Building and Becoming: The Shahporan Mosque and the Unfolding of Muslim Visual Identity in London

Saleem, S. 2016. Building and Becoming: The Shahporan Mosque and the Unfolding of Muslim Visual Identity in London. in: Quash, B., Rosen, A. and Reddaway, C. (ed.) Visualising a Sacred City: London, Art and Religion London I.B. Tauris. pp. 205-218

Chapter titleBuilding and Becoming: The Shahporan Mosque and the Unfolding of Muslim Visual Identity in London
AuthorsSaleem, S.
EditorsQuash, B., Rosen, A. and Reddaway, C.
Abstract

The Muslim population of Britain has almost doubled in the last decade. It has grown through second and third generation British born Muslims, the majority of whom are of South Asian origin, alongside continued inward migration and conversion. These Muslim populations have established a cultural infrastructure through Mosque building spanning 100 years. These buildings have contributed to a new post-colonial religious landscape, and have impacted the townscape of Britain’s cities to the point that they have become an intrinsic part of the national imagination.

This chapter presents a brief overview of the architectural history of the mosque in Britain, tracing the evolution of Muslim space-making from adaptations of existing and as-found buildings to the construction of purpose built places of worship. The social context of Muslim architecture is outlined, describing the relationship between social groups, histories of migration and the architectural representation of religious space.

The text then goes on to consider the visual strategies employed by Muslim diasporas in Britain and Europe in the making of their mosques, and presents some of the interpretative frameworks by which these architectures are considered. The diasporic relationship to Muslim history is explored as it its prospective role in the formulation of Muslim visual culture. The Shahporan mosque in East London is then presented as an example of a recent mosque project and considered within the context of this Muslim architectural history in Britain. The potential of this project to mark an alternative relationship to Muslim history and manifestation of identity is considered.

Book titleVisualising a Sacred City: London, Art and Religion
Page range205-218
Year2016
PublisherI.B. Tauris
Publication dates
Published30 Nov 2016
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781784536619

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