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Book: Contemporary Views on Comparative Religion

Chapter: 27. Utopia and Heterotopia in Post-Apartheid South African Muslim Discourse

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.28125


In spite of constituting only 1.46% of the population, Muslim political views are diverse and reflect the diversity of trends in South Africa. Michel Foucault’s concepts of utopia and heterotopia are helpful in revealing this complex relationship between South Africa’s constitution and public expressions of Islam. They capture the complexity of Muslim experiences – sometimes reflecting the goals of the Constitution (utopia) but also inverting, subverting and often going beyond them (heterotopia). My article will closely examine some examples to illustrate the diversity and fragility of South Africa’s democracy.

Chapter Contributors

  • Abdulkader Tayob ( - atayob) 'University of Cape Town'