Chain mosques

Apart from size (and, I guess, the Central Florida location), the parallel really is more McDonald’s than Megachurch — which makes sense when religious devotion has more in common with regular meals (i.e. several times a day) than a once-a-week banquet. One could argue that this is just a form of cultural copying, though I suspect that it’s more akin to using the language of fast-food marketing to reclaim a function that mosques have had, in other contexts, for centuries.

an Utne Reader post by Bennett Gordon, 24 July 2008 :: via Culture Log

Taking a page from the evangelical mega-churches that have popped up around the country, Muslims have begun setting up multi-site “mosque chains” to accommodate increasingly large religious services, Mallika Rao reports for the Religion News Service. Often branded as more progressive than other mosques, some of the organizations have begun offering gymnasiums, adult education classes, and even mixed-gender prayer areas. The strategy seems to be paying off, both financially and organizationally. Abeer Abdulla, a media specialist for the Islamic Society of Central Florida in Orlando, told Rao, “because of how streamlined we are, you can get off the highway from anywhere and find a mosque that is well-maintained, well-structured and that will always be open.” 

(Thanks, Pew Forum.)

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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