Political Science | Muslims in Western Politics
Y401 | 22355 | Sinno

Meets with W405/NELC

This course introduces you to the role of Muslims in Western
Politics.  Individuals who practice the religion or who belong to
ethnic groups that are traditionally Muslim are now estimated to make
some 2% of the North American population and 4% of the European
Unionís population, and their numbers are expected to continue to
grow.  The events of September 11, 2001 and the wars that followed
highlighted and amplified the role and perception of Muslim
minorities in the West as political actors and electoral
constituencies, subjects of cultural hostility, scapegoats for poor
economic performance, suspects in the face of insecurity whose rights
could be exceptionally curtailed, and agents in the projection of
geopolitical power.  Western states and their rapidly growing Muslim
populations are adjusting to each other under the constant pressure
of exogenous shocks.  The way they manage the process will deeply
affect Western polities and their relations with the Muslim world.

Substantive topics we will explore include: How/why do different
states strike a balance between security and civil rights/liberties?
Is there really a tradeoff between the two? How do they deal with
immigration, both permitted and unregulated?  What factors affect the
degree of political participation of Western Muslims? Why are culture
clashes more salient in some countries than in others? Why do Muslim
immigrants prosper more economically in North America than in Europe?
How do international conflicts affect the relationship between
Western states and their Muslim citizens?  Is there a connection
between Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the West?  Are we
witnessing the birth of a Western Muslim macro-ethnicity or many
disjointed ethnic communities? How are Muslims perceived in their
Western societies and how do they perceive their fellow citizens?
What will the future hold?

Students are expected to regularly participate in discussions, write
a 15-20 page paper and participate in a collective research project
under the professorís guidance.  Students are also encouraged to
attend some panels on a September 22-24, 2005 conference organized at
IU on this topic.