotopes

In this essay, I try to consider the appearance of Islam in European public debates in a new way. I focus especially on the visibility of Islamic practices and their effects on European public space. In order to do so, I prefer to use the concept of public space instead of that of public sphere so as to consider the encounters between Islamic immigrants and European citizens as a theatrical event. Drawing on Hannah Arendt's thought I develop both a concept of visibility as public action and a new concept of religious agency. Finally, referring to the conceptual tools elaborated by the literary theorist Mikhail Bakhtin, I propose to consider the appearance of Islamic actors, practices, and habitus into the European public space as something capable of transforming the experience of both time and space of citizenship.

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