Chapter

Contours

Aisha Khan

in Islam and the Americas

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780813060132
Published online January 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780813050584 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813060132.003.0002
Contours

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This chapter examines paired polarities (West/East, Old World/New World) and common themes (modernity, progress, democracy) that both connect and divide Muslim and non-Muslim territories and peoples. It considers the implications these oppositions and commonalities have for understanding Islam as a means of agency within structures of power connected with the conquest and development of the Americas. Aisha Khan argues that approaching Islam as a medium that interlocks Old and New Worlds while contributing to the creation of new religious arenas allows comparative analysis to move beyond polarities, revealing the logics and methods by which the Americas and its constituent regions and peoples are constructed. Khan considers such key issues as how we understand the spread of religious traditions across space and time and how we ought to generalize through comparison of commonalities without losing sight of the contrasts posed by particulars.

Keywords: Islam; Americas; identity construction; agency; power structures; polarities; Old World; New World

Chapter.  9176 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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