Who Counts as a Muslim? Identity, Multiplicity and Politics

Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 31 (3):339-353 (2011)

Authors
Saba Fatima
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Abstract
My aim in this paper is to carve out a political understanding of the Muslim identity. The Muslim identity is shaped within a religious mold. Inseparable from this religious understanding is a political one that is valuable in its own right in order to secure any sustainable possibility of participating politically as Muslims within a democratic liberal democracy, such as the United States. Here I explore not the historical or theological formation of the Muslim identity, rather a metaphysical understanding of it, in order to mobilize politically while avoiding the traps of essentialism. I begin with a brief overview of the early understandings of the term “identity politics” in the United States. Moving beyond interest-based movements I explore María Lugones' particular understanding of the self as multiplicitous. I then offer examples of the Muslim identity within the context of a social movement and individualist claims, in order to draw out the political aspects of the Muslim identity. In the final section I argue that the theological criteria that define “who counts as a Muslim” is a crucial aspect of how many Muslims may understand their identity as Muslims. However, I claim that in order to avoid the traps of marginalization of Muslim minorities, one must understand oneself as a multiplicitous political agent and that, furthermore, such an understanding is not at odds with Islam or one's own understanding of their identity as Muslim.
Keywords Identity politics  Muslim  umma  Multiplicity  Essentialism  Race
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Muslim‐American Scripts.Saba Fatima - 2013 - Hypatia 28 (2):341-359.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Presence of Mind.Saba Fatima - 2012 - Social Philosophy Today 28:131-146.
Muslim‐American Scripts.Saba Fatima - 2013 - Hypatia 28 (2):341-359.
Muslim Governance and the Duty to Protect.Irene Oh - 2013 - Journal of Religious Ethics 41 (1):15-19.
The Racialization of Muslim Veils: A Philosophical Analysis.Alia Al-Saji - 2010 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 36 (8):875-902.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-02-21

Total views
1,299 ( #1,889 of 2,286,123 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
236 ( #1,830 of 2,286,123 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature