Analysing cultural proximity: Islamic Relief Worldwide and Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Based on fieldwork carried out on Islamic Relief’s relief programme for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, this article contributes to the debate on whether Muslim aid agencies bring added value when working with Muslim beneficiaries in Muslim areas. The author explores the significance of religion in relations between actors in the aid process and argues that a common religion does not necessarily override political, social, and cultural divisions. The article questions whether it is useful to claim that Muslim solidarity exists in the aid process when in practice it is difficult to have any meaningful engagement with religion in the field.