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The Unfamiliar AbodeIslamic Law in the United States and Britain$
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Kathleen Moore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387810.001.0001

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Muslims in the United States

Muslims in the United States

Pluralism under Exceptional Circumstances

(p.29) 1 Muslims in the United States
The Unfamiliar Abode

Kathleen M. Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an overview of the exceptional circumstances that Muslims face in the United States after September 11, 2001. The concept of pluralism, as fact and theory, is discussed in light of what the Muslim American experience has to tell us about the limits of tolerance. The situation of Muslims in the United States gives rise to both an internal struggle about what it means to be pluralistic and to an outward struggle to negotiate rights and liberties in a climate of fear that has intensified since 9/11. The chapter looks at the challenges facing Muslims in the United States, where they simultaneously seek to maintain ties with the worldwide Muslim community (ummah) and also pursue a uniquely “American” set of political and legal concerns. The chapter defines the exceptional circumstances under which the discursive construction of pluralism and Muslim American identity occur. These circumstances are characterized by the siege mentality that saturates much of the attention focused so intently on Muslims in the United States since the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. The agency found in the slippage in the fragmented and mobile subject of “Muslim” identity is illustrated when Muslims are narrated, and narrate themselves, into the multicultural nation and state. The implications of the post-9/11 backlash for the pursuit of justice and the vicissitudes of American pluralism are discussed.

Keywords:   Muslim Americans, 9/11 pluralism, tolerance, Muslim community

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