Contemporary American Discourses on Islam: The Politics of Representation
A Special Issue on the 4th Annual Critical Islamic Reflections Conference at Yale
Guest edited by Mahan H. Mirza
The 4th Annual Critical Islamic Reflections Conference sought to examine how people in America - whether Muslims or others -talk about Islam. Throughout the 20th century and certainly in the beginnings of the new millennium, images and representations of Islam and Muslims abound in the academic and popular press. The 2005 CIR conference aimed to assess what those images are and the politics that underlie their production and dissemination. The conference explored the language, tone, assumptions, typologies, images, and ideas used to portray Islam and Muslims in American discourse, the effect that such representations produce, and the interests they serve.

Cutting across disciplinary lines, and relating to fields such as religious studies, history, American studies, near eastern studies, literary criticism, sociology, and political science, papers for the conference were parsed under three broad categories:
  1. Muslims in America: From Past to Present
  2. Images and Imagined Selves: Media and Popular Discourses
  3. Through the Looking Glass: Discourses within the Muslim Community.
This special issue of The Muslim World includes two papers from each panel.

<img alt="Free Article" border="0" height="13" width="21">Introduction
Mahan H. Mirza

A Muslim 'Diaspora' in the United States?
Christoph Schumann

Pros and Cons: Americanism against Islamism in the 'War on Terror'
Sayres S. Rudy

American Visions of the Houri
Nerina Rustomji

The Making of an Expert: The Case of Irshad Manji
Tarek El-Ariss

Conversion Out of Islam: A Study of Conversion Narratives of Former Muslims
Mohammad Hassan Khalil and Mucahit Bilici

Rep that Islam : The Rhyme and Reason of American Islamic Hip Hop
Suad Abdul Khabeer

For a full list of articles published in The Muslim World visit