Negotiating absence and presence: rural Muslims and 'subterranean' sacred spaces

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Rural Muslims' lives have received less attention than those of their urban counterparts in secular liberal democracies. Muslims' experiences of rural regions are characterised by a visible absence on the one hand, but a physical presence on the other. In this paper, the concept of the subterranean is invoked to understand the negotiation between superficial absences and physical presence. Conscious of the clandestine associations of the subterranean, it is argued that this illustrates a tactical making-do with limited resources rather than self-segregation. It is concluded that absences and presence in rural multiculturalism are complex, contingent and have a temporal nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-350
JournalSpace and Polity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


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