I committed to spending my spring break in Baku, Azerbaijan in order to conduct research into the impact of religion in Azerbaijan society. Azerbaijan, located in Eastern Europe by Turkey, is predominantly Muslim. This presentation will be a comparative analysis on Azerbaijan, Morocco, and Senegal–and how Islam is represented in each country. I wanted to combine my study abroad program last semester with my experience in Azerbaijan to look at the different representations of Islam in these predominantly Islamic nations.
I conducted interviews and made connections with affiliates of the Sumgayit State University, located in Baku, as well as Azerbaijani locals. Through personal interaction with locals and observation, I combined interviews from Azerbaijani students and citizens, as well as made note of similarities and differences in how religion is displayed in Morocco, Senegal, and Azerbaijan. This Symposium presentation will provide a brief introduction to Islam, as well as similarities that Islam shares with other Abrahamic faiths in order to draw parallels and show the relationship between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Other methods include photographs in country and anecdotal evidence.
Islam is depicted in diverse areas, depending on how relatively conservative that particular state is. There are a lot of misconceptions and misrepresentations of the religion, due to media portrayals of Muslim practitioners and states being extremist and unwilling to assimilate to our Western definitions of “modern.” The objective of this presentation is that my anecdotes about being in these countries, as well as visual representations and personal observations, will illustrate a more nuanced perspective on predominantly Muslim states.
Cairo Eubanks, ’17
Silver Spring, MD