Introduction: The Question of Muslim Masculinities
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, Muslims across Western nations had inhabited an often hostile social climate characterized by extensive levels of scrutiny, surveillance, and pressure. Muslims have been cast simultaneously as “at risk” of radicalization and as a threat to enlightenment values, freedom, and democracy. Young Muslim men in particular have been portrayed as potential “home-grown” terrorists, criminal thugs, and misogynistic oppressors and as a problem that must be solved. The “question of Muslim identity” and more specifically, Muslim masculinities, political loyalty and action has become the central pivot around which debate has focused for the place of Islam in the West and the adequacy of state policies on citizenship and multiculturalism. Despite the centrality of young, Western-born Muslim men to these questions they remain poorly understood. Even less understood is the relationship between social influences shaping Muslim men and the cultural, political, and intellectual trajectories of Islam in Western contexts. This book addresses the questions related to why young Muslim men often from very similar social backgrounds are pursuing such dramatically different political paths in the name of Islam. This is at the fore of international debates about citizenship and Muslim minorities and in the current international political context is a task that has more urgency than ever.
KeywordsWestern Nation Political Engagement Public Intellectual Western Context Negative Representation
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