Politics State

Becoming American?: The Forging of Arab and Muslim Identity by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

Countless generations of Arabs and Muslims have known as the USA ''home.'' but whereas variety and pluralism proceed to outline modern the United States, many Muslims are seen via their associates as painful reminders of clash and violence. during this concise quantity, popular historian Yvonne Haddad argues that American Muslim identification is as uniquely American it's for as the other race, nationality, or religion.

Becoming American? first strains the background of Arab and Muslim immigration into Western society through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, revealing a two-fold disconnect among the cultures--America's unwillingness to simply accept those new groups at domestic and the actions of radical Islam out of the country. Urging the US to reassess its tenets of spiritual pluralism, Haddad finds that the general public sq. has good enough room to house these values and beliefs inherent within the average Islam flourishing during the state. In all, in striking, succinct style, Haddad prods readers to invite what it capability to be really American and paves the future of not just elevated figuring out yet for forming a Muslim message that's in a position to uplifting American society.

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Extra info for Becoming American?: The Forging of Arab and Muslim Identity in Pluralist America

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With graduate degrees from Harvard and the University of Indiana, and postdoctoral studies at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, he began his career as a university professor. During the first phase of his intellectual journey, he believed in the power of Arabism as a culture and civilization to create a universal ethical system by promoting standards in human relations as enjoined in the Qur’an. For him, Arabism is not Arab nationalism or ethnocentrism, which developed under colonial rule, but an all-inclusive identity that is infused with Islamic values.

Among them is the paying of the poll tax, jizya. Some had argued that this tax was imposed by God because of the basic inferiority of the People of the Book due to their refusal to accept the religion of Islam, but al-Qaradawi interprets it rather as a way in which Christians can contribute to the welfare of the state, since they are not drafted into the army and are not subject to the obligations of zakat and jihad. Furthermore, non-Muslims must be subject to the regulations of the Shari’ah; specifically they cannot collect interest on their investments; cannot be involved in any occupations that involve the selling or importing of forbidden substances, such as alcohol or pork; and cannot hold official positions of a religious nature, such as head of state, or judge among Muslims.

From this perspective Islam was posited as an ideological system, not a set of doctrines, beliefs, and practices. Muslims were subject to a divine mandate to implement this system in the world and to eradicate all other systems, which by definition must be considered ungodly. These ideas cohered during the Cold War as Marxism and capitalism squared off, each claiming exclusive possession of universal truth, each declaring eternal enmity to the other while striving to impose its vision on the rest of the world.

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