(Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Paper Short Abstract:
Focusing on the renovation project of a mosque situated by the sea in the Israeli city of Herzliya, this paper will examine how Islamic symbols are appropriated by Muslim activists, citizens of Israel, in their struggle to construct a meaningful cultural identity within the complex Israeli context.
Paper long abstract:
Focusing on the renovation project of the Sidna Ali Mosque, which is situated by the sea in the Israeli city of Herzliya, this paper will examine how Islamic symbols are appropriated by Muslim activists, citizens of the State of Israel, in their struggle to construct a meaningful cultural identity within the complex Israeli context.
The paper will thus start with a brief description of how the project was conceived and conducted, how the volunteers were recruited and the resources gathered, discussing the concept of charisma in voluntary Islamic associations. The main part of the paper will be composed of an interpretation of the architectural, cultural, and political act of rebuilding the Sidna Ali Mosque, within the urban, historical, national, and theological interpretive frameworks.
The study of the social functions of the renovation campaign will focus on its role in unifying the people involved and on forging a collective identity based on the struggle to return the old site to Muslim hands. The spatial interpretation presented will explore the renovation as a form of Palestinian and Islamic resistance to explicit and implicit Zionist hegemony in public space. Furthermore, it will examine contesting Islamic approaches and sensitivities toward the memories embodied in the renovated Mosque.
Heritage of silenced memories