Dr. Craig  Considine Author of Evaluating Organization Development
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Dr. Craig Considine


Rice University

Dr. Craig Considine is a Catholic American of Irish and Italian descent. Considine is currently a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Rice University in Houston, TX. His second book - Muslims in American Society: Examining the Facts - is set for publication by ABC-CLIO in the summer of 2018. Considine holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, an MSc from the University of London, and a BA from American University in Washington, DC. He is a native of Needham, Massachusetts.

Subjects: Religion

Biography

Dr. Craig Considine is a Catholic American of Irish and Italian descent. His first book – Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora, explores the politics of fear and the language of “us” and “them” between Pakistanis, Muslims, Americans, and the Irish. Considine’s second book – Muslims in America: Examining the Facts –  is set for publication in the summer of 2018. Considine is known for his interfaith activism and  his research on Prophet Muhammad’s relations with Christians. He currently serves as a faculty member of the Department of Sociology at Rice University. He holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin, an MSc from the University of London, and a BA from American University in Washington, DC. Considine is a native of Needham, Massachusetts.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    As a sociologist, he focuses on Islam, Muslims in American Society, Christian-Muslim relations, the sociology of religion, and race and ethnicity

Websites

Books

Featured Title
 Featured Title - Islam, Race, Pluralism in Pakistani Diaspora - Considine - 1st Edition book cover

Articles

Religions

The Racialization of Islam in the United States: Islamophobia, Hate Crimes, and


Published: Aug 26, 2017 by Religions
Authors: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Religion

This paper explores the intersectionality of race and Islamophobia by using a set of empirical data relating to the experiences of American Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

The Maydan

Pakistani Muslims and Irish Identity: Belonging and Fluidity in a Post-Celtic Ti


Published: Mar 22, 2017 by The Maydan
Authors: Craig Considine
Subjects: Religion

This piece, which stems from an article I published recently in the academic journal Sociology, contributes to the discussion of how young Pakistani Muslim men living in Dublin relate to and define Irish identity in a post-Celtic Tiger Ireland.

Sociology

Young Pakistani Men and Irish Identity: Religion, Race and Ethnicity in Post-Cel


Published: Jan 27, 2017 by Sociology
Authors: Craig Considine
Subjects: Religion

This article contributes to the discussion on Irish identity by considering a set of empirical data from ethnographic research carried out in Pakistani communities in Dublin. The article considers views on ‘Irishness’ through the lens of young second-generation Pakistani Irish men. The data presented highlight how the Celtic Tiger experience reproduced cultural and ethnic narratives of Irish identity, but simultaneously initiated a new, more civic-oriented view of ‘Irishness’.

Interreligious Insight

Prophet Muhammad’s Covenants with Christians: Pluralism and Civic Rights


Published: Jun 01, 2016 by Interreligious Insight
Authors: Craig Considine

An analysis of Prophet Muhammad's Covenants with Christians and what his relations with Christians tells us about the sociological concepts of religious pluralism and civic nation building

Diaspora Studies

What does it mean to be ‘Irish’? Perceptions of Irish identity among young Pakis


Published: May 18, 2016 by Diaspora Studies
Authors: Craig Considine
Subjects: Religion

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the discussion surrounding national identity by considering a particular set of empirical data on perceptions of ‘Irishness’. Based on ethnographic research carried out in Pakistani communities in Dublin, this paper considers various interpretations of Irish identity through the lens of young second-generation Pakistani Irish men. The data presented highlight that for these young men, ‘Irishness’ has multiple meanings.

Religions

Religious Pluralism and Civic Rights in a “Muslim Nation”: An Analysis of Prophe


Published: Feb 04, 2016 by Religions
Authors: Craig Considine
Subjects: Religion

I argue that the Covenants of Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of his time can be used to develop a stronger narrative of democratic partnership between Muslims and Christians in the “Islamic world” and beyond.

Photos

News

Towards the making of a more cohesive society

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Islam, Race and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora is a new book by Craig Considine, a Catholic American of Irish and Italian descent who is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Pakistanis are the seventh-largest and second-fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. “It is also one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Muslim diasporas in the world,” Considine tells Weekend Review. “So they are not only significant in terms of numbers but also in terms of influence.” His book focuses on Pakistanis living in Boston, United States, and in Dublin, Ireland.

Considine traces his interest in Muslims to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Considine was only 15 years old at the time. He had grown up in a small suburban town in Massachusetts, predominantly white and Christian (with a small Jewish community.) “I had never met a Muslim in my life. I didn’t know anything about Islam. When this event happened, I fell into a trap of sorts, an Islamophobia trap. You start looking at a specific population in the country and around the world with suspicion. So that stuck with me for a bit until I got to college.”

He wanted to study Arabic and hoped to become an intelligence agent to spy on “bad” Muslims. “I had a few teachers that had a transformative impact on my mind in terms of bringing me to the knowledge of Islam.”

At American University in Washington, one of his professors was Akbar Ahmed, the former High Commissioner of Pakistan to the UK and a distinguished anthropologist and writer.

Considine had the opportunity to travel with Professor Ahmad for one year around America. They visited 100 mosques in 75 cities trying to understand or answer the question on what it meant to be an American through the lens of Muslims.

“I have so many stories from these visits to the mosques. I mean, you get the diversity of the Ummah in one study in America. Because there are so many different sects of Islam in this country,” he says. He had a chance to sit down with the famous intellectual Noam Chomsky and filmed an interview between him and Professor Ahmad.

“I became familiar with the Pakistani community, Pakistani history, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and a lot of what was happening today with the rise of these kind of fringe radical groups. So when it was time to do my PhD, I wanted to look at issues pertaining to Muslims in Europe and the United States. And as you know, PhDs are quite specific. So I decided to choose a specific community that was overwhelmingly Muslim. I chose Pakistanis.”

Considine lived in Ireland from 2010 to 2014 and did his PhD in the Department of Sociology at Trinity College in Dublin. The fieldwork was also feasible for him because he was based in Dublin and was able to go back to Boston.

One of the reasons he chose the US and Ireland was because of national identity issues. “When we think about what it means to be an American, sometimes we think of it as a civic nation, this idea that the constitution allows them to be an American. Whereas, in the Irish context, when you think of Irish national identity, it is in a different context. It is white, it is Catholic, it is basically not English, or not British. That is how the Irish identity was created. So I thought that there would be an interesting parallel between these two countries in terms of race and how they are perceived.”

There had been some stories written about Pakistanis in Boston and Dublin community that really didn’t paint them in a positive way. “I wanted to actually find these positive stories which I knew were out there. And I wanted to counter balance some of the anti-Pakistani rhetoric in news stories.”

When it comes to the Pakistani diaspora, there tends to be an overemphasis on the British context, says Considine. “There have been so many studies carried out about Pakistanis. I thought a comparative angle would be quite interesting; rather than focus on one national context, you get two national contexts. And you get to explore the national identities of the United States and Ireland.”

Social network

He notes that the origins of the Boston Pakistani community and the Dublin Pakistani community are quite different. “In the United States, the migrants came over in the 1960s and were largely already educated in Pakistan. They were coming to the United States to enter jobs in higher-end professions.”

In the Irish or British context, many of the early Pakistani migrants came over without the educational advantage that the US community had. “A lot of early migrants from Pakistan to Ireland were from rural communities where the baradari, the family social network, was quite strong. They tended to be more conservative. Whereas in the Boston context, I found that many of the parents of the second generation I interviewed lived in cities such as Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad. So there seemed to be a different origin.”

One of the most enriching aspects of the study for Considine was making connections with Muslims amidst all the suspicion between communities. A lot of work he did was during Ramadan. “I would hang out in masjids in Dublin and Boston, going out of my way to meet and connect with them. Because I think the impact is more lasting when you are showing these communities that you have invested in their experience.”

He met between 40 and 45 people, conducting around 30 semi-structured interviews. He also did a couple of focus groups. I ask Considine about the stories that stood out. “In the American context, I met an Ahmedi Muslim, who was actually physically removed from a train [as a] possible terrorist. He was brought to a train station, interrogated, but nothing eventually happened. He was studying at Harvard Medical School, a bright human being, and a very good person.

“In the Irish context, I met a person who I kind of described as a Salafi. He grew up in Dublin, wasn’t very religious when he was growing up. He got into drinking and dating women and about three or four years before our interview, he made this U-turn towards a certain understanding of Islam, and it really became very prominent in his identity.”

I ask Considine about Donald Trump’s impact on the Pakistani community. “Unfortunately, Pakistanis, not only through their identity as Pakistanis, but also by their skin colour, are stereotyped as not only Muslim, but whenever you think of Muslim, at least in the Irish, American context, it is impossible to distance yourself from Daesh. Because the media is constantly telling you, this is the threat. We have this kind of lumping wherein Pakistanis automatically get branded as Muslim. And the minute they do that, that identity is created, you get into the good Muslim, bad Muslim.

“[Trump] is making it more difficult for an American identity to rise that is not based on religion or ethnicity.”

In contrast, the young men he interviewed spoke highly of former US president Barack Obama for defending the rights of Muslims and for backing the idea that anyone can be an American. At the same time, there was criticism by many of Obama’s drone warfare attacks in Pakistan. “There is no question Obama was liked more by the people I interviewed.”

In his book, Considine introduces “Pakphobia”, a term referring to an aversion to Pakistanis or Pakistan. In the Irish and American context, Pakistanis are seen largely as Muslims, notes Considine. “What we are seeing with Pakphobia in the Irish and American context is a fear of Pakistanis because of this perceived threat of Muslims and radical Islam.”

Considine has explored Pakistani identity in depth. “What does it mean to be Pakistani? Are we looking at a secular Pakistan rooted in Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s [outlook]? Or are we looking at the 1970s with the rise of Zia-ul-Haq and everything that happened. So I play around and participants reflect that too.”

At Rice University, he teaches a course called Muslims in American Society. Considine describes Texas as a “hotbed of Islamphobia.” Is Islamophobia particularly bad there? “Not necessarily in the cities. The cities tend to be relatively liberal. But you get outside of the cities and you have Islamophobia for lack of a better term.”

His second book, Muslims in America: Examining the Facts, is set for publication next year. “It is basically intended for high school and undergraduate students. The purpose is to give a clear and unbiased understanding of current issues and clear half truths and misconceptions. So for example when Donald Trump said thousands of Muslims in America celebrated 9/11, there is no proof of that.”

Considine considers part of his effort is to build safer and more constructive communities. “When I was in Ireland, I tried to do that. Now that I am back in America, I am trying to do that. I am a US citizen. It means something to me. I can’t ignore that it’s a fact. All I am trying to do is work to create more cohesion within society.”

Syed Hamad Ali is a writer based in London

New York Journal of Books: Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

As a Pakistani American, first-generation immigrant raising American-born children in the United States, I consumed Considine’s new research about Pakistanis in the diaspora with a great deal of interest. Questions about identity, religious affiliation, and citizenship are foremost in the minds of most Pakistanis who have made America home, and these questions only get more challenging as roots are laid down in a new culture. Considine attempts to answer some of those questions through rigorous research and data.

The study for this project took place in two cities: Boston, MA, and Dublin, Ireland. Using interview techniques, Considine journeyed toward a better understanding the many facets of life of the participants:  young men aged 18–35 years. His aim was simple: “I interpret the mainstream discourses around Pakistan, Pakistanis and Islam, along with the protectors of these discourses, as further examples of the cause and effect of centuries-old biases towards Others and their cultures.”

Considine begins the book by explaining the stereotyping and racial profiling that Pakistanis in America generally undergo as a result of this othering in general and terrorism-related incidents in particular. Similar is the case of Pakistani immigrants in Ireland who are viewed with suspicion. He also explains the history of South Asians in the western world, helping readers accept the idea that Pakistanis and other immigrant groups are not newcomers but rather a part of the fabric of society for decades.

Using political rhetoric as well as academic literature, Considine points to the fact that closing the door to minorities in times of political stress, “has led some Pakistanis to feel like national outsiders, or worse, enemies of the nation. Even Pakistanis who were born and bred and raised in the United States have shared the view that they grow up as strangers in their own country, forever seen as an alien containment within the true blood of the nation-state.”

Through the interviews he conducted, Considine sheds light on many aspects of religious and cultural identity. One of these is the 9/11 narrative, which he explains as depicting Muslims through the lens of violence and terrorism. Another is religion: Christianity in the United States and Catholicism in Ireland perceived as opposing or offering double standards to the practice of Islam in those countries.

A moving explanation of the religious challenges faced by Muslims in both countries is provided through the participants’ own words of religious discrimination, having to hide their religious identity and even religious profiling at airports and in the workplace.

Perhaps the most interesting result of Considine’s research is the realization that Pakistani men in the diaspora have claimed a hybrid identity that veers away from strictly traditional Pakistani culture, yet is also not truly American in the way that white, Christian Americans may be familiar with.

For participants who were second generation, this held doubly true: there were aspects of both cultures—language, habits, even faith—that blended together to form a unique cultural identity. This included both men who were devout Muslims, as well as those who were atheists or agnostics: they held on to some aspects of Pakistani culture while rejecting others, and the same occurred for American traditions as well.

“The participants in this chapter tend to define themselves in hybrid ways, namely as individuals rather than as Pakistanis belonging to a specific ethnic community. The views of the men documented here create a cultural belonging that works for them, they have adopted and adapted to new environments, finding freedom in hyphenated identities as well as liquid identities.”

In between all the data, there is a goldmine of individual stories. Considine has done an excellent job of allowing Pakistani men of the diaspora to talk about their fears and obstacles, and share their dreams of building a new life outside their homeland.

One participant talks about bar hopping with friends, another discusses his reluctance for an arranged marriage. Many participants talk about the racial profiling and othering they have faced in their every days lives from their fellow countrymen. But all seem happy to be in their adopted homelands, because they see it as an opportunity for personal freedom, economic growth and also religious and spiritual benefit.

This book will benefit those who seek understanding of not only Pakistanis in a western setting, but all Muslim groups in such settings. Easy to read for both academic and lay audiences, it is bound to be a starting point for further research into minority groups in the U.S. and abroad.

 

The Pakistani/Muslim Diaspora - Lessons from a Catholic Professor

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Dr. Craig Considine is a sociology professor at Rice University who I had the pleasure of meeting recently. He’s a young, bright, and insightful scholar who has extensively studied Muslim relations, Islamophobia, and the connection between religion and nationalism in various parts of the world, specifically the Middle East and Asia, the United States, and Ireland. Growing up Catholic, his interest in and defense of a religion he, not long ago, was very unfamiliar with, serves as a beacon of hope to the Muslim community that tolerance and acceptance within a Western society is not a pipe dream.

In his book, Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora, Considine discusses the plight of the Pakistani-Muslim, specifically in Boston, Massachusetts and Dublin, Ireland.

As an American-born Muslim, I’ve seen the perception of Islam transform in the eyes of Americans over the years. We went from being comfortably invisible to being seen as a threat to society, public safety, and patriotism – all of this practically overnight. While tensions were high during the ongoing wars in the Middle East, nothing brought Islam onto the Western radar quite like the September 11th attacks.

In the aftermath, the sad realization dawned on me that most people didn’t understand that Muslims had been living in the country for decades without issue. Also, the difference between race and religion seemed lost on many.

Of course, the terrorist groups behind the September 11th attacks didn’t care to emphasize that distinction. They carried out their attacks in the name of Islam, and they boasted terrorist strongholds in Muslim-majority nations. In the case of Pakistan, in particular, the nation had already gotten a bad reputation around the globe for being largely homogeneous, intolerant of outsiders, and highly conservative – again, all in the name of Islam.

As Dr. Considine describes, this led to the issue of equating Pakistanis “here” with the ones “there” – meaning Pakistanis in and out of Pakistan. Pakistanis abroad were believed to hold the same ideals and values as those in Pakistan. Perceived loyalties to the “motherland” were unfair and unfounded, and often resulted in laws and regulations against Pakistanis, specifically.

The identity of Pakistan as an extremist nation is interesting in itself. In fact, when Pakistan was created in the 1940s, it was intended as a safe haven for Muslims, a place where they could live without fear of persecution.

Pakistan was setup originally as a secular nation, but due to intolerant and extremist leaders, people who did not fit in with the conservative Muslim narrative were discouraged from living there. Over time, the country became inhospitable and unwelcoming to non-Muslims, making it the perfect place to breed extremist terrorist groups.

So, Islamic terrorism and extremism became synonymous around the world with Pakistanis, whether or not that was a fair association.

Considine states that now, “Anti-Pakistani racism…overlaps with Islamophobia.” This is a fundamentally flawed way of thinking, but it helps for us to understand how this came to be.

Ultimately, that’s the brilliance of Considine’s book. Nothing is gained from ignorance or blind hatred. Nothing can be gained from not knowing enough. And personifying a group of people versus seeing it as a group of individuals is a dangerous mistake to make. In such cases where stereotyping and generalizing demonizes a group of people to the point that they are being systematically discriminated against in various levels of government in various nations, it becomes time to rethink the narrative that’s being purported.

Islamophobia has been steadily increasing in Western nations, and the incessant threat of terrorist attacks is enough to drive people to paranoia. Similarly, whether or not a terrorist organization was behind an attack, by simply claiming to be, they achieve their actual goal – to spread terror.

Terrorist groups thrive on people’s fears, irrational or otherwise, and they depend on the general ignorance of the public to perpetuate these fears. By aligning themselves with an entire nation of people, they succeed in demonizing those people.

As far as I can see, the first step in slowing the momentum of Islamophobia and the insistence that Muslims, Pakistani or otherwise, do not belong as contributing members of Western societies, is gaining a deeper understanding of the religion and those who commit acts against humanity in its name.

Dr. Considine, admittedly, did not have a strong grasp of Islam or its people when he decided to learn more. But thankfully, he knew what he didn’t know. He recognized that he had a limited view on Islam, Pakistanis, and terrorism, and that he didn’t quite understand the link between them.

Considine’s book is a welcome and enlightening work of literature that is perhaps overdue. As a Muslim, I was grateful to read a non-Muslim’s balanced and unbiased report of the struggles facing the Pakistani-Muslim diaspora, and I was thankful that someone took the time to understand a people who had little direct impact on his own life.

For such a large group of people, the collective voice of the Pakistani people has been muffled and stifled by those who find it easier to discriminate against them than to learn from them. Having an “outsider” such as Dr. Considine speak on behalf of those drowned voices is a step in the right direction.

It’s easier to fear than it is to love. And it’s easier to dismiss than it is to understand. But in the end, where does that leave any of us? With peace of mind? With security?

No. Paranoia does not grant us any of these gifts.

But every step taken towards acceptance and tolerance should be celebrated as a victory in this world, and Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora is nothing short of this.

Review of Dr. Craig Considine’s “Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Dia

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion, Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Considine’s book is a welcome and enlightening work of literature that is perhaps overdue. As a Muslim, I was grateful to read a non-Muslim’s balanced and unbiased report of the struggles facing the Pakistani-Muslim diaspora, and I was thankful that someone, let alone a sociology professor, took the time to understand a people who had little direct impact on his own life.

While the impact is merely a greater understanding for Considine, the impact for the Pakistani community and Muslims around the world is much further reaching. For such a large group of people, the collective voice has been muffled and stifled by those who find it easier to discriminate against them than to learn from them. Having an educated, respected, and genuinely interested “outsider” such as Dr. Considine speak on behalf of those drowned voices is a step in the right direction. The community should take all the support it can get.

Islam, Race and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion, Sociology & Social Policy, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

One afternoon in the summer of 2013, I sat down with a young Ahmadi American Muslim of Pakistani descent. He told me an unsettling story, one that touches on some of the most pressing issues of the post-9/11 era. The young man, henceforth “Muhammad,” was traveling on an Amtrak train along the East Coast. Sitting near Muhammad was a White Vietnam War veteran, who looked at Muhammad with suspicion — Muhammad had a pillow underneath his shirt, which was keeping him warm on the cold train. The veteran eventually got up and left the cabin. Before Muhammad knew it, the train had unexpectedly stopped.

The next thing Muhammad saw shook him to his core. Black SUVs with sirens and men dressed in military gear pulled up to the side of the train. The train conductor came over the loud speaker and told passengers that there was a potential security threat on board. Each and every passenger was asked to step off the train. As the passengers exited, police officers and law enforcement officials directed the passengers to one of two areas — left or right. Muhammad and one other Brown “Muslim-looking” person were asked to step to the left. The rest of the passengers looked on with confusion and fear. What was going on? Were these two men terrorists?

Muhammad was then brought to a local police station where he was interrogated as someone who might have had something dangerous underneath his shirt. The veteran had reported him to the train conductor on the grounds that he was carrying a bomb. Law enforcement officials questioned Muhammad about his family background, religious beliefs and political views. Eventually, they realized they had nothing on Muhammad, a postgraduate student training to be a doctor at the time of our interview. On that summer afternoon in 2013, Muhammad opened up to me about how the experience affected him as a native-born U.S. citizen and Muslim. Muhammad described himself as a patriotic American Ahmadi who supported “American values” such as freedom of conscience and religion. The train incident reminded him of the negative role that institutions and states play in exacerbating Islamophobia and determining who belongs in society.

 Muhammad’s story is one of many in Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora, a book published July 17 by Routledge. The book, my first, explores the lives of young Pakistani men in a transatlantic context, inquiring into the ways in which family values, religion, racism and national identities shape the experiences of first- and second-generation Pakistani Muslims and non-Muslims living in Boston, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland. Islam, Race, and Pluralism confronts some of the most critical issues of our time including Islamophobia, ethnocentrism and citizenship rights. Tayyib Rashid, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran known as the “Muslim Marine,” endorsed the book because he had never read something that adequately “capture[d] the struggles and challenges of Pakistanis trying to find their place in the West.”

New Book Explores the Pakistani Diaspora in Boston and Dublin

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion

In March 2009, President Barack Obama made a startling comment about Pakistan and its links to the so-called “War on Terror.” The President referred to a part of the country as “the most dangerous place in the world.” In other words, Pakistan was a threatening “Islamic state” that had turned “anti-American” due largely to the efforts of “radical Muslims.” The threat posed by Pakistanis, as the President noted, was not one directed solely at the United States. He added that Pakistan is “an international security challenge of the highest order.”

The troubled image conjured up by President Obama was exacerbated by media coverage and politicians looking to exploit Pakistanis and Muslims for their own self-serving interests. On television, in newspapers, and across websites, Pakistanis over “there” in Pakistan were equated with Pakistanis “here” – in the United States. This “here and there” dichotomy identifies all Pakistanis as potential threats to national security. The not so-positive images of Pakistan seemed to gain even more worldwide currency when Osama bin Laden was found hiding in Abbottobad, a city located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is in this light that I decided to write my first book, Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora, published by Routledge. The book documents what goes on in the daily lives of Pakistanis in diaspora, lives that are almost completely ignored by sensational Western media coverage and the political entities that reinforce negative stereotype of Pakistanis. The experiences and views of the young first- and second generation Pakistani Muslims and non-Muslims in this book cover two cities – Boston, Massachusetts (my hometown) and Dublin, Ireland.

The views of the young Pakistanis in this book represent a refusal to be silenced in the face of Islamophobia, and a demand to be heard in an age when their voices can no longer be hidden or dismissed. The interviews that I carried out show how these young men resist hegemonic identity narratives and power structures in American and Irish societies, and how they negotiate the many complex identities in their lives.

Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora examines the dialectics of religion, race, ethnicity and tolerance in the making of Pakistani communities in Boston and Dublin. Specifically, these sociological concepts are viewed through the intersection of religion and national identity. In the United States, Pakistanis have been placed under the microscope due to the population’s alleged links to “radical Islam” and the negative connotations stemming from rampant Islamophobia. The idea of the American civic nation, however, gives the young Pakistani men in Boston hope that their sense of belonging will be determined by citizenship rights and religious pluralism, rather than their religions or skin colors.

On the other hand, in the Irish context, Pakistanis represent a “new” migrant community settling in a rapidly changing Ireland, a country looking to build intercultural identities. Irish identity, however, has long been linked to ancestry, ethnicity, whiteness, and Catholicism, features which young Pakistani men in Dublin grapple with on a daily basis. While cultural differences exist between the United States and Ireland, the young Pakistanis in this book share several common experiences including discrimination, Islamophobia, and racism, but also hope, acceptance, and belonging.

Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora is unique in the sense that I am an “outsider” of Irish and Italian descent. I am also an American Catholic working to build bridges between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. From the very beginning of the research in 2010, while I was a doctoral student at Trinity College Dublin, Pakistanis welcomed me into their homes, businesses, restaurants, schools, and places of worship. The research experience for me was enriching, as I was able to explore my own ethnicity, my own religion, and my own nationality through the lens of my neighbors and fellow citizens.

The book is available in hardcover and e-book on Routledge and Amazon. It has been endorsed by Professor Mona Siddiqui (University of Edinburgh), Baroness Sayeeda Warsi(member of British House of Lords), Qasim Rashid (author of “The Wrong Kind of Muslim: An Untold Story of Persecution and Perseverance”), and Tayyib Rashid (US Marine Corps veteran). It has also been reviewed by Rabwah Times and Rice University News and Media.

Muslim Marine Reviews: Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Sociology, Sociology, Criminology and Criminal Justice

Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora is a great service to all Americans, Irish, and Pakistanis, bringing the reader into the minds and hearts of the Pakistani immigrants living in Boston, MA and Dublin, Ireland. It sheds light on the complexity of their lives and their internal struggle to form a cross-cultural identity in a hostile post 9/11 world of America and Ireland. The reader learns that Pakistanis are not a uniform group but are rather tremendously diverse in language, religion, and culture.

Review: Islam, Race, and Pluralism in the Pakistani Diaspora

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion

There is heavy complexity both in the structure and the content of the book yet Dr. Considine explains the ideas in a very accessible manner. He is, however, careful in that he does not oversimplify ideas, maintaining the truth of the ideas. He also crafts these complex ideas in such a way that it does not leave the reader overwhelmed. Pakistani people are not the only ones who would gain from this book. The book is rich with knowledge that would enlighten and expand the mind of any reader. Perhaps the best part about the creation of this book is that it comes from a place of peace and tolerance. Dr. Considine dedicates it to the “bridge builders.” This book is a profound step towards doing exactly that: building a bridge. Dr. Considine deserves high-praise for the feat he has managed to accomplish with this book.

Young Pakistani men live in no-man’s land, according to Rice sociologist

By: Dr. Craig Considine
Subjects: Philosophy and Religion, Religion

Many young Pakistani men are living in a no-man’s land, according to a new book from Rice sociologist Craig Considine. These individuals feel that they do not belong in Pakistan, but do not feel welcome in the U.S. or Europe.

Second-generation Pakistani-Irish individuals face identity challenges

By: Dr. Craig Considine

Over the course of the study, Considine identified three views of Irish national identity within Ireland:

 The cultural view, which defines “Irishness” in terms of the culture that an individual adheres to in everyday life.

The civic view, which defines people as Irish if they have Irish citizenship.

The ethnic view, which defines people as Irish if they have – or at least are believed to have – Irish ancestry.

Half of the study participants felt that ethnicity is the defining feature of Irish identity and expressed that they are not – and believe they never will be – fully accepted as Irish because of their ethnic background.

“Many of the participants discussed ‘Irishness’ in terms of ancestry and whiteness, both of which they feel are deeply ingrained in Irish society,” Considine said.

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