For whom the bell tolls? Contesting the Adhansin majority non-muslim societies

Uriya Shavit, Fabian Spengler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, requests by mosque authorities across Europe to broadcast the adhans(calls to prayer) have triggered fierce protests at both local and national levels. Concernswere not limited to noise nuisances, but reflected also the belief that adhans representan Islamic quest for domination and a decline of Christian values. Based onan analysis of case-studies in England, Sweden and Germany, the article traces thedynamics of contestations over adhans in Europe and argues that the hybrid practical-symbolic approach to this specific Islamic practice is characteristic of a broadertrend, and complicates conflicts that can be reasonably reconciled within a liberalcontext. Drawing a comparison to adhans in mosques in Israel, which have alsobecome hotly debated, the article demonstrates how different socio-political contextsaffect the outcomes of these contestations. It further emphasizes that in liberalsocieties, the demands and attitudes of majorities as well as minorities should beinformed by universal guidelines drawn from the foundations of liberal theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-464
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


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