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Spreading Whose Word? Transnational Imams, Religion and Politics in Turkey’s Mosques Abroad (France, UK, USA)

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 796193

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 269 857,80

  • EU contribution

    € 269 857,80

Coordinated by:

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

United Kingdom

Objective

Since the early 2000s, Muslim Diasporas in Europe and the USA have raised a growing interest in the public and academic spheres. While building upon this interest, the proposed research aims to bring an original contribution to the field by adopting a transnational perspective that focuses on the religious policy of Turkey towards its diaspora. The study will concentrate on the imams sent to Europe and the USA to work in the mosques managed by the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet). The ethnographic study of these “transnational imams” aims to go beyond a state-centered analysis of Turkish religious policy abroad in terms of “soft power” or “religious diplomacy”. Instead, it proposes to evaluate the modalities and limits of this policy by concentrating on the training, motivations, mobility and achievements of these imams, as well as the ways they are perceived by different components of the Turkish diaspora, with special focus on France, the UK and the USA. The interdisciplinary approach at the crossroad of political science, sociology and anthropology will address the political and religious dimensions of the ideology conveyed by the Diyanet imams and question their impact on the Turkish communities settled abroad, in terms of religious practices, political affiliation, integration and possible radicalisation. The comparative perspective will take into account the history and social characteristics of these distinct Turkish diasporas and the different traditions of state/religion relationship in the three countries under study to analyse the strategies of the Diyanet and evaluate its results. Thus, by focusing on Turkey’s religious policy abroad, the proposed study aims to bring an original contribution on political Islam as a transnational ideology that mobilises state resources, religious establishments and local communities to spread a polymorphous political and religious discourse.

Coordinator

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

Address

Houghton Street 1
Wc2a 2ae London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 269 857,80

Partners (1)

YALE UNIVERSITY

United States

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 796193

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 November 2018

  • End date

    31 October 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 269 857,80

  • EU contribution

    € 269 857,80

Coordinated by:

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

United Kingdom