In recent years, geographies of identities, including those of ethnicity, religion, 'race' and gender, have formed an increasing focus of contemporary human geography. The events of September 11th, 2001 particularly illustrated the ways in which identities can be transformed across time and space by both global and local events of a social, cultural, political and economic nature. Such transformations have also demonstrated the temporal and spatial construction of hate and fear, and of increasing incidences of 'Islamophobia' through the construction of Muslims as 'the Other'. As the social scientific study of religion continues to be marginalized within mainstream scholarship, there remains an important gap in the literature. This timely book addresses this gap by collecting a range of cutting-edge contributions from the social, cultural, political, historical and economic sub-disciplines of geography, together with writings from gender studies, cultural studies and leisure studies where research has revealed a strong spatial dimension to the construction, representation, contestation and reworking of Muslim identities. The contributors illustrate the ways in which such identities are constructed, represented, negotiated and contested in everyday life in a wide variety of international contexts, focusing upon issues connected with diaspora, gender and belonging.
Professor Cara Aitchison is Dean of the Faculty of Education and Sport at the University of Bedfordshire, UK. Peter Hopkins is Lecturer in Social Geography, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and Mei-Po Kwan is Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Department of Geography at the Ohio State University, USA.
'This book is a timely examination of the geographies and diversities of Muslim identities. Critical contemporary issues surrounding Muslim identities are handled with sensitivity, sound theoretical grounding and rich empirical detail, including issues about diasporic and gender identities. It is a must-read for all who seek a nuanced understanding of Muslim identities in all their historic and geographic specificities.' Lily Kong, National University of Singapore 'Muslim identities are too often depicted as ’the rest’ set against ’the west’. In a brave attempt to decouple racism from religion, this book explores the gendered cultural diversity of Muslim peoples. The message is that geography, locality and mobility matter as much as history and heritage for the shape of social life. Treading a fine line, the authors celebrate multiple acts of difference without comprising the integrity of Islam.' Susan J. Smith, Durham University, UK '...the book is a welcome contribution to the social study of the reconfiguration of Muslim identities in the diaspora.' DOMES