Grounded religiosities, embodied responsibility and forms of Muslim place-making in Melbourne (16044)
Policy and public debates regarding civic and political engagement by Muslims in Australia have tended to cast Islamic religiosity as a barrier to full and active citizenship. In this paper we draw upon fieldwork, interviews, and photo based ethnography conducted in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong and Melbourne’s CBD, to argue that embodied performances of religiosity in the city shape new expressions of Muslim identity and belonging, whilst increasing bodily capacities in claiming rights of citizenship. Through multiple allegiances and the the stirring of emotions across different interconnected scales - virtual, global and local- religiosity as a form of spiritual and social connection, provides a sense of comfort and agency that displaces fear, antagonism and anxiety and enables those who feel excluded to engage politically and become more ‘active’ citizens. We argue that these grounded acts of religiosity have the potential to unsettle self/other distinctions and invigorate new conceptualisations of Muslim subjectivity, citizenship, and belonging.