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New Book: “Lone Star Muslims”

Lone Star Muslims: Transnational Lives and the South Asian Experience in Texas
Ahmed Afzal
288 pages
5 tables illustrations
December, 2014
ISBN: 9781479844807

Link to title on NYU Press online catalog:

Lone Star Muslims offers an engaging and insightful look at contemporary Muslim American life in Texas. It illuminates the dynamics of the Pakistani community in Houston, a city with one of the largest Muslim populations in the south and southwestern United States.

Using a multi-sited approach, the volume examines Pakistani diasporic public cultures and everyday life to demonstrate the complexity of the South Asian Muslim American experience. Drawing on interviews and participant observation at Pakistani festivals and parades, radio programs, and ethnic businesses, it develops the concept of a transnational Muslim heritage economy, illuminating the increasingly central role of Islam in shaping consumption patterns and public cultures among Pakistani communities in Houston.

Importantly, the volume incorporates a range of narratives, including stories from the Pakistani corporate workforce; Pakistani ethnic entrepreneurs, the working class, and the working poor employed in Pakistani ethnic businesses; second generation youth; Muslim American gay men; community activists; and radio program hosts and producers. Critiquing dominant understandings of Muslim Americans, such as “terrorist” on the one hand, and “model minority” on the other, Lone Star Muslims offers a glimpse into a variety of lived experiences that belie generalizations. It shows how specificities of class, Islamic sectarian affiliation, citizenship status, gender, and sexuality shape transnational identities and mediate racism, marginalities and abjection.

Link to title on NYU Press online catalog: