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Title:Gender Separation: Ideology against Practice
Author(s):Ikram, Imran
Spring 2010
Abstract:Interactions between Men and Women and Islam This paper defines the boundaries between men and women within the bounds of Islamic law and analyzes how these boundaries translate into Muslim-American daily life on the University of Illinois campus. Not only does this paper seek to define the differences between practice and ideals between Muslims, but it also seeks to observe and analyze the interactions between Muslim and non-Muslim students. Defining the boundaries between Muslims and Muslims and Muslims and non-Muslims serves to compare the ideals of Islam to the practice of said rules in daily life. What are the boundaries? What are the exceptions? To what extent is segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims along gender lines enforced and followed and why? What factors go into segregation and what factors lead to cross-gender interaction? How do Muslims on campus feel about interacting with each other? With non-Muslims? How do non-Muslims feel about Muslims interacting with them? What are the implications of the above questions and how do they translate into the average Muslim student on the University of Illinois campus? Through interviews the author seeks to analyze gender separation and segregation between a plethora of Muslims and non-Muslims and its implications on the daily lives of Muslim students.
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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