Faith and Practice Are Different Matters in Islam

Sanziana Preda

Abstract


After the fall of the communist regime in Romania, in the name of their shared religious faith, a series of religious NGOs from Turkey and other Islamic countries expressed their readiness to support the members of the two communities in their search for their lost religious identity after the religious constraints enforced by the communist regime had been lifted in 1989. The fieldwork undertaken as part of a research project on the two historical Muslim communities in Dobruja, the Turks and the Tatars, has shown the involvement of some religious organizations in the life of these ethnic groups. The present study analyzes the feedback on the actions of the aforementioned organizations as they are depicted in oral testimonies recorded in 2013 and 2014 and in written texts (magazines, press releases). The aim of this paper is the description of the interactions between the old Muslim community of Dobruja and their co-believers who volunteered to support them through religious education and social work directed at the disadvantaged groups. Discussing their religious beliefs caused the individuals we interviewed to reflect on another version of Islam, unknown to them before 1990 and promoted today by those who read the Quran literally and follow it to the letter.


Keywords


Turks; Tatars; Islam; Quran; Dobruja; religious foundations; confessional identity.

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