Accepted Paper:

The production of 'Norwegian Muslims': from immigrants to citizens?  

Author:

Christine M Jacobsen (University of Bergen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on Muslim youth and student organizations in Norway, and the ways in which their members ebrace, resist and negotiate national and religious identities.

Paper long abstract:

In February 2006, TV-spectators around the world watched the Norwegian flag burn as Muslims in the Middle East protested the publishing by Danish and Norwegian newspapers of the so-called Mohammed-caricatures. When confronted by the media as to his reactions, the leader of the Muslim Student Association in Oslo declared himself to be doubly offended: first by the caricatures, and subsequently by the burning of the Norwegian flag. This paper deals with young women and men affiliated to Muslim youth and student organizations in Oslo, and the ways in which they publicly engage in redefining what it means to be a Muslim in Norway. Focusing on the production of the category "Norwegian Muslim", and the ways in which young Muslims embrace, resist and negotiate national and religious identities, the author argues that what it means to be a Norwegian Muslim to activist young Muslims is shaped both by the discourses and practices of the nation-state and by the discourses and practices of transnational Islam. The ways in which young Muslims are shaped and shape themselves as citizen-subjects is shown to be neither a passive adaptation to dominant norms, nor a refusal of these, but a complex process of negotiation that foregrounds "participation" rather than "integration".

Panel W098
Islam within and across religiously diverse communities: case studies from Muslims in the Balkans and Europe