Muslim Diaspora in the West

Negotiating Gender, Home and Belonging

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  • Edited by Haideh Moghissi, York University, Toronto, Canada and Halleh Ghorashi, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Series: Research in Migration and Ethnic Relations Series
  • In view of the growing influence of religion in public life on the national and international scenes, Muslim Diaspora in the West constitutes a timely contribution to scholarly debates and a response to concerns raised in the West about Islam and Muslims within diaspora. It begins with the premise that diasporic communities of Islamic cultures, while originating in countries dominated by Islamic laws and religious practices, far from being uniform, are in fact shaped in their existence and experiences by a complex web of class, ethnic, gender, religious and regional factors, as well as the cultural and social influences of their adopted homes.

    Within this context, this volume brings together work from experts within Europe and North America to explore the processes that shape the experiences and challenges faced by migrants and refugees who originate in countries of Islamic cultures. Presenting the latest research from a variety of locations on both sides of The Atlantic, Muslim Diaspora in the West addresses the realities of diasporic life for self-identified Muslims, addressing questions of integration, rights and equality before the law, and challenging stereotypical views of Muslims. As such, it will appeal to scholars with interests in race and ethnicity, cultural, media and gender studies, and migration.
  • Contents: Introduction, Haideh Moghissi; Part I Women's Agency Within Intersection of Discourses: Culturalist approach of women's emancipation in the Netherlands, Halleh Ghorashi; Globalization and women's leadership in the Muslim diaspora: an intersectional analysis, Fauzia Erfan Ahmed; Emergence of a transnational Muslim feminist consciousness among women in the WENAAZ (Western Europe, North America, Australia & New Zealand) context, Cassandra Balchin. Part II Shifting Notions of Sexuality and Family in Diaspora: Multiculturalism and religious legislation in Sweden, Anne Sofie Roald; Iranians in Britain, Vida Nassehi-Behnam; Changing spousal relations in diaspora: Muslims in Canada, Haideh Moghissi; Sexing diaspora: negotiating sexuality in shifting cultural landscape, Fataneh Farahani. Part III Reflections on Islamic Positionings of Youth in Diaspora: Styles of religious practice: Muslim youth cultures in Europe, Thijl Sunier; The struggle to stay on the middle ground: the radicalization of Muslims in Sweden, David Thurfjell; Young French women of Muslim descent: discriminatory social context and politicization, Sepideh Farkhondeh. Part IV Diasporic Space and Locating Space: Making homes in turbulent times: Moroccan-Dutch Muslims contesting dominant discourses of belonging, Marjo Buitelaar and Femke Stock; Understanding Dutch Islam: exploring the relationship of Muslims with the state and the public sphere in the Netherlands, Martijn de Koning; Between Iraq and a hard place: Iraqis in diaspora, Jacqueline Ismael and Shereen Ismael; Conclusion, Halleh Ghorashi; Index.
  • About the Editor: Haideh Moghissi is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at York University, Toronto

    Halleh Ghorashi is PaVEM-chair in Management of Diversity and Integration in the Department of Culture, Organization, and Management at VU University Amsterdam
  • Reviews: 'A timely addition to the post 9/11 scholarship on Muslims in the west, these lively essays illuminate a rich mix of issues that shape and define the everyday experiences of diasporic Muslims, as well as exploring the stereotypical disjunctures between Muslim and secular law. This collection provides a fresh focus on understanding the complexities of family, gender and youth cultures and the necessity of including them in any study on Muslims in the modern world.'
    Amina Yaqin, University of London, UK

    'Cutting through the generalisation and misinformation that often surrounds discourses on Muslims in the West, these essays contextualise Muslim communities and practices, and the means by which governments seek to address migrant communities as "a problem". Addressing some of the egregious stereotypes used about the Muslim diaspora, and showing how the besetting homogenisation of diverse communities may serve political expediency but has a negative effect on the quest for meaningful integration, this is a very welcome and timely book.'
    Peter Morey, University of East London, UK

    'This excellent edited collection unpicks and disputed multifarious and intricate processes that underpin homogenization, otherization, and vilification of immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, Muslim citizens, and individuals with a Muslim cultural background in the group of countries known as “the West.” It does so through presenting a selection of essays that offer an insight into the localized, day-to-day realities of people whose lives are currently defined by their link to Islam.'
    American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences

    'This collection aims to critically explore some of the socio-cultural issues related to the homogenisation and stereotyping of Muslims. The authors in this collection offer new critical insights in the experiences of Muslims settled in the West, with a particular focus on the themes of gender, home and belonging… It is a welcome source for scholars interested not only in the study of gender and migration, but also the broader issues related to interculturalism, race, ethnicity and the dominant discourse on Islam and Muslims within diaspora.'
    Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law