By Shahnaz Khan
Shahnaz Khan provides the voices of Muslim girls on how they build and maintain their Islamic id. Khan interviewed fourteen Muslim ladies approximately their experience of strength, authenticity and position. Her serious research demanding situations the Western belief of Islam as monolithic and static.
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Extra info for Aversion and Desire: Negotiating Muslim Female Identity in the Diaspora
Then when I became seventeen my older brother was gone to the [United] States, and my younger brother [who was four years younger than me]... he can go out For me it was a struggle to get permission to go out. You know what I am saying? They don't want anybody to talk behind your back. Shahnaz: So you found it restrictive? Safieh: I found it annoying. Shahnaz: Did you find it much different in the [United] States? Safieh: Oh, yes, I remember when I was in New York, I used to rush home before sunset, and I couldn't understand why I was home when the sun was going down.
Bhabha argues that "all cultural statements and systems of enunciation are constructed in this contradictory and ambivalent space of enunciation" (1995, 37). Fanon (1967) calls this a zone of occult instability where everything is called into question. Here, articulations of new cultural demands, meanings, and strategies in the present become practices of collusion and resistance. Notwithstanding the references to Umma in religious discourse and popular imagination, Dossier III of the international group Women Living under Muslim Laws reminds us: "While similarities exist, the notion 20 / Aversion and Desire: Negotiating Muslim Female Identity in the Diaspora of a uniform Muslim world is a misconception imposed on us" (cited in Patel 1991,95).
Yet what is the history of Muslims in North America through which we may harness this energy? Muslims in North America Arabs are portrayed as newcomers, yet Arab presence in the Americas dates back to the tenth century. Voyages made by Arab sailors may well have inspired Christopher Columbus. A recent Italian display of Columbus's belongings included an Arabic book containing an account of eight sailors from Arab Spain who had landed in the Americas. However, Arab presence in North America, in fact the category Arab itself, is not without contradiction.