Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | Muslims in Western Politics
N305 | 27751 | Sinno


This course aims to introduce students 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 up some 2% of the North American population and 4%
of the European Unionís population, and their numbers are expected
to continue to grow.

The attacks 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 for the
projection of geopolitical power. Western states and their rapidly
growing Muslim populations are adjusting to each other under the
constant pressure of exogenous shock. The way they manage the
process will deeply affect Western polities and their relations with
the Muslim World.

Substantive topics that we will explore include: How and why do
different states strike a balance between security and civil
rights / liberties? Is there really a trade-off between the two? How
do they deal with immigration, both permitted and unregulated? What
factors affect the degree of political participation by 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
and the dynamics among citizens of different backgrounds? 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?