Paper long abstract:
In winter 2009 thousands of people took to the streets of Oslo to demonstrate against the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Young people of visible minority and Muslim background were central actors in the demonstrations. The public manifestation of Muslim identities and symbols during the demonstrations, and clashes between some of the young demonstrators and the police, fuelled already polarized debates about the integration of immigrant youth and Islamic radicalism in the Norwegian public debate. In this paper we investigate how social imaginaries related to Islam, secular leftist internationalism, and integration nations mediated engagement in the Gaza question. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and web-ethnography we follow the engagement of youth organised in a multi-ethnic Oslo mosque on- and off-line. Challenging the framing of the demonstrations within a conventional migration and integration paradigm, we analyse the Gaza-mobilization in light of the concept of social imaginaries and transnational social movements theory.
Globalisation, crises and imagination in contemporary social movements