Between Islam and the American Dream: An Immigrant Muslim by Yuting Wang

By Yuting Wang

According to a three-year ethnographic examine of a gradually turning out to be suburban Muslim immigrant congregation in Midwest the USA, this booklet examines the micro-processes during which a bunch of Muslim immigrants from varied backgrounds negotiate a number of identities whereas trying to turn into a part of American society within the years following Sept. 11. the writer seems to be into frictions, conflicts, and schisms in the neighborhood to debunk myths and supply a close-up examine the studies of normal immigrant Muslims within the usa. rather than treating Muslim immigrants as essentially diversified from others, this publication perspectives Muslims as multidimensional participants whose identities are outlined via a couple of easy social attributes, together with gender, race, social type, and religiosity. every body portrayed during this ethnography is a posh person, whose hierarchy of identities is formed via specific occasions and the bigger social surroundings. by means of targeting a unmarried congregation, this examine controls variables regarding the particularity of position and provides a “thick” description of interactions inside small teams. This publication argues that the frictions, conflicts and schisms are worthy up to inevitable in cultivating a “composite tradition” in the American Muslim neighborhood marked by way of range, best it onto the trail of Americanization.

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Additional info for Between Islam and the American Dream: An Immigrant Muslim Community in Post-9/11 America

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14 The entire family diligently observed fasting for a whole month every year during Ramadan. However, as the only Muslim family in town at that time, it was difficult to practice their religion without a community of believers living close by. When Eva Riverside Mosque 27 grew up, there was no mosque in the area except a Shi’a mosque about fi fty miles away. The family went there a few times. However, they eventually stopped going there because of the long distance and the irreconcilable differences between Sunni and Shi’a traditions.

Arabs are proud of their shared ethnic heritage with Prophet Mohammed, speaking the same language in which the Holy Qur’an was written, and sharing the national or ethnic bond with people who are the guardians of the Holy City of Mecca. Many Arabs with whom I spoke to admit that they feel very fortunate to be able to read and understand the Qur’an, and they feel that they are obligated to help others who may not understand the words of God. They feel that they can understand and interpret the verses better than others and are thus more qualified and capable to play a pivotal role in the mosque.

In the near future a community hall and playground for children would appear on the unpaved part of the parking lot where we had left our car. The mid-summer heat was scorching. We got out of the car, walked quickly toward the air-conditioned building, and entered through the door on the ground level. Compared to many of the mosques I had visited before, Riverside Mosque was somewhat “strange”—men and women shared the same entrance. “As-salaam Aleikum (Peace be upon you),” several men with distinctive South Asian and Arab facial characteristics and two black men at the door taking off their shoes sensed the coming of people, quickly raised their heads and greeted us with smiles as we entered.

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