Iraqi women in Denmark is an ethnographic study of ritual performance and place-making among Shi'a Muslim Iraqi women in Copenhagen. The book explores how Iraqi women construct a sense of belonging to Danish society through ritual performances, and investigates how this process is interrelated with their experiences of inclusion and exclusion in Denmark. The findings refute the all too simplistic assumptions of general debates on Islam and immigration in Europe that tend to frame religious practice as an obstacle to integration in the host society. In sharp contrast to the fact that the Iraqi women's religious activities in many ways contribute to categorising them as outsiders to Danish society, their participation in religious events also localises them in the city.
Written in an accessible, narrative style, this book addresses both an academic audience and the general reader interested in Islam in Europe and immigration to Scandinavia. -- .
Marianne Holm Pedersen is Senior Researcher at the National Collections Department (Danish Folklore Archives), The Royal Library -- .
Introduction: challenges of belonging Part I: Contextualising the study 1. Setting the scene: ritual performance and place-making in everyday life 2. Finding a place for oneself: processes of settlement in Denmark Part II: Ritual as a cultural prism 3. The celebration of 'Id al-fitr: notions of relatedness among extended family 4. The commemoration of Muharram: negotiating community 5. Fatima's taklif: bringing up children for a good future Part III: Notions of belonging revised 6. Living in a transnational social field: notions of belonging revised 7. Conclusion: ritual performance and belonging Glossary Notes References Index -- .