Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity

Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity

Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity

Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity

Synopsis

What is it like to be a young Muslim in America? Many young Americans cherish an American dream, 'that all men are created equal. And the election of America's first black President in 2008 has shown that America has moved forward. Yet since 9/11 Muslim Americans have faced renewed challenges, with their loyalty and sense of belonging being questioned. Nahid Kabir takes you on a journey into the ideas, outlooks and identity of young Muslims in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Virginia. Based on around 400 in-depth interviews with young Muslims, discover the similarities and differences between ethnic and racial groups such as Iranians, Arab Americans and African Americans. Find out how they rate President Obama as a national and world leader, where they stand on the Israeli-Palestine issue and how the media impacts on them."

Excerpt

My acquaintance with American society has been developed on three occasions: first, as a spouse (and a student) when my husband was a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, second, as a conference speaker/attendee, and finally, as a visiting fellow at Harvard University. I now provide a thumbnail sketch of my life journey from my childhood to my present circumstances.

I was born and raised in a Muslim family in the predominantly Muslim country of Bangladesh, but I spent several years of my childhood in Pakistan. I had a middle-class professional upbringing in Dhaka (the capital of Bangladesh, then known as East Pakistan) and Karachi (a city in the then West Pakistan). Both my parents were educated people. We moved back to Dhaka (in the then East Pakistan) in 1970. in 1971 East Pakistan gained independence from West Pakistan through a civil war and came to be known as Bangladesh. During the Pakistan period, my father was promoted to the position of an executive director in the State Bank of Pakistan. in the independent Bangladesh, he became the deputy governor of the Bangladesh Bank. My mother was a stay-at-home mum. I attended a private school and two missionary (private) schools and colleges in Dhaka and Karachi. in these educational institutions we had teaching staff from Europe and America. At home, I spoke Bengali (my mother tongue), and in schools and colleges the medium of instruction was English. I was also taught Urdu in Pakistan as it was a curriculum requirement. I was raised in a Muslim environment, where offering prayers five times a day, fasting in the month of Ramadan and reciting the Holy Quran were compulsory.

After completing ba Honours in History from the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh I got married and in 1981 I moved to the United States. While living in the us, I made some American friends, and studied history in the undergraduate school at the University of Texas. I appreciated the warm . . .

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