From Granting the Right (?!) Answers to Posing Odd Questions: Perspectives on Studying and Presenting Muslim Minorities in a Politicized, Western Context

Garbi Schmidt


The examples that I draw on are all taken from Denmark; a country where the debate over Islam as a part of (or rather, not a part of) society has been heated for more than a decade, to such an extent that the heat has been “exported” to other parts of the world. The Danish case illustrates several factors central to the problematic analyzed in this volume of Tidsskrift for Islamforskning: the politicization of the research field has extraordinary consequences for research environments and knowledge production, and how we as researchers are perceived by those we portray and those we present to. This issue inevitably leads me to the second point that I believe the e-mail illustrates: that the endeavour of research is attached to the person who carries out the research. Beyond its implications for how we carry out our profession, this issue also – and importantly – shows that the line between person and product is porous. The question I want to focus on is that if we cannot claim detachment from the objects we produce, are we then political agents, do we lack neutrality, and what kind of knowledge and not least reality production do we thus participate in?


islamic studies; public debate; research

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