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Language use and Islamic practices in multilingual Europe


This article draws on fieldwork conducted into the linguistic practices of religious languages by three Muslim individuals in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. All informants or their ancestors in the study were born in the Muslim quarter of the Indian sub-continent, with the exception of one informant who hails from Suriname. Few works (Schor 1985; Haque 2012, 2014; Zolberg and Woon 1999) in sociolinguistics focus on the practice of Islam by immigrants in their daily lives, where a plethora of languages are used for different functions. As a field of social inquiry, there is also an attempt to understand the role or impact of religion in the immigrant’s life as a practicing Muslim. The findings suggest that Arabic remains the principal liturgical language for prayers, while Urdu was rendered as a sanctified language for many believers, as literature on Islamic teaching is widely available in this language.

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