Contemporary Muslim communities, regionally and around the globe, are facing a defining moment. The post 9/11 incident—as agreed upon by different researchers—established a new milestone in the contemporary history of Muslim communities. Crucial questions related to identity, image, misconception and misjudgment of Islam as a religion and Muslims as part of the human community flourished in political, religious, economical and cultural literature. The declared ‘war on terror’ shouldn't be transformed into a war on Islam. As a result of massive fabrication of Islam as an enemy of civilized society as intensified in western media. Islam has become an issue in America. Islamophobia has emerged as an ideology that threatens the tradition of tolerance.

Mosques are undoubtedly the most clear physical representation of Islam as a religion, principles and values. Basically, the mosque is an ideological manifestation in space, time and matter. This paper will examine the architecture and urban status of contemporary mosques in selected contexts with the Arab and Western communities. The paper claims that formerly powerful and dominating image of the mosque is currently subjected to accelerating resistance and rejection. Numerous incidents around the world have shown clearly the volume of such new phenomenon. Ideological conflicts which have emerged after 9/11 and the declared war against terrorism, paved the way for a new perception of Islam and many of its related symbols and icons. The mosque is no exception in this newly constructed western perception which, as many researchers argue, is based on fear.

The paper invites Muslim and non-Muslim architects and planners to transcend the typical mosque prototype extensively scattered around the globe. A move from exclusive to inclusive spatial composition of the mosque is urgently needed. Mosques can be designed as part of a global network of social, cultural and spiritual activities inserted within and blended with global cities and towns. Hence, mosque design could seek creative and innovative solutions by which its form, spatial order, functional components, transparency, and communicated meaning can holistically contribute to diminish the swiftly accelerating Mosquephobia.


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