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The paper explores the opening of a purpose-built mosque in Copenhagen, Denmark, treating it as a case of cross-cultural encounters in urban public space. The encounters explored in this paper take a specific form. They are mediated through the architecture and materiality of the mosque and the symbolic signs and public imaginations attached to it. And they are connected to a specific event – the opening of the mosque. In the first part of the paper, a conceptual framework is presented that brings together literature on three different notions: encounters, events and the conceptual pair visibility/invisibility. Following this, the paper explores the opening event, the public debate that surrounded it, the process leading up to the opening and some reactions in the months that followed. The paper concludes by showing how the opening event expresses several paradoxes. The controversies over the visibility of Islam in public space push to the extremes stereotypical imaginations and islamophobic feelings. At the same time, however, they bring together different groups in unprecedented ways and create new constellations over political, religious and cultural boundaries.
Bibliografisk noteImportant note from the Publisher regarding the attached document “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social & Cultural Geography on 13 Sep 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14649365.2017.1373144”
- Encounter, event, visibility, Islam, public space, mosques