M. Khalid Rhazzali, Valentina Schiavinato

Islam of the Cell. Sacralisation processes and everyday life in prison

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Muslim Detainees; Subjectivity; Sacred Spaces; Cell; Social Dimension.

Consideration of the religious dimension within prisons tends to focus, more or less implicitly, on the «institutional» aspects of religion, such as the presence or absence of spaces and times for prayer, and the access of religious assistants to prison. The subjective and relational dimensions of everyday religious experience are thus disregarded. This article investigates the religious lived experienced by Muslim inmates in Italian prisons. Islam is a particularly interesting case, reflecting and amplifying a process observable in European society outside prison walls: the «formatting» of Muslim religion on local religious institutions, through camouflage and «do-it-yourself» processes .The analysis focuses in particular on: the negotiation of space dedicated to religious practice; the ambivalence between recognition of religious rights and consideration of religion as a tool of prevention and control; the ways in which the elements that define the cell (space, time, people and «objects») constitute a «privileged» environment for the development of the religious experience of the detainee.

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