Being and Belonging: Muslims in the United States since 9/11 / Edition 1

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Overview

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, instantly transformed many ordinary Muslim and Arab Americans into suspected terrorists. In the weeks and months following the attacks, Muslims in the United States faced a frighteningly altered social climate consisting of heightened surveillance, interrogation, and harassment. In the long run, however, the backlash has been more complicated. In Being and Belonging, Katherine Pratt Ewing leads a group of anthropologists, sociologists, and cultural studies experts in exploring how the events of September 11th have affected the quest for belonging and identity among Muslims in America—for better and for worse.

From Chicago to Detroit to San Francisco, Being and Belonging takes readers on an extensive tour of Muslim America—inside mosques, through high school hallways, and along inner city streets. Jen’nan Ghazal Read compares the experiences of Arab Muslims and Arab Christians in Houston and finds that the events of 9/11 created a “cultural wedge” dividing Arab Americans along religious lines. While Arab Christians highlighted their religious affiliation as a means of distancing themselves from the perceived terrorist sympathies of Islam, Muslims quickly found that their religious affiliation served as a barrier, rather than a bridge, to social and political integration. Katherine Pratt Ewing and Marguerite Hoyler document the way South Asian Muslim youth in Raleigh, North Carolina, actively contested the prevailing notion that one cannot be both Muslim and American by asserting their religious identities more powerfully than they might have before the terrorist acts, while still identifying themselves as fully American. Sally Howell and Amaney Jamal distinguish between national and local responses to terrorism. In striking contrast to the erosion of civil rights, ethnic profiling, and surveillance set into motion by the federal government, well-established Muslim community leaders in Detroit used their influence in law enforcement, media, and social services to empower the community and protect civil rights. Craig Joseph and Barnaby Riedel analyze how an Islamic private school in Chicago responded to both September 11 and the increasing ethnic diversity of its student body by adopting a secular character education program to instruct children in universal values rather than religious doctrine. In a series of poignant interviews, the school’s students articulate a clear understanding that while 9/11 left deep wounds on their community, it also created a valuable opportunity to teach the nation about Islam.

The rich ethnographies in this volume link 9/11 and its effects to the experiences of a group that was struggling to be included in the American mainstream long before that fateful day. Many Muslim communities never had a chance to tell their stories after September 11. In Being and Belonging, they get that chance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871543288
  • Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

KATHERINE PRATT EWING is associate professor of cultural anthropology and religion at Duke University.

CONTRIBUTORS: Melissa J. K. Howe, Sally Howell, Marguerite Hoyler, Amaney Jamal, Craig M. Joseph, Sunaina Maira, Bill Maurer, Jen'nan Ghazal Read, Katherine Pratt Ewing, Barnaby Riedel, Andrew Shryock, Richard A. Shweder, and Charlotte van den Hout.

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Table of Contents


Table of Contents
About the Authors
Chapter 1. Introduction
Katherine Pratt Ewing
Part I. The Backlash and Its Effects
Chapter 2. Citizenship, Dissent, Empire: South Asian Muslim Immigrant Youth
Sunaina Maira
Chapter 3. Detroit Exceptionalism and the Limits of Political Incorporation
Sally Howell and Amaney Jamal
Chapter 4. Being Muslim and American: South Asian Muslim Youth and the War on Terror
Katherine Pratt Ewing and Marguerite Hoyler
Part II. The Changing Shape of Communities and Institutions
Chapter 5. Multiple Identities Among Arabs in America: A Tale of Two Congregations
Jen¿nan Ghazal Read
Chapter 6. Overstressing Islam: Bridgeview¿s Muslim Community
Craig M. Joseph, Melissa Howe, Charlotte van den Hout, Barnaby Riedel, and Richard A. Shweder
Chapter 7. Islamic Schools, Assimilation, and the Concept of Muslim American Character
Craig M. Joseph and Barnaby B. Riedel
Chapter 8. Postmodern or Puritan? Islamic Home Financing and the Transformation of Islamic Law
Bill Maurer
Epilogue
On Discipline and Inclusion
Andrew Shryock
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