Islam Is A Foreign Country

Author: Zareena Grewal
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479800880
Size: 15.49 MB
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In Islam Is a Foreign Country, Zareena Grewal explores some of the most pressing debates about and among American Muslims: what does it mean to be Muslim and American? Who has the authority to speak for Islam and to lead the stunningly diverse population of American Muslims? Do their ties to the larger Muslim world undermine their efforts to make Islam an American religion? Offering rich insights into these questions and more, Grewal follows the journeys of American Muslim youth who travel in global, underground Islamic networks. Devoutly religious and often politically disaffected, these young men and women are in search of a home for themselves and their tradition. Through their stories, Grewal captures the multiple directions of the global flows of people, practices, and ideas that connect U.S. mosques to the Muslim world. By examining the tension between American Muslims’ ambivalence toward the American mainstream and their desire to enter it, Grewal puts contemporary debates about Islam in the context of a long history of American racial and religious exclusions. Probing the competing obligations of American Muslims to the nation and to the umma (the global community of Muslim believers), Islam is a Foreign Country investigates the meaning of American citizenship and the place of Islam in a global age.

Forever Suspect

Author: Saher Selod
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813588375
Size: 21.13 MB
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The declaration of a “War on Terror” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks brought sweeping changes to the American criminal justice and national security systems, as well as a massive shift in the American public opinion of both individual Muslims and the Islamic religion generally. Since that time, sociologist Saher Selod argues, Muslim Americans have experienced higher levels of racism in their everyday lives. In Forever Suspect, Selod shows how a specific American religious identity has acquired racial meanings, resulting in the hyper surveillance of Muslim citizens. Drawing on forty-eight in-depth interviews with South Asian and Arab Muslim Americans, she investigates how Muslim Americans are subjected to racialized surveillance in both an institutional context by the state and a social context by their neighbors and co-workers. Forever Suspect underscores how this newly racialized religious identity changes the social location of Arabs and South Asians on the racial hierarchy further away from whiteness and compromises their status as American citizens.

Reconfiguring Islamic Tradition

Author: Samira Haj
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804769754
Size: 41.33 MB
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Samira Haj conceptualizes Islam through a close reading of two Muslim reformers—Muhammad ibn 'Abdul Wahhab (1703–1787) and Muhammad 'Abduh (1849–1905)—each representative of a distinct trend, chronological as well as philosophical, in modern Islam. Their works are examined primarily through the prism of two conceptual questions: the idea of the modern and the formation of a Muslim subject. Approaching Islam through the works of these two Muslims, she illuminates aspects of Islamic modernity that have been obscured and problematizes assumptions founded on the oppositional dichotomies of modern/traditional, secular/sacred, and liberal/fundamentalist. The book explores the notions of the community-society and the subject's location within it to demonstrate how Muslims in different historical contexts responded differently to theological and practical questions. This knowledge will help us better understand the conflicts currently unfolding in parts of the Arab world.

Moral Ambition

Author: Omri Elisha
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520950542
Size: 34.72 MB
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In this evocative ethnography, Omri Elisha examines the hopes, frustrations, and activist strategies of American evangelical Christians as they engage socially with local communities. Focusing on two Tennessee megachurches, Moral Ambition reaches beyond political controversies over issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and public prayer to highlight the ways that evangelicals at the grassroots of the Christian Right promote faith-based causes intended to improve the state of social welfare. The book shows how these ministries both help churchgoers embody religious virtues and create provocative new opportunities for evangelism on a public scale. Elisha challenges conventional views of U.S. evangelicalism as narrowly individualistic, elucidating instead the inherent contradictions that activists face in their efforts to reconcile religious conservatism with a renewed interest in compassion, poverty, racial justice, and urban revivalism.

Sweetness In The Belly

Author: Camilla Gibb
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307373347
Size: 40.76 MB
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Lilly, the main character of Camilla Gibb’s stunning new novel, has anything but a stable childhood. The daughter of English/Irish hippies, she was “born in Yugoslavia, breast-fed in the Ukraine, weaned in Corsica, freed from nappies in Sicily and walking by the time [they] got to the Algarve…” The family’s nomadic adventure ends in Tangier when Lilly’s parents are killed in a drug deal gone awry. Orphaned at eight, Lilly is left in the care of a Sufi sheikh, who shows her the way of Islam through the Qur’an. When political turmoil erupts, Lilly, now sixteen, is sent to the ancient walled city of Harar, Ethiopia, where she stays in a dirt-floored compound with an impoverished widow named Nouria and her four children. In Harar, Lilly earns her keep by helping with the household chores and teaching local children the Qur’an. Ignoring the cries of “farenji” (foreigner), she slowly begins to put down roots, learning the language and immersing herself in a culture rich in customs and rituals and lush with glittering bright headscarves, the chorus of muezzins and the scent of incense and coffee. She is drawn to an idealistic half-Sudanese doctor named Aziz, and the two begin to meet every Saturday at a social gathering. As they stay behind to talk, Lilly finds her faith tested for the first time in her life: “The desire to remain in his company overwhelmed common sense; I would pick up my good Muslim self on the way home.” Just as their love begins to blossom, they are wrenched apart when the aging emperor Haile Selassie is deposed by the brutal Dergue regime. Lilly seeks exile in London, while Aziz stays to pursue his revolutionary passions. In London, Lilly’s life as a white Muslim is no less complicated. A hospital staff nurse, she befriends a refugee from Ethiopia named Amina, whose daughter she helped to deliver in a back alley. The two women set up a community association to re-unite refugees with lost family members. Their work, however, isn’t entirely altruistic. Both women are looking for someone: Amina, her husband, Yusuf, and Lilly, Aziz, who remains firmly, painfully, implanted in her heart. The first-person narrative alternates seamlessly between England (1981-91) and Ethiopia (1970-74), weaving a rich tapestry of one woman’s quest to maintain faith and love through revolution, upheaval and the alienation of life in exile. Sweetness in the Belly was universally praised for the tremendous empathy that Gibb brings to an ambitious story. Kirkus Reviews writes that the novel "reflect(s) the pain, cultural relocation and uncertainty of tribal, political and religious refugees the world over. Gibb's territory is urgently modern and controversial but she enters it softly, with grace, integrity and a lovely compassionate story. [It is a] poem to belief and to the displaced–humane, resonant, original, impressive." According to the Literary Review of Canada, Sweetness in the Belly is “…a novel that is culturally sensitive, consummately researched and deeply compassionate…richly imagined, full of sensuous detail and arresting imagery…Gibb has smuggled Western readers into the centre of lives they might never otherwise come into contact with, let alone understand.”

American Muslim Women Religious Authority And Activism

Author: Juliane Hammer
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 029274272X
Size: 36.27 MB
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Following the events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims found themselves under unprecedented scrutiny. Muslim communities in the United States suffered from negative representations of their religion, but they also experienced increased interest in aspects of their faith and cultures. They seized the opportunity to shape the intellectual contribution of American Muslims to contemporary Muslim thought as never before. Muslim women in particular—often assumed to be silenced, oppressed members of their own communities—challenged stereotypes through their writing, seeking to express what it means to be a Muslim woman in America and carrying out intra-Muslim debates about gender roles and women’s participation in society. Hammer looks at the work of significant female American Muslim writers, scholars, and activists, using their writings as a lens for a larger discussion of Muslim intellectual production in America and beyond. Centered on the controversial women-led Friday prayer in March 2005, Hammer uses this event and its aftermath to address themes of faith, community, and public opinion. Tracing the writings of American Muslim women since 1990, the author covers an extensive list of authors, including Amina Wadud, Leila Ahmed, Asma Barlas, Riffat Hassan, Mohja Kahf, Azizah al-Hibri, Asra Normani, and Asma Gull Hasan. Hammer deftly examines each author’s writings, demonstrating that the debates that concern American Muslim women are at the heart of modern Muslim debates worldwide. While gender is the catalyst for Hammer’s study, her examination of these women’s intellectual output touches on themes central to contemporary Islam: authority, tradition, Islamic law, justice, and authenticity.

Making Moderate Islam

Author: Rosemary R. Corbett
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 150360084X
Size: 76.64 MB
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Drawing on a decade of research into the community that proposed the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque," this book refutes the idea that current demands for Muslim moderation have primarily arisen in response to the events of 9/11, or to the violence often depicted in the media as unique to Muslims. Instead, it looks at a century of pressures on religious minorities to conform to dominant American frameworks for race, gender, and political economy. These include the encouraging of community groups to provide social services to the dispossessed in compensation for the government's lack of welfare provisions in an aggressively capitalist environment. Calls for Muslim moderation in particular are also colored by racist and orientalist stereotypes about the inherent pacifism of Sufis with respect to other groups. The first investigation of the assumptions behind moderate Islam in our country, Making Moderate Islam is also the first to look closely at the history, lives, and ambitions of the those involved in Manhattan's contested project for an Islamic community center.

We Gather Together

Author: Neil J. Young
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 019973898X
Size: 47.43 MB
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The story of the birth of the Religious Right is a familiar one. In the 1970s, mainly in response to Roe v. Wade, evangelicals and conservative Catholics put aside their longstanding historical prejudices and theological differences and joined forces to form a potent political movement that swept across the country. In this provocative book, Neil J. Young argues that almost none of this is true. Young offers an alternative history of the Religious Right that upends these widely-believed myths. Theology, not politics, defined the Religious Right. The rise of secularism, pluralism, and cultural relativism, Young argues, transformed the relations of America's religious denominations. The interfaith collaborations among liberal Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were met by a conservative Christian counter-force, which came together in a loosely bound, politically-minded coalition known as the Religious Right. This right-wing religious movement was made up of Mormons, conservative Catholics, and evangelicals, all of whom were united--paradoxically--by their contempt for the ecumenical approach they saw the liberal denominations taking. Led by the likes of Jerry Falwell, they deemed themselves the "pro-family" movement, and entered full-throated into political debates about abortion, school prayer, the Equal Rights Amendment, gay rights, and tax exemptions for religious schools. They would go on to form a critical new base for the Republican Party. Examining the religious history of interfaith dialogue among conservative evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons, Young argues that the formation of the Religious Right was not some brilliant political strategy hatched on the eve of a history-altering election but rather the latest iteration of a religious debate that had gone on for decades. This path breaking book will reshape our understanding of the most important religious and political movement of the last 30 years.

Rebel Music

Author: Hisham Aidi
Publisher: Vintage Books
ISBN: 0307279979
Size: 17.38 MB
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In this pioneering study, Hisham Aidi takes us into the musical subcultures that have emerged among Muslim youth worldwide over the last decade. He shows how music - primarily hip-hop, but also rock, reggae, Gnawa and Andalusian - has come to express a shared Muslim consciousness in face of War on Terror policies

Living Sufism In North America

Author: William Rory Dickson
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 1438457588
Size: 20.99 MB
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Offers an overview of Sufism in North America. In this book, William Rory Dickson explores Sufism as a developing tradition in North America, one that exists in diverse and beguiling forms. Sufism’s broad-minded traditions of philosophy, poetry, and spiritual practice infused Islamic civilization for centuries and drew the attention of interested Westerners. By the early twentieth century, Sufism was being practiced in North America. Today’s North American Sufism can appear either explicitly Islamic or seemingly devoid of Islamic religiosity. Dickson provides indispensable background on Sufism’s relation to Islamic orthodoxy and to Western esoteric traditions, and its historical development in North America. The book goes on to chart the directions that North American Sufism is currently taking, directions largely chosen by Sufi leaders. The views of ten North American Sufi leaders are explored in depth and their perspectives on Islam, authority, gender, and tradition are put in conversation with one another. A more detailed picture of North American Sufism emerges, challenging previous scholarly classifications of Sufi groups, and highlighting Sufism’s fluidity, diversity, and dynamism. “Living Sufism in North America is the first book of its kind to bridge the gap between Sufi studies and the study of North American contemporary religious movements. As such, it is a comprehensive, pioneering work of potential interest to a wide array of scholars in the field of contemporary religion.” — Patrick Laude, author of Pathways to an Inner Islam: Massignon, Corbin, Guenon, and Schuon