Religious Debates Doth Not a Community Make - North American Muslim Counterpublics and the Limits of Community

  • Author / Creator
    Maseehuddin, Farooq
  • In the face of a sustained political rhetoric that constitutes Islam as the proverbial ‘other,’ Muslim communities face external pressures of geopolitical proportions. Within these communities too, however, a vibrant and sometimes tense internal discourse has shaped the ways Muslims see authority, identity and belonging. This study seeks to elaborate structural tensions in North American Muslim communities and the frameworks informing the creative responses to them. It connects these tensions to a historical shift toward transnational pan- Islamic paradigms borrowed from twentieth-century Islamist movements. Informed by anticolonial discourses and methodological debates in the anthropology of Islam, this study argues against conflating the notions of ‘counterpublic’ and ‘community.’ Through a mixed media comparative case study of two North American Muslim organizations, Ta’leef Collective and the el-Tawhid Juma Circle/Unity Mosque, this thesis employs the model of religious economy to analytically map perceived tensions and their responses. The study concludes by developing a new conceptualization of Muslim community that distinguishes between intentional communities and de facto communities, demonstrating that a more localized vision of community might better address perceived tensions.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.