The Politics of Traditions

  • Sophie Roche
Part of the Transcultural Research – Heidelberg Studies on Asia and Europe in a Global Context book series (TRANSCULT)


The mosque is the most important building for Muslims. As such, the construction and management of mosques has received considerable attention from Central Asian political regimes, whether local rulers or colonial powers. Since the teahouse and mosque are reserved for men only, the village community is defined through its (senior) male inhabitants. This is especially true for the teahouse meetings that take place during Ramadan and, in mountainous regions, during the winter months.

The concept of tradition employed in this chapter works as a means of creating relationships across time and space, serving to historically root the novel practices of the local communities. Built at the same time as the mosques in local communities, local traditions serve to reconnect those attending those mosques to the Muslim world and its history. In this sense, we see a competition over the meaning of “mosque,” whether it is a national tradition or a rhizomatic part of global Muslim society. While the first section concentrates on the village community as it works and develops within the village around the mosque, the second section investigates the relation between the state, the local communities and the individuals.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Roche
    • 1
  1. 1.Social AnthropologyKarl Jaspers Center for Advanced Transcultural StudiesHeidelbergGermany

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