Sedimentary Bonds: Treasured Mosques and Everyday Expertise
Chapter 4 excavates how mosques acted as crucial sites in which diverse Comorian migrants materialized their presence in the early to mid-twentieth century. Well into the 1940s, prospering Comorian communities prioritized mosque construction and other communitarian building projects as key means to root their attachments—even as they grappled with discord and competition among themselves. Faced with the ever-growing Comorian population, and anxious about anticolonial stirrings, colonial authorities regulated religious structures to curtail migrants' influx and residence in the city. But officials failed to account for the generative nature of religious networks and the centrality of collective mosque building projects for Muslim communities. Enterprising leaders and everyday experts in these migrant groups creatively exploited the malleability of property regulations and erected durable mosques that enunciated their ties to their adopted city and invigorated their historic connections to Sufi communities that spanned the Indian Ocean.