Excellence in Scholarship and Learning


Rebuilding Islam in Contemporary Spain

The Politics of Mosque Establishment, 1976–2013

In the Series
Studies in Spanish History

Avi Astor is a Ramón y Cajal Fellow with the Research Group on the Sociology of Religion (ISOR) in the Department of Sociology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He researches a variety of topics related to religion, culture, and identity in contemporary Spain. His work has appeared in several prominent journals, including Theory and Society, The International Migration Review, The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Following Spain’s democratic transition during the late 1970s, political and business elites strategically exploited Spain’s rich Islamic heritage in order to further projects of national redefinition, tourist promotion, and urban revitalization. Large and ornate mosques were built in several Spanish regions, and the State granted Muslim communities an extensive array of rights and privileges that was arguably without parallel in Europe. Toward the onset of the 21st century, however, tensions surrounding Islam’s growing presence in Spain became increasingly common, especially in the northeastern region of Catalonia. These tensions centered largely around the presence, or proposed establishment, of mosques in Barcelona and its greater metropolitan area.

This book examines how Islam went from being an aspect of Spain’s national heritage to be recovered and commemorated to a pressing social problem to be managed and controlled. It traces the events and developments that gave rise to this transformation, the diverse actors involved in the process, and the manner in which disputes over Muslim incorporation have become entangled with deeply-divisive debates over church–state relations and territorial autonomy. The core of Rebuilding Islam in Contemporary Spain centers on the shifting political and social dynamics surrounding the establishment of mosques, and the question of why anti-mosque mobilizations have been more prevalent and intense in Catalonia than other Spanish regions.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-894-7
Hardback Price: £65.00 / $79.95
Release Date: November 2017
Page Extent / Format: 256 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: In Colour


List of Abbreviations, Tables, Maps, Figures and Illustrations


Chapter 1 - Reviving al-Andalus

Chapter 2 - From Celebration to Stigmatization

Chapter 3 - Migration, Urbanization, and Social Stratification in Catalonia

Chapter 4 - Urban Marginality and Anti-Mosque Mobilization

Chapter 5 - Urban Privilege and Neighborhood Defense

Chapter 6 - A Point of Comparison: The Case of Madrid

Chapter 7 - From the Social to the Legislative Realm




Review Quotes to Follow

Books can be ordered by phone or online

Ordering in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australasia, South America and Rest of the World

Gazelle Book Services
Direct sales tel.: +44 (0)1524 528500; email:
Web ordering:

Ordering in the United States and Canada
International Specialized Book Services
Direct sales tel.: 1 800 944 6190; email:
Web ordering:

Bookseller Ordering
Information is provided under the Resources tab

eBook Ordering
e-Book publication (e-PDF and MobiPocket [Kindle]) availability is detailed under the Resources tab; availability is alerted by e-Book in the publication information field on the web page