Facets of charity: Muslim ethics, postcolonial dynamics, and community-making in Portugal

Raquel Carvalheira


This article examines the networks of charity developed by Muslims to discuss community-making in Portugal. Giving allows donors to create affective and moral spaces of communal life with recipients of aid that move beyond the ethical and pious dimensions of charity. By exploring past and present postcolonial links between two Muslim groups in Portugal, I argue that acts of charity allow us to explore the material conditions of Muslim groups in Europe and the tensions emerging from power hierarchies. This article demonstrates that home-making is built in the unstable and ambiguous adjustments between the narratives of horizontal belonging to the umma and the power relations that cut across Muslim communities.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/729752