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"Inside the 'Struggle for the Soul of Islam'": American Muslims and the Politics of Identity in Post 9/11 America

By Hanifa Abdul Sabur

Abstract

Since the jarring catastrophe of 9/11, the American public has been the target of an onslaught of propaganda. Throughout the ensuing discourse about the pros and cons of American foreign policy before and after 9/11, and the shuffling of blame for the conditions leading up to it, a few essential questions stand out and create a context in which all competing interpretations are inseparably bound to one another. How do Americans construct a sense of self that allows them to identify and determine the acceptability (or lack thereof) of the "other"? Is the spatial constitution of American-ness physical, legal, or cultural in nature? What aspects of identity should be privileged when prioritizing forms of legitimacy and authority? For Muslims in America, these questions take on an especially challenging dimension that calls into question their claim to two seemingly competing communities and demands that they actively express their loyalty to both: namely, the American and the Islamic. Methodology includes an analysis of the implicit assumptions about the timeless essentiality of tradition, personal interviews, and theoretical analysis

Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:triceratops.brynmawr.edu:10066/6912
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