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Accepted paper:

A Pool Table at a Mosque?: How Mosque Associations in Strasbourg Attempt to Regulate Turkish Men's Mobility in the Franco-German Borderland

Author:

Oğuz Alyanak (University of Gottingen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper asks what function games such as the billiards, the Playstation, and the flechettes serve in a mosque association, and investigates their efficacy in deterring men from spending time in other venues outside.

Paper long abstract:

Islam is often considered an itinerary religion. Today, in Europe, Islam continues to retain its itinerary nature as many migrant men define themselves through the Islamic faith. Its itinerary quality, however, is as much a cherished part as it is feared. Mobility, of man and woman alike, is feared for movement of the body across borders, and from the confines of home and mosques spaces which are expected to be pure to workspaces and outside, which are deemed to be contaminated with pollution of a moral kind, leaves Muslims vulnerable to their "nefs", that is, the carnal desires of the mortal body, thereby encouraging them to sin. For my interlocutors in Strasbourg, Turkish men and their France-born second and third generation offspring, excursions after work constitute a moral concern as men, rather than going home to their families, or to mosque associations for ethical cultivation, wander around the borderland, killing time in coffeehouses, each other's snack doner shops and restaurants, apartment-fronts, and in certain instances, casinos and brothels. In this paper, I investigate how mosque associations attempt to curb's male mobility in Strasbourg, and the wider Franco-German borderland region. Rather than consider the mosque as solely a space of ethical cultivation, I explore leisurely activities organized within its confines. I ask what function games oriented toward male leisurely consumption, such as the billiards, the Playstation, and the flechettes serve, and investigate their efficacy in deterring men from spending time in other venues outside.

panel P181
Religion, (im)mobilities and citizenship in the face of populism