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Ergün Erkoçu, Cihan Buğdacı

The Mosque.
Political, Architectural and Social Transformations

Design: Studio Léon & Loes, Illustrated (colour), hardcover, 192 pages, Size: 22 x 22 cm
English edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-691-4 , € 35.00
Dutch edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-571-9
April 2009

With the support of the Netherlands Architecture Fund and the Intendants for Cultural Diversity programme of the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB)

The Mosque.Innocent houses of worship or bulwarks of fundamentalism? We all have our own ideas about mosques, and many of those ideas go beyond the domain of architecture. In Europe, mosques are a central issue in the debates about the integration of Muslims and the potential dangers of Islam. In recent years, such debates have often edged out serious architectural discussion of European mosques, and the domes and minarets of traditional mosque architecture have come to symbolize this entire field of controversy.

The aim of this book is to bring greater depth and nuance to the debate about mosques. Amongst others politician Frits Bolkestein, architect Wilfried van Winden, sociologist Willem Schinkel, theologist/philosopher Tariq Ramadan, anthropologist Eric Roose and Ole Bouman, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, share their interdisciplinary perspectives on the emergence of this new architectural typology and explain its narrow and broad social impact. With a visual presentation of the historical and general features of the mosque (Mosguide), as well as three intriguing pictorial essays and a range of politically and socially informed essays and opinion pieces, Erkoçu en Buğdacı rethink the meaning of mosques in the Western European context. Recent mosque designs serve to illustrate how rewarding this approach can be – in social, functional and architectural terms.

Ergün Erkoçu became known in the Netherlands in 2003 as one of the creators of the concept of the ‘Polder Mosque’. In The Mosque. he and co-author Cihan Buğdacı present an interdisciplinary vision on the role of the mosque in Dutch society. Approximately 800,000 Muslims in the Netherlands have access to almost 500 mosques. In the 1970s, mosques were accommodated in old school buildings, factories or churches, but today we are seeing the construction of new mosques that literally render Islam visible in society.

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