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Accepted Paper:

Alevis and the dilemma of the ban of minarets in Switzerland  
Virginia Suter Reich (ZHAW)

Paper long abstract:

While in November 2009 the majority of Swiss people voted for a ban of minarets, Swiss Alevi organizations faced difficulties in taking a clear position towards this political issue. On the one side, they agree with the opponents of the ban and qualify it as a threat against religious freedom. On the other side, they support the voting result, as they interpret it as a clear statement against political Islam.

My paper attempts to explore the Swiss Alevi organizations' ambiguous attitude towards the "minaret-initiative". I will relate their position to their strategies of incorporation in Switzerland, to their political and societal situation in Turkey, as well as their transnational activities within a European network of Alevi associations. I argue that their attitude towards the ban of minarets reflects, both, the Alevis' specific position in the religious landscape in Switzerland, and, their strategies of transnational politics of recognition.

Panel W005
At the margins of Islam in Europe
  Session 1