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date: 25 September 2022

Muslim Youth Issues in North America: The Canadian Contextlocked

Muslim Youth Issues in North America: The Canadian Contextlocked

  • Hicham TiflatiHicham TiflatiThe Center for Civic Religious Literacy

Summary

Even though the earliest Muslim immigrants did not plan on permanently settling down in their new host countries, by the 1980s, post-1960s Muslim migrants accepted the reality that they were in the West to stay, and they gave up all plans of returning to their countries of origin. Later, serious plans to form a new (i.e., American, Canadian) Muslim identity were in the making. Discussions amongst community leaders who were committed to the welfare of Muslims, to Islam, and to preserve their Muslim identity and culture. Therefore, Muslims became convinced that they were becoming permanent settlers in the West, that they were home, and that they needed to produce a modified version of Islam that suits their needs. As a manifestation of this reality, Muslim youth also started to distance themselves from their parents’ heritage and to move toward a more inclusive identity that contained both their Islamic and their Western heritage. Cesari refers to this as “cultural globalization,” which involves the “deterritorialization” of communities. In this context, Western Islamic identity becomes a powerful source of collective solidarity, recreating connections between groups otherwise separated by widely diverging doctrines, sects, histories, and cultures. Nonetheless, since the early 2000s, Western Muslims have faced significant levels of prejudice and discrimination in host countries—sometimes to an extent that threatens the orderly functioning of society.

Subjects

  • Islamic Studies

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