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Muslims in the WestFrom Sojourners to Citizens$
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Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148053.001.0001

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Representation of Islam in the Language of Law: Some Recent U.S. Cases

Representation of Islam in the Language of Law: Some Recent U.S. Cases

(p.187) 12 Representation of Islam in the Language of Law: Some Recent U.S. Cases
Muslims in the West

Kathleen M. Moore

Oxford University Press

In decoding critical moments in American justice, one could make various observations about the mixed sources of justice which are operative in the transaction between the condemned and the judge. The argument would essentialize identity, positing that the judge, in an example given in this chapter, a man of Irish-American descent who grew up in the Bronx, and the defendant, a Middle Easterner of Islamic faith, were incapable of transcending their fixed “essences”, hedged in by their respective cultures, as well as by their respective roles as judge and defendant. However partial or imperfect it is, though, the judicial demarcation of what constitutes “Islam” enters into the political environment to join other sources of “knowledge” about to shape ideas about Islam and to give meaning to what Islam represents in the new world order. Islam, in effect, is reconstructed discursively through its encounter with America's judicial system into terms that make sense for the law's secular system of meaning.

Keywords:   America, justice, judge, defendant, Islam, court cases, Muslims

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