The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States after 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility

The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States after 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility

The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States after 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility

The Bangladeshi Diaspora in the United States after 9/11: From Obscurity to High Visibility

Excerpt

Diaspora studies always generate interest for providing critical information about identity, cultural belongingness and citizenship of a growing segment of population that is displaced by globalization and other market forces. Those issues are important not only to the immigrant population but also to their host societies, especially the United States and Europe, because immigration is an integral part of these societies. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 brought new urgency to the study of diaspora, especially Muslim diasporas, for not only uncovering the traumatic experiences that Muslims in Western countries went through following the attacks but also for revealing the “crisis of citizenship debate” (Detroit Arab American Study Team--DAAST 2009) that followed. Justifying the DAAST study, Baker and Shryock (2009) pointed out that the analysis of Arab Detroit, which experienced a “concentrated version of the anxieties about identity and boundary maintenance that are now endemic to the contemporary nation state,” can provide “important insights about national belonging and the crisis moments in which it is tested and transformed” (p.14). In the same vein, the study of the Bangladeshis in the United States is especially significant not only because the members of this predominantly firstgeneration immigrant Muslim community experienced backlash but also because they confronted the questions about their citizenship and identity in their relatively new host country.

Ethnic Bangladeshis in the United States are part of about 3% of the total population of Bangladesh (almost 5 million), who migrated to . . .

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