Bridge Builders: Examining the Muslim leaders’ Impact on Cultural Harmony and Integration in Immigrant Communities

Fayrouz FLIOU (University of Turin)


Background: Mosques and their imams are pivotal in Islamic communities, providing spiritual leadership analogous to priests and rabbis. The Moroccan immigrant community in Turin, Italy, offers a valuable case study for understanding Moroccan immigrants' attitudes and the role of imams in shaping their perceptions.
Methodology: This study employed a survey to assess the perspectives of Moroccan immigrants in Turin, Italy. Two groups were surveyed: one without external influence and one was provided the opinions of an Imam.
Findings: Data analysis revealed varying responses influenced by the Imam's opinions. The most significant shifts were in cultural preservation among Moroccans in Italy and their future generations. Participants exposed to the imam's views showed reduced emphasis on cultural preservation, indicating a willingness to adapt to Italian culture.
Implications: This study underscores the influential role of authoritative figures, particularly religious leaders, in shaping public opinion and cultural dynamics within immigrant communities. This influence can have both positive and negative impacts on cultural integration and identity preservation. Further exploration and discussion are crucial, especially in multicultural societies like Italy.

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