Power and Powerlessness in European Mosques

In the politically contested reality of Mosques in Europe, Vinding’s Danish research project is looking at the resources, competences and abilities of Mosques in context, in order to understand the challenges that Mosques are facing in a proportionate and power-critical way. In the political myths that are produced in Europe these years, Mosques and Muslim leadership have been portrayed as subversive, counter-culture places and agents that threaten social cohesion, integration efforts, public order, and rule of law.

Our hypothesis is that this gets the power-relations backward. Research on mosques has more appropriately demonstrated a considerable lack of resources, ability, significance and influence – in short, their relative powerlessness – as opposed to the institutional, governmental and symbolic powers that politicians are wielding, making Mosques and Muslim leadership the antagonists of European political theatre.

In operable terms, we have been building on Mosques representatives’ and Muslim leadership’s self-understanding about the scope and ability of Mosques to charter a comparative analytical model of what Mosques do, are able to, and aspire to do, assessing how well they live up to their own ambitions and the expectations of Muslims.

❖ 30 October 2019, 12pm – 1pm | Hollander 317

Niels Valdemar VindingDr. Niels Valdemar Vinding is from Denmark. He has a BA in Theology (University of Copenhagen, 2006), an MA in Islamic Studies (University of Copenhagen, 2009), and a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies (University of Copenhagen, 2013). Currently, he is working on a Post Doc at the Department on Cross-cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. His general research is on Islam and Muslims in Denmark and Europe as part of a research team working on research about mosques in Denmark, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.