Hülya Kandemir’s book, Himmelstochter (Daughter of heaven), chronicles her transformation from a well-known regional pop singer to a pious Muslima in Germany. Kandemir describes her turn to Islam and the ensuing fine-tuned construction of a modern pious Muslim subjectivity in the contexts of a growing Muslim German public sphere, Muslim German cultural production, and the public sphere at large. Kandemir’s transformation unfolds in Germany in the middle of an often young and visible larger movement of Muslim piety. Her narrative and experience transcend her individual life and demonstrate debates among groups of younger Muslims across ethnic lines. In this paper I introduce Kandemir’s book and trajectory to illustrate aspects of dynamic transformations underway among groups of younger European Muslims. Drawing on a reading of the book and ethnographic observation at a major cultural event, I illustrate how Islam powerfully remakes the lives of young Muslims like Kandemir in ways that are also uniquely German or European. I argue that in particular young Muslimas enter debates and lifeworlds of piety regardless of considerable animosity or even rejection from dominant society. In the process they further Muslim German cultural production and establish themselves as pious Muslimas in the public sphere at large.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.