October 9, 2014 : Culture, Identity, Religion and Muslim Diaspora
Haideh moghissi, "Diaspora of Islamic Cultures: Continuity and Change. (Research Report).-
Refuge 21, 2 (Feb 2003): 11. Readings: 4(6)
-the study of changing gender and family relations among four dis- placed communities of Islamic cultures
(Iranian, Afghan, Palestinian, and Pakistani).
-three sets of “circumstances” are analyzed – an individual’s experience in the home and host country, together
with an examination of socio-economic conditions and policies in the host.
-gender significantly impacts new migrants’ experience and how they feel about their “home” country.
-changing gender dynamics in the new country can lead to a new under- standing among partners – or,
alternatively, to heightened tension, with severely damaging effects, particularly for women and children.
-Culturally, when family under standings collapse, this process may be accompanied by an effort to find religious
justification for gender inequality.
-connection can be seen between difficulties in the new country, the efforts of conservative men to reclaim the
dominance they once enjoyed in their countries of origin, and give it a religious justification. Hence, the revival,
in the diaspora, of conservative Islamic practice and belief.
-about 3 per cent of the world population, live in countries in which they were not born.
-effects of displacement on gender relations among four migrant and refugee communities from Islamic cultures
-Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, and Palestinians, two are studied in developed societies (Iranians and Pakistanis in
Canada and Britain).
-the challenge to traditional ideas may present itself as a positive experience for many (particularly younger)
women, who find an opportunity to break from the extended family, and a relatively negative one for men, who
may encounter difficulty in finding satisfying work in the new society, and whose authority, dignity, and sense of
self-worth may therefore be threatened
-term “diaspora” in a rather self-explanatory fashion to refer to communities of immigrant, exiled, and self-exiled
individuals who, despite cultural, economic, and political distinctions, share the experience of separation from
home about which they have a collective memory
-definition includes characteristics such as a dispersal from an “original center" to “peripheral” places,
maintaining a memory about the homeland and perhaps considering it a place of eventual return, and particularly
having an underclass position in the “hostland” and a belief “that they are not – and perhaps cannot be – fully
accepted by their host country.”
-“diasporic consciousness” with its associated effects for communities of Islamic cultures results more from a
gradually developed emotional, psychological, and inevitably cultural detachment from the “host-land” rather
than a continued attachment to the “home-land;” and that this might be the inevitable result of declared and/or
undeclared hostility and exclusionary practices that target diasporic communities of Islamic cultures in Western
-development of an “identity conflict” is particularly true of the second-generation migrants for whom, over time,
“aware- ness of differences between themselves and dominant Anglo society may increase.”
-The sense of exclusion and cultural difference, that is, a feeling of not being accepted or at least tolerated by the
host country, adds to the sense of isolation.
-Many refugees and immigrants feel that they are expected to work harder, to be on their most impeccable
behaviour, to complain less, and always to be grateful in their adopted home
-Race becomes ethnicity, then culture; the normative hierarchy and inequality gave way to representation in terms
-Muslims are perhaps the best example of groups who are continuously targets of racism, without having an
identifiable marker such as colour that works against blacks. Their religion, Islam, becomes a source of
discrimination and exclusion.
-Islamic diaspora in the West is often a product of anti-Muslim propaganda and racism
-often immigrants of Islamic cultural backgrounds are entirely conceptualized and their history, culture, and way
of life are understood with reference to Islam and Islam alone.
-ethnic, regional, and class divisions between and among diasporic communities from Islamic societies define the
world views, the ways of life, the attachments to the cultural practices of the homeland, and most definitely the
politics of individual migrants of Islamic cultures.
-Muslim communities in Britain, France, and Germany, for example, come predominantly from working-class and
rural backgrounds and consist primarily of poor, unskilled or skilled migrants. The Muslim diasporic
communities in the United States and Canada, at least until very recently, tended to have urban, middle-class,
and professional backgrounds