In this discussion, Sophie Roche will unfold the social life of migrants in, around and through the main mosque in Moscow, Prospekt Mira. This mosque is important for Putin’s politics of Islam as well as for inner-Russian Islamic sectarian tensions, and is increasingly linked to ordinary migrants from Central Asia, who constitute the large majority of the believers. Whereas inside the mosque migrants meet along ethno-linguistic lines and discuss religious as well as political issues, migrants profit most from the mosque’s administrative, social and economic services. Sophie Roche will look at these social activities, relating them to the politics and inner-Russian Islamic sectarian discussions. She argues that with Prospekt Mira a context is offered through which migrants integrate ideologically into an administratively hostile country and a society that turns increasingly Islamophobic. The material for this presentation has been collected through ethnographic fieldwork in Moscow since 2010.
Sophie Roche is currently leading the junior research group at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at the University of Heidelberg. She worked at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Germany and received her PhD from the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in 2010. She has published Domesticating Youth: Youth Bulges and their Socio-Political Implications in Tajikistan (Berghahn Books 2014) and The Faceless Terrorist. A Cultural Enquiry of Jihad (forthcoming in new open access series HeiUP). She has extensive ethnographic experiences in Tajikistan, in Russia among migrants from Central Asia and among Muslims in Germany and Turkey.
This event is part of the CERIA Initiative, generously funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.