With Islamophobia on the rise in the US since 9/11, Muslims remain the most misunderstood people in American society. Taking as its point of departure the question of the compatibility of Islam and democracy, this book examines Muslims’ sense of belonging in American society. Based on extensive interview data across seven states in the US, the author explores the question of what it means to be American or un-American amongst Muslims, offering insights into common views of community, culture, and wider society. Through a combination of interviewees’ responses and discourse analysis of print media, Muslim Americans also raises the question of whether media coverage of the issue might itself be considered ‘un-American’.
An empirically grounded study of race and faith-based relations, this book undertakes a rigorous questioning of what it means to be American in the contemporary US. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and political science with interests in race, ethnicity, religion and national identity.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: The ‘Muslim Question’ Continues
2. What Does it Mean to be an American or Un-American?
3. Culture Matters
4. Is the Media ‘Un-American’?
5. Modern-day McCarthyism
6. Conclusion: Comprehending the Present and Looking into the Future
Nahid Afrose Kabir is an Adjunct Professor at the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, USA. She is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the School of Education, University of South Australia, Australia. Nahid A. Kabir was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, USA in 2009–2011. She is the author of Muslims in Australia: Immigration, Race Relations and Cultural History; Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics, and the Media; and Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity.
‘A welcome addition to the growing corpus of original studies on American Muslims. Provides a wealth of new insights on the diverse Muslim identities being constructed by Muslim citizens in diaspora relishing the promise of religious freedom and experiencing the onslaught of intensifying Islamophobia in the United States.’ -Yvonne Haddad, Professor of the History of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Georgetown University, USA
'Nahid Kabir provides a well-documented portrait of the attitudes of young Muslim Americans. Her focus on how they define and comprehend the concepts of "American" and "un-American" adds a significant dimension to understanding their self-identification and their integration within American society. Kabir’s analysis is presented within a clearly defined methodology and conceptual framework. This book should be of great help to anyone interested in the broader issues of diverse groups within multicultural American society.' -John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History,Georgetown University, USA
‘By putting Muslim American perspectives on Americanness into direct conversation with Islamophobic discourses on Muslims, Kabir successfully demonstrates points of convergence between them, even as Muslim Americans work to challenge their marginalization.’ - Justine Howe, Reading Religion
‘…an ambitious attempt to explore how American Muslims, especially immigrants and their children, see the US and are seen by it.’ - Besheer Mohamed, The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences