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What Is an American Muslim?Embracing Faith and Citizenship$
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Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199895694

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895694.001.0001

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Negotiating Citizenship in the United States

Negotiating Citizenship in the United States

(p.35) 2 Negotiating Citizenship in the United States
What Is an American Muslim?

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na‘im

Oxford University Press

This chapter suggests that the outlook for American Muslims who want to embrace their American citizenship is promising. It contends that the fact that the process for acquiring US citizenship has not always been humane, enlightened, coherent, or rational offers hope for a more inclusive future. It discusses the evolution of the concept of American citizenship and the evolving framework and practice of citizenship. This article analyzes the “founding myth” of religious freedom and explains how the legal dimension of American citizenship developed. It also argues that American Muslims can look for guidance from the experiences in exclusion and inclusion of other religious communities, including Catholics, Jews and Mormons.

Keywords:   American Muslims, American citizenship, religious freedom, exclusion, inclusion, religious communities, Catholics, Jews, Mormons

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