november, 2019

201921nov12:30 pm2:00 pmFaculty Workshop: Tahseen Shams—Transnationalism and Territorialization: Ummatic Solidarity Across State Borders12:30 pm - 2:00 pm Institute of Islamic Studies, 170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto Event Organized By: Institute of Islamic Studies


Event Details

In 2015, three Arab Muslim college students were killed in their North Carolina home by their white neighbor, reportedly over a parking dispute. This event and news coverage of the story as a mental health issue rather than a hate crime that reflected the country’s rising Islamophobia angered many Muslim Americans, powerfully reminding them of their otherness in U.S. society. Based on ethnographic and interview data of South Asian Muslim Americans in California at this time, I found that these immigrants this event, and many other instances of violence against Muslims in America, through a global lens, drawing comparisons with “Muslims in danger” in far flung places of the world. Indeed, many respondents made sense of their experiences as Muslim Americans based on how they viewed their co-religionists faring in other Western countries where Muslims are also stigmatized minorities. These examples combined with the post-9/11 U.S. context reinforced my participants’ worldview that “the West” is biased against “the Muslim world.” And they overwhelmingly used this lens—particularly the prism of the U.S. interventions in the Middle East— to evaluate U.S. politics, consequently participating in ways they viewed would favorably impact U.S. foreign policy towards that region. Sometimes these issues gained priority even over Muslim-related conflicts in the homelands, I argue not simply based on a sense of Ummatic solidarity, but because politics in or associated with the Middle East are more influential in shaping Muslim American identity formation.


(Thursday) 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Institute of Islamic Studies

170 St. George Street, Jackman Humanities Bldg, Suite 530, Seminar Room, Toronto




Institute of Islamic Studies