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date: 25 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

American Muslims are often seen as either unassimilable immigrants or as African Americans who only “adopted” Islam as rebellion against Christian-sanctioned racist exclusion. This chapter brings into meaningful conversation these two often divided arenas of definition, agency, and political space by focusing on the categories of “Islam” and “race” and how they have been negotiated, applied, rejected, and forced by and onto various people since the eighteenth century. It shows how Muslims in the United States are both American and transnational, since the relationship between race and religion is globally negotiated. It also considers the intersections of religion and race with gender and sexuality, surveying research on Muslim slaves, naturalization cases in the early twentieth century, Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, the racialization of Muslims after 9/11, and the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative.

Keywords: Islam and Muslims, African American religion, Black Lives Matter, race and religion, religion and slavery, gender and sexuality, Moorish Science Temple, Nation of Islam, immigration, 9/11

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