Muslims in the United States: Contests over Religious Freedom and Citizenship (21428). 2 units. This course will examine the legal and political battles that have occurred in the United States since the early 2000s over the definition of Muslims’ religious freedom and political rights. We will study the types of arguments and reasons that are used by anti-Muslim groups to claim that the rights of American Muslims are conditional or exceptional. To what extent do the American disputes about Islam express broader divisions and contestations over the meanings of liberal constitutionalism, democracy and law?
Drawing upon the study of specific legal cases and public controversies, the course will demonstrate how both anti-Muslim groups and American Muslim organizations have resorted to law to defend their rights and views. The course will also analyze the complex effects of these legal battles on the political participation and religious practice of American Muslims. While focusing on some of the key legal battles (around Sharia and mosques) that have occurred in the past decade, the course will propose insights from the social scientific literature, and from similar controversies in Europe and Canada. Paper required. N. Marzouki.