Islam: An American Religion

Nadia Marzouki and Rosemary R. Corbett will discuss Marzouki’s Islam: An American Religion (Columbia University Press, 2017), in which she demonstrates how Islam as formed in the United States to become an American religion in a double sense―first through the strategies of recognition adopted by Muslims and second through the performance of Islam as a faith.

Nadia Marzouki also investigates how Islam has become so contentious in American politics. Focusing on the period from 2008 to 2013, she revisits the uproar over the construction of mosques, legal disputes around the prohibition of Islamic law, and the overseas promotion of religious freedom. She argues that public controversies over Islam in the United States primarily reflect the American public’s profound divisions and ambivalence toward freedom of speech and the legitimacy of liberal secular democracy.

In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Nadia Marzouki is a research fellow at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Paris. She is the co-editor, with Olivier Roy, of Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World (2013) and, with Duncan McDonnell and Olivier Roy, of Saving the People: How Populist Parties Hijack Religion (2016).

Rosemary R. Corbett is the author of
Making Moderate Islam, Sufism, Service, and the “Ground Zero Mosque” Controversy (Stanford University press, 2016). She has taught philosophy religious and gender studies at Columbia and Tufts universities and is now teaching humanities classes in men’s maximum security facilities for the Bard Prison Initiative. Her work can be found in American Quarterly, Religion, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Religion and American Culture, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Islamic Law & Culture, and Comparative Islamic Studies. Corbett also serves on the board of directors of nonprofit organizations, among which the Center for Constitutional Rights, that is among the most tenacious in fighting for the rights of minorities, as well as those often denied basic protections–immigrants and the incarcerated.