Near Eastern Languages and Cultures | Muslims in Western Politics
N695 | 15500 | Sinno
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 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 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 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?
We will also discuss the application of research methods such as
interviews, experiments, and survey analysis to produce convincing
answers to these research questions.