Hassan Bey Mosque
Geographers dealing with religion have pointed to the process of conflict and contestation involved in the production of sacred sites. This paper explores the conflict over a sacred site in the formulation of a minority identity by transforming the place into a nexus of resistance and collective memory formation. I argue that under hegemonic secularizing states and within the context of ethno-national conflicts minority groups mobilize and articulate a dynamic meaning of sacred sites which allows an elaborate politics of identity. Further, in the context of their national struggle members of the community emphasize different aspects of the sacred. In the context of the national struggle (and for the duration of the conflict) minority members enhance inclusive nationalistic (Palestinian in this particular case) identity, however, while in a community context they emphasize the religious (Islamic) meaning of the place. Particularly, I examine the dynamic nature of interpreting and constructing the sacred through the analysis of the restoration project of the Hassan Bek mosque by the Arab-Palestinian community of Jaffa, Israel.