Ph.D. Student in lslamic Studies, Religion and Society, Harvard University; Graduate Student Affiliate, CES, Harvard University
February 22, 2019
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall
**Please note: The Dissertation Workshop is a graduate educational seminar and is open only to graduate students and their advisors.**
Based on 12 months of fieldwork from the fall of 2015 to the summer of 2016, Deirdre DeBruyn Rubio's chapter looks at Muslim participation in interfaith initiatives in Paris to demonstrate how Muslim interfaith activists have mobilized and created strategies of resistance in a rapidly changing political landscape. It continues the premise from chapter one of her dissertation, that presentation and visibility describe religious actors’ participation at interfaith events, but it seeks to analyze how Muslim engagement at interfaith events in Paris takes different forms than in Boston.
Based on fieldwork performed at a suburban mosque and a suburban prayer hall, DeBruyn Rubio argues that interfaith events work to construct a path for Muslims to make themselves visible as engaged citizens with strong religious convictions. The form of this French “religious citizenship” differs from that imagined by American Muslims, as French secularism (laïcité) constrains the ways that religious believers express and enact their faith, if they wish to be recognized as full citizens.
Of particular interest in this chapter is the ways that Muslim participants of interfaith associations are entering the public sphere, which in France is imagined to be neutral and laïque. Through the cases of two mosque open houses, this chapter shows how Muslims are attempting to make their citizenship visible despite the institutional constraints that are shaped by laïcité.