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Islamic Organisations in Western Switzerland
Actors, Networks, and Socio-Cultural Activities
Elisa Banfi, Matteo Gianni (ed.)
This book shows how, over the past forty years, Islamic organisations in Western Switzerland have established themselves and organised at both the cantonal and national levels. Based on empirical observations, the chapters demonstrate that, contrary to what is often believed, Islamic organisations do not focus their activities only on religious activities. Instead, by improving their deliberative practices, they have facilitated cultural, social, and religious activities while promoting social justice, political recognition, and equality of opportunity, often with programs aiming at reaching beyond the Muslim audience. In particular, the book shows how these organisations have attempted to translate their religious worldview into practices that align also with secular values, allowing them to negotiate and build consensus with public institutions to provide welfare services to both Muslim and non-Muslim populations, as well as programs to prevent radicalisation within a secular and democratic framework. Through deliberative practices, including youth organisations and umbrella Islamic organisations, these groups have found ways to overcome their lack of representation and power in the political sphere. This book goes beyond specific cantonal cases to address broader issues related to the social and cultural engagement of Islamic organisations in Switzerland, bridging the gap between Islamic studies and organisational network studies.