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In Trump Era, Young Muslims Question Respectability Politics of Mosques

In Trump Era, Young Muslims Question Respectability Politics of Mosques

In Trump Era, Young Muslims Question Respectability Politics of Mosques

This article originally appeared on Religion Dispatches.

Possibly this week, President Trump might sign yet another executive order, this time restricting entry to the United States from majority Muslim countries [read a draft obtained by HuffPo here]. This, on the heels of the executive orders he just signed to ramp up immigration enforcement and enable the building of the U.S.-Mexico border wall he promised during his campaign. Muslim and immigrant groups, especially youth, are mobilizing against these actions, with a major protest taking place last night in New York City’s Washington Square Park.

To combat the continued vilification of Islam in the American public sphere since September 11th, American Muslim houses of worship and organizations have worked  against policies that visibly target Muslims such as profiling, denial of First Amendment rights and harassment by law enforcement. In doing so, these institutions work  to gain public recognition, inclusion and representation, as well as the ability to help shape public policy.

This narrow focus on “Muslim issues” has indeed helped drum up support from a range of allies  pledging  to protect the American Muslim community, including the Anti-Defamation League, the ACLU, the  Southern Poverty Law Center and public figures such as George Takei and Michael Moore. As the Trump era begins, it seems American Muslim institutions’ focus on self-preservation will persist but, unlike the post-9/11 era, this time it might mean increased disaffiliation from younger American Muslims seeking a broader range of political engagement.

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Photo
from Twitter user @ostadjaan.

Hebah Farrag is the assistant director of research of the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.