The new Mosques in Flanders



New mosques in Flanders – Between nostalgia and reality

Mosques today are barely visible in the streets. They are often located in old factories, old townhouses or shops. These mosques often remain hidden from the search of the first generations of Muslims for cheap (temporary) places of worship. In parallel with the continued existence of these hidden mosques are slowly but surely build mosques, as in the Limburg Beringen, Sledderlo, Winterslag … The characteristic of these mosques is that they have the characteristics of its architecture ‘nostalgia mosques. They seem, as it were (old) replicas of the mosques in the country of origin with domes and minarets of the main physical characteristics are. Along with the emergence of this oriental / exotic looking new mosques is the management of mosques, and hence the mosque construction, increasingly in the hands of young men. Their religious beliefs as a Muslim socialized in a non-Islamic environment, is very different from that of their parents. The vision of building the mosque will be different from that will have changed the needs of their parents, and there will possibly be more influenced by the Western / Flemish style. So we can speak of an evolution of hidden mosques on (romanticized) ‘nostalgia mosques’ to mosques included in the Flemish architectural landscape.

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