Eimen, Alisa. "Mosque, Dome, Minaret: Ahmadiyya Architecture in Germany since 2000." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 4, Number 1 (pp. 109-136), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2014.
This article examines the role of dome and minaret forms in recent mosque architecture through a case study of Ahmadiyya building activity in Germany. Although viewed by the majority of Muslims as a heretical sect, the Ahmadiyya are a visible Muslim presence in Germany as a result of their missionary activities and mosque-building campaigns. Exploring their mosque architectural practices both demonstrates the variety of belief and practice in Islam and enables analysis of conventions in mosque architecture, especially the dome and minaret. These forms trigger a range of associations for Muslims and non-Muslims, which have been complicated by Orientalist presuppositions concerning sacred space and the ‘other’. Thus the design and building process is a challenging one, as the community attempts to establish a distinct and non-threatening presence in Germany. Along these lines, domes and minarets are integral elements, connecting current structures to past building traditions and regions. Specialists in the field of architecture, however, are interested in innovation, often regarding dome and minaret forms as clichéd. This article examines the layered meanings that undergird continued use of conventions in mosque architecture, arguing that the domes and minarets convey important lessons to the worshipper about history, memory and ritual practice and assist in effecting attachment to place.