Elias is a PhD researcher at both the Department of Political Science and the Department of Criminology at the VUB. Building up to this doctorate study, Elias researched the racialisation of Muslim men living in Flanders which was conducted during his master Gender and Diversity. Prior to this, he acquired a professional bachelor in orthopedagogy where internships were at the core of the course. The educational background in different fields and the interests in religion, diversity and masculinities coincide with the doctorate study that Elias is conducting under guidance and supervision of Prof. Dr. Iman Lechkar and Prof. Dr. An-Sofie Vanhouche.
His research tries to map the role of Islam for men in Belgian prisons, how Islam is experienced by them and how it shapes their identity. This topic has come into the spotlight after the terrorist attacks in both France and Belgium, leading to public and political debates surrounding radicalisation in Belgian prisons. By conducting this research, the Muslim masculinity frameworks are used in order to understand their personal experiences and interactions not only within Belgian prisons, but within larger society.
Muslim men / prison / Islam / racialization