Becker, Elisabeth. "Reconstructing the Muslim Self in Diaspora: Socio-Spatial Practices in Urban European Mosques."pp. 389-414
Scholarship on mosques in Europe largely reflects public debates over the visibility and (in)civility of large diaspora Muslim populaces. This paper argues that postmigrant communities forge or dismantle boundaries with the mainstream through spatial practices in the mosque. Through a comparative study of two large representative mosques in Europe – the ?ehitlik Mosque in Berlin and the East London Mosque – this paper shows how mosque communities employ local and transnationally linked spatial practices in order to reconstruct collective identities in diaspora. The mosque becomes a spatial opportunity in which post-migrant Muslim populaces engage with, and in, the two capital cities at hand (Berlin and London), rather than the subject of ongoing debates over national belonging. In both cases, the space of the mosque is used to espouse specific visions of collective identity and belonging, in spite of myriad exclusions. Analysing the spatial practices of mosque communities opens new opportunities for understanding the reconstruction of Muslim selves in diaspora.