The hidden Mosques in Flanders


Muslims can make their five daily prayers anywhere.Yet Ghent Muslims soon after their arrival in the 1960s seeking a joint prayer. In the Diaspora mosques means therefore much more than in the Muslim countries of origin. They evolved from meeting the foreign into multipurpose centers embedded in the urban fabric.

Yet this ‘hidden mosques’ for the average Fleming remain invisible in the cityscape. They do not look like typical Indeed mosques with domes and minarets. Rather, they are converted townhouses or buildings that originally had a different destination. That says a lot about the position of Muslims who did not have the ability to attract new mosques.

That is gradually changing. In the early years of the Muslim presence in Europe and the West was the creation of an Islamic area mainly focused on their own group. Later self-representation to the outside world became increasingly important. While mosques used the Muslims as it were hidden behind their facades, they are today the perfect way to show himself.


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