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Title:Muslim vs. Non-Muslim views on Zionism
Author(s):Perlin, Jonathan
foreign policy
two-state solution
west bank
Spring 2010
AAS 258
Abstract:Today there is constant debate over US foreign policy in the Middle East. One important aspect of this debate centers around the issue of Israel’s existence as a state, and the nature of that state. More specifically the question that will be examined asks how Muslim opinions will differ from non-Muslims when concerning Zionism. I hypothesize that Muslim opinions on the subject will not only be much stronger than non-Muslim opinions but they will also identify much more strongly with the Palestinian minority due to the fact that many Palestinians are Muslims. Conversely, non-Muslim opinions will probably tend to be more neutral towards the issue due to either lack of personal sentiment towards the issue or due to not being well informed. As a distinct category, Jewish people would be expected to respond as strongly as Muslims, except in favor of Israel, because of a strong personal connection to the issue. Overall this paper will try to discover if this hypothesis holds when applied to students at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. It will do so by examining a cross-section of all of these groups of students and based on the results of these examinations it will try to provide a better general idea about how this specific group group of students views this issue and if the hypothesis is proven true or false. This examination will go beyond a simple vote of support for or against the State of Israel, but look at levels of support for different versions of that State.
Issue Date:2010
Course / Semester:When did Muslims arrive in the Americas? What is the history of Muslim immigrants in the United States? This course was an introduction to the study of Muslims in the United States. In examining the multiple racial, cultural, and national groups that make-up this diverse community, students questioned what it means to be Muslim in America. The course began with the first contact between Islam and America in the “Age of Discovery” and the African slave trade to think through the roots of Islam and its role in the contemporary moment. In this moment students also examined how indigenous Americans, referred to as American Indians, are conceptualized in relation to the Muslims of Europe and simultaneously racialized. In historicizing Islam students examined the communities who first arrived as crypto-Muslims to understand the place of Latinos in American Islam. Second, students examined African American Islam in its myriad formations. These two examples were then used comparatively to understand how the historical narrative of African American and Latino Muslims is related to newer immigrant populations. In large part, students surveyed Arab American and South Asian American Muslim communities particularly in urban contexts. These later two populations grew through large immigrant waves in the 19th century and the late twentieth century, particularly after 1965. In addition to the multi-racial and comparative perspective, this course examined intra-religious (sectarian) and interfaith differences and dialogues. This material was explored through an interdisciplinary approach focusing on the scholarship mainly from anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, and ethnic studies. For many of class discussions this course used Chicago as an ethnographic site to explore the complex make-up and history of Muslim America.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-28

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  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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