How Islam is present in the space – Puotinharju, Puhoksen kauppakeskus

In the Puotinharju shopping mall, Islam was present in the space mainly in the form of clothing, of which at least the women wearing headscarves could be identified as Muslims with a very high probability. Also men with kufi caps were seen. Therefore, the clothing mainly expressed the religious identity of the people we saw in the area, although we still can not be sure if they were muslims only based on the hats and scarfs. On the other hand, as observers, we cannot know who are Muslim and who does not for example recognize scarf as a part of their religious identity.

In addition to that, Islam was very visible in Puotinharju also in the form of food products associated with the religion. For example, the visibility of halal food was very high in the area. On the other hand, pork meat was not seen for sale in the markets, nor was it on the grill located in the area.


Islam could also be seen on posters on the walls of Puhos. We found one poster from The Islamic Rahma Center, which is Islamic community and Mosque in Puhos. The poster was from last year and it was about Islamic prayer Eid Salah. Because of the old age the poster was a little bit broken and curled up. Therefore it was a little bit harder to spot. The other poster we saw was a bigger advertisement of travel agency. The advertisement was about package holidays to the important Mosques for Muslims. On the advertisement there is three big pictures of Mosques, Prophet Mosque, Mosque al Haram and Al Aqsa Mosque. These are considered to be the three holiest Mosques in the world and inside of Mosque al Haram you can find the Kaaba. 

These two posters are targeted for the Muslims and the posters are also making Islam more visible in Puhos. 


The object of examination was therefore the appearance of Islam in the Puotinharju shopping mall. The methods used were observation and taking notes based on the observations. The group also took some photos. Among the literature that helped to understand the phenomenon are Marko Juntunen’s book “Matkalla Islamilaisessa Suomessa” and Mitra Härkönen’s and Henrietta Grönlund’s text “Uskonto kaupungissa – empiirisen tutkimuksen lähestymistapoja”. Also Johanna Konttori’s article “Suomalainen islam eurooppalaisessa kontekstissa” were read. The assignment, discussions and related literature taught new perspectives on the appearance of religion in urban space, and the field assignment also brought a practical perspective to the topic.


Grönlund , Henrietta & Mitra Härkönen (2020): Uskonto kaupungissa – empiirisen tutkimuksen lähestymistapoja. Teoksessa: Saarelainen, Suvi-Maria & Joona Salminen (toim.): Uskonto ajassa ja tilassa. Helsinki: Suomalainen Teologinen Kirjallisuusseura, 93–109.

 Juntunen, Marko (2020): Matkalla Islamilaisessa Suomessa. Tampere: Vastapaino

Konttori Johanna (2022): Suomalainen islam eurooppalaisessa kontekstissa. Teoksessa: Pauha, Teemu & Johanna Konttori: Suomalaiset muslimit (toim.):Gaudeamus Oy

Ari Suokas, Suvi Kettunen ja Jasmin Kauppila