Recent anthropological scholarship on Islam has tended to carve out the ‘everyday’ as a space of Muslim life that has the potential to escape the normativity of religious discourses. In this paper, I discuss how the special issue edited by Di Puppo and Schmoller critically engages these debates by first moving the lens of attention from the religious to the ‘secular’ sphere as the source of normative discourse. The essays collected in the special issue focus indeed on the state’s and lay officials’ discourses in post-Soviet, self-declared secular Russia as the normative framework that defines much of the commitment and self-understanding of Muslims in the region. But the special issue does more. It also shows that far from remaining stalled in their own respective domains, normative discourses and ‘daily practices’ intertwine profoundly, as Muslims navigate through the normative dichotomies that are imposed on them by national and supranational global discourses. In the process, Muslims in post-Soviet Russia are able to bend these denominations to their needs, as they struggle to see legitimised their status of citizens belonging to a minority religious confession. In this vein, I conclude by suggesting that rather than reproducing static oppositions between the levels of discourse and that of practice, it is to the mutual interactions between the two and to the alternative possibilities that are disclosed by Muslim life within and without overdetermined limits that we have to turn when investigating the multiplicity and diversity of Islam in Post-Soviet Russia and beyond.
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