In recent years, considerable attention has been given to the experiences of minority groups which are marginalised within a rural context. However, little attention has been paid to religious minorities in rural regions. This scarcity of attention is surprising considering the attention paid to religion in issues of multiculturalism and inclusive citizenship. This paper discusses the experiences of one particular religious group, Muslims, in rural west Wales. The article concentrates on experiences of absence from the landscape (i.e. the physical landscape and the broader images and values that convey ideas about places), which can create difficulties in fostering a sense of community. It also looks at local Muslims’ construction of the landscape in moral and Christian terms. The paper suggests that these experiences transcend ideas of ‘exclusion/belonging’, and attest to a complex relationship between local Muslims and this rural region.
Muslims in Rural Wales: disconnection, faith and belonging
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