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Book chapter - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Adapting to 'one-size-fits-all': constructing appropriate Islamic burial spaces in Northwestern Europe

House, Danielle; Westendorp, Mariske; Dornelles, Vevila; Nordh, Helena; Islam, Farjana


In this chapter, we use a comparative approach to explore the nuanced experiences of disposition in various Muslim communities in diverse social, cultural, and policy contexts. Through a sample of cases from different countries in Northwest Europe (Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden and Norway), we see how Muslim communities negotiate burial space in countries where Islamic burial is framed as a ‘minority’ practice. We first outline Islamic deathscapes in this region and locate this within literature on burial practices, identity, and belonging. We then explore three specific issues within this: the choice of whether migrant Muslims are buried in their country of origin or the town they are living in; the physical segregation and experience of Islamic burial spaces; and Islamic memorial and grave aesthetics. This reveals that current Islamic burial in Northwest Europe is not simply a blending of minority and majority norms, but a much more complex, fluid, and responsive field.


Muslim, Burial; Northwest Europe; Deathscapes; Identity; Minority burial practices

Published in

Title: New Perspectives on Urban Deathscapes : Continuity, Change, and Contestation
ISBN: 978-1-80220-238-0, eISBN: 978-1-80220-239-7
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Human Geography
    International Migration and Ethnic Relations

    Publication identifier


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