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Call for submissions to Handbook on African American Islam – Aminah Beverly McCloud

Call for submissions to Handbook on African American Islam – Aminah Beverly McCloud

According to the Gallup Poll (2009), African American Muslims comprise the largest ethnic group of Muslims in the United States at 35%, as well as the oldest. There are communities of African American Muslims across the United States, from large metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, to small town communities in Kentucky and Tennessee. There is a wide range of economic diversity as there is a wide range of social class represented. Many families have produced three generations of Muslims who cling to the religion while living in an increasingly secular America. They too, are weathering the onslaught of Islamophobia and the pervasive fear and sometimes hate filled rhetoric of newscasters and other media pundits. There will be several contributors writing chapters devoted to their maturity as Muslims living in America, their contributions to their homeland’s religious landscape and their interactions with other Muslim and non-Muslim American communities.

The goal of this effort is to publish an accessible and authoritative source for students of religious studies, American religions, African American religions, anthropology, Muslim cultures, and Islam in America. It will investigate the ongoing phenomenon of African American Islam as a religious culture in the American landscape. It will also provide case studies for those interested in Muslim cultural history. This handbook will be a compilation of various disciplinary approaches to the study of religion and religious communities. The handbook will be handy history text in its characterization of African American Islam as a long-term presence in the United States that had its beginnings in American chattel slavery.

With this in mind, I am soliciting chapters on:

1. The various communities that claim Islam – Particular communities such as the NOI, Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, Sufi Communities, Darul Islam, communities of Warithudeen Muhammad, Shia communities, etc. Articles can be historical but must include current research.

2. Identity. Almost all members of the African American Muslim community speak of themselves in ways most commonly referred to as ‘disapora.’ Whether seeing themselves as ‘Muslims who live in America’ or Asiatics or Ethiopians; the notion of diaspora is prevalent. How do African American Muslims imagine themselves? Are there competing definitions of diaspora? What are the meanings of African and American in current Islamic thinking? How do African American women negotiate their Muslimness?

3. How have African American Muslim communities developed as Islamic communities? What are the varieties of the Islamic experience? Who is Muslim and what defines an Islamic experience? Is there an American Islam? Who represents Islam in America? What are media representations of African American Muslim Communities?

4. What are the relationships with other Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities? What are the bases for these relationships? Are African American Muslims involved in inter-faith dialogues and if so, on what terms? What is the status of engagement with the immigrant Muslim community?

5. Is there a “gender jihad” as expressed by Amina Wadud? Where does knowledge lay among the women? Are there issues of knowledge and power in marriage and family construction? What are women contributing to art, music, scholarship? Is there meaningful participation in the masajid? How are women shaping the activities of the masjid or other distinctly Muslim spaces?

6. What is the African American Muslim agenda for the 21st century? Do they have the same issues of Islamophobia, curtailment of civil liberties? How is American Islam going to be reflective of African American Islamic perspectives?

This Handbook will be published by Oxford in 2014. Those agreeing to submit a chapter will receive a contract with Oxford and a cash or book honorarium. Please send me your inquiries and hopefully willingness to submit by March 15, 2012 at amccloud@depaul.edu .