‘You won’t find religion here’: the (in)visibility of Muslim responses to situations of mass displacement

Zaman, Tahir (2022) ‘You won’t find religion here’: the (in)visibility of Muslim responses to situations of mass displacement. Muslim World, 112 (1). pp. 78-99. ISSN 0027-4909

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Abstract

This article considers why despite mass displacement significantly affecting people from Muslim majority countries, Islamic understandings of refuge, protection and assistance remain de-centered and made peripheral in formulations of asylum and refuge. The paper begins with an interrogation of how knowledge production on Muslim life-worlds a priori gives emphasis to certain essential characteristics identified as Muslim. It is argued that this collapses understandings of the diversity of being and ‘doing’ Muslim in ways that make less visible everyday lived experiences attuned to the materiality, affect and emotion prompted by readings of Islamic tradition in displacement settings. To do so, I draw on Syrian experiences of displacement in Turkey and Greece to parse out the implications of this (in)visibility for Muslim responses to mass-displacement and question whether they can be substantively different to modalities of humanitarianism and development anchored in liberal European ontologies. It is argued that by being attentive to the structures of feeling prompted by Islamic traditions pertaining to refuge and protection reveals ways of being and doing Islam outside of statist readings of humanitarianism. Here, the Islamic tradition of jiwār (a right of and to neighbourliness) provides a decolonial vocabulary to respond to state-defined patterns of hospitality rooted in European knowledge production.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: humanitarianism, Islamic tradition, decolonial, neighbourliness, knowledge production, Syrian displacement
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Centre for Migration Research
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 07:42
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 08:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/104975

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