Set up in three main parts, this dissertation explores the emergence of Rafiq Hariri as a political actor (I), the historic origins of the Muhammad al-Amin Mosque project (II) and the association of the former Lebanese prime minister with Lebanon’s main Sunni place of worship (III). Besides being a powerful testimony to the impressive reconstruction effort in Lebanon in general and in Beirut in particular, this monumental mosque also represents a symbol of political and religious identification. The aim of this research is double: to track down the gradual involvement of the former head of government in sponsoring a 150 year old project, and to enquire about the ways the construction of a mosque can strengthen the legitimacy of a political actor within a multi-confessional societal context. Based on field research (2004 – 2009) and a systematic analysis of written, visual and oral sources, the objective is to explain how the appearance of this sanctuary of Lebanese Sunni official...

Ait-Chaalal, A.
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Vloeberghs, W.P. (2010, September 29). A building of might and faith. Rafiq Hariri and the Muhammad al-Amin mosque. On the political dimensions of religious architecture in contemporary Beirut. Retrieved from