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Non-Muslim Students' Perceptions of Islam

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Title: Non-Muslim Students' Perceptions of Islam
Author(s): SMSP10AAS258
Subject(s): Islam television perceptions non-Muslims Spring 2010 AAS 258
Abstract: Along with many other non-Muslim individuals on campus at the University of Illinois, I know that I may have misconceptions about Islam. Much of my opinions concerning Muslims are influenced by the media and popular culture, and particularly television. Its serialized nature and ready access in the home provide the most regular exposure to portrayals of Islam, removed from its origins and fictionalized to suit a narrative. I would like to explore how other non-Muslim students views on Islam have been influenced by what they see on TV, and how that effects their personal interactions with Muslim students. Do they believe it is a proper substitute for watching the news? Do they believe overtly negative representations of Muslims in fictional situations? Do they believe there to be negative portrayals of Islamic characters? And how does it influence their interpersonal relations with Islamic students?
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report: 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.
Type: Text
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16331
Date Available in IDEALS: 2010-05-28
 

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