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    MOTADEL, DAVID 2012. ISLAM AND THE EUROPEAN EMPIRES. The Historical Journal, Vol. 55, Issue. 03, p. 831.

  • Volume 5: The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance
  • Edited by Francis Robinson, Royal Holloway, University of London; Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies

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    • Volume 5: The Islamic World in the Age of Western Dominance
    • Edited by Francis Robinson
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Book description

Volume 5 of The New Cambridge History of Islam examines the history of Muslim societies from 1800 to the present. Francis Robinson, a leading historian of Islam, has brought together a team of scholars with a broad range of expertise to explore how Muslims responded to the challenges of Western conquest and domination across the last two-hundred years. As their articles reveal, the social, economic, political and historical circumstances which influenced these responses have, in many different parts of the world, empowered Muslim societies and encouraged transformation and religious revival. The volume offers a fascinating glimpse into the local dimensions of that revival and how regional connections have been forged. Synthesising the academic research of the past thirty years, as well as offering substantial guidance for further study, this book is the starting-point for all those who wish to have a serious understanding of modern Muslim societies.

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  • 1 - The Ottoman lands to the post-First World War settlement
    pp 29-78
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    Among Islamic states, the Ottoman Empire was the longest-lived and one of the largest. This chapter examines the political, social, economic and cultural evidence of four periods: those of sultans Selim III and Mahmud II; the Tanzimat; Abdülhamid II; and the Young Turk revolution and final crises. The half-century of Selim and Mahmud's reigns began and ended amid the crises: first the dual catastrophes of 1768 and 1798, then the Egyptian crisis of 1839. Like earlier European reformers, Selim found that improving the military required increasing the efficiency of revenue collection and of government in general. Midway through the Tanzimat, the Crimean War might have proven equally threatening had not Britain and France supported the Ottomans against Russia. The war enabled Abdülhamid to end the bureaucratic hegemony of the Tanzimat and the First Constitutional Period. Cultural change made the Tanzimat as important in shaping the Westernising Ottoman intelligentsia as the preceding period was for the conservatives represented by the Khālidiyya.
  • 2 - Egypt to c. 1919
    pp 79-106
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    The French occupation of Egypt was the first military incursion by an industrialising and aggressively expansionist Europe in the central Middle East, and it ushered in the modern era of Western hegemony. Muḥammad ʿAlī came to Egypt in 1801 with an Ottoman expedition sent against the French. Muḥammad ʿAlī's Albanian origin was less significant than his formation in and adherence to Ottoman ruling class culture and norms. Muḥammad ʿAlī's reforms in the military, administration and education drew inspiration from earlier Ottoman reforms along French lines that had culminated in the Nizam-1 Cedid of Sultan Selim III. The elite that emerged in the middle decades had a larger proportion of Egyptians, men such as the engineer ʿAlī Mubārāk. The reign of Ismāʿīl saw advances in intellectual life and the emergence of a 'public' that took an interest in and discussed issues affecting the political community. The Ottoman and Egyptian bankruptcies occurred simultaneously, and European creditor nations protected the bondholders' interests.
  • 3 - Sudan, Somalia and the Maghreb to the end of the First World War
    pp 107-133
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    The religious movements in Libya and the Sudan laid the basis for political structures to dominate these countries after independence, albeit in a 'modernised' form. The ʿAlawī sultans of Morocco had by 1800 consolidated their rule. The eastern region of Cyrenaica was unsafe after a war between the tribal confederations of the ʿAwāqīr and MaghAwāriba in 1832. The battle of Isly was a reminder for Morocco that it had to face up to the European challenge. For the beys in Tunis, the French arrival in Algeria provided a useful counterbalance to their formal masters in Istanbul. The major concern was the disastrous state of Tunisia's finances, always verging on the edge of bankruptcy due to the enormous debts owed to European creditors, While the Sanūsiyya was the closest thing to a unifying force in Cyrenaica, Ottoman power was dominant in Tripolitania. The southern parts of the Somali region were dotted with various trading towns known as the Benādir ports.
  • 4 - Arabia to the end of the First World War
    pp 134-153
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    Arabia is important to many literatures. As the world came increasingly under Western dominance Arabia seemed the great exception, and by the late nineteenth century printed forms in Mecca allowed pilgrims to take Arabian names that attached them to the cradle of Islam. The Ottomans, re-established from 1841, maintained an ecumenical regime in the Holy Cities. Non-Islamic empires beyond Arabia could be aligned with al-dunyā, or worldly things. The term 'Wahhābī' was used by Arabian authors of a movement centred specifically on Najd, which sometimes they call a madhhab, sometimes a dīn, a new religion. Printing appeared in Sana with the Turks in the 1870s, a press was established in Mecca in 1883, but what general publishing there was developed in Egypt, or even Zanzibar. In much of Islam, the eighteenth century saw interest in 'reform'. Reading later concerns into earlier ones is problematic, and some historians too easily invoke a period's 'mood'.
  • 5 - Iran to 1919
    pp 154-179
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    Iran entered the nineteenth century heaving from nearly a century of war and political turmoil. In 1722, the Safavid dynasty succumbed to an ignominious end at the hands of its Afghan vassals, inaugurating a prolonged period of political turmoil which witnessed the dramatic rise and fall of Nādir Shāh. Historians have tended to be unsympathetic to the change in monarchical vigour and direction, lamenting the dissipation of military rigour to the decadence of the harem. Fatḥ ʿAlī Shāh's reign was defined by his relations with European powers and the ultimate imposition of treaties which were to signify Iran's growing impotence in an international system increasingly dominated by Europe. In 1848 Hajji told the dying shah that the tranquillity of kingdom compared with the revolutions that were now engulfing Europe. While the Anglo-Russian agreement had divided Iran into spheres of influence, it had implied consultation between the Russians and the British; and the latter had been sympathetic to the constitutional movement.
  • 6 - Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus to 1917
    pp 180-202
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    Nicholas II, Tsar of All the Russias, ruled over more Muslims than any Muslim sovereign, when the empires of Europe marched off to war in 1914. 'Russian Muslims' numbered over twenty million at the end of the imperial era, and could claim to be the second-largest confessional community in the empire, yielding only to Orthodox Christians in number. The practice of Islam, its reproduction, and its transmission to future generations took place in largely autonomous local communities. The last half-century of imperial rule in Russia was a time of massive change in the various Muslim societies of the empire. While Jadidism shared with other currents of religious reform a concern with the renewal of the Muslim community, its intellectual inspiration, its social basis and its modalities of operation were quite distinct. In addition, large numbers of people, especially in Central Asia, the Kazakh steppe, and northern Caucasus, remained beyond the reach of religious reform.
  • 7 - Afghanistan to 1919
    pp 203-211
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    The earliest known reference to 'Afghanistan' as a political entity is in the pact signed by Britain and Qājār Iran in 1801. Afghanistan as a territorially defined buffer state between British India and tsarist Russia, with its current boundaries, however, took shape during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. The last empire to emerge in the old mould, that of Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, stretched from Khurasan to Kashmir and Punjab, and from the Oxus to the Indian Ocean. Bloody wars and chaos lasted for nearly four decades, culminating in the First Anglo-Afghan War. The Russians and the British were aiding and encouraging such attacks against the Afghans. An Indian jihadist, Sayyid Ahmad Barēlwī, who had been fighting the British in northern India, came to Afghanistan in 1827 to encourage the Bārākzay sardars to wage a jihad against the Sikhs. Russian military advances in Turkistan prompted the Second Anglo-Afghan War.
  • 8 - South Asia to 1919
    pp 212-239
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    The period 1800-1920 saw the one-quarter of the world's Muslims who lived in the Indian subcontinent enter the modern world. The British defeated the Marathas outside Delhi and made the Mughal emperor a British pensioner. The sayyid preached a message of Islamic reform through northern India, interspersed in 1821-23 with a pilgrimage to Mecca. The Mutiny uprising of 1857-58 was a defining moment both for the British and for the Muslims of north India. Sayyid Ahmad Khan led the process of constructive engagement with British rule. Sayyid Ahmad's concern that education should be effective meant that he wrestled with the issue of which medium at the higher level was appropriate, English or the vernacular. Sayyid Ahmad's achievement was just the fashioning of Islamic modernism and creating the key institution of Muslim higher education. The All-India Muslim League played the key role in advancing the Muslim cause as what came to be known as the Morley-Minto council reforms went through Parliament.
  • 9 - South-East Asia and China to 1910
    pp 240-268
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    Reforming syncretic Islam was a central issue for nineteenth-century South-East Asia and China, often leading to violent conflict. Maritime South-East Asia's believers generally lived under Muslim rulers around 1800, but 'Javanism' remained powerful, and other faiths were prominent. Nineteenth-century reform diffused through hubs of piety, linked to the wider Islamic world. Violence broke out during religious processions and rituals, giving rise to local massacres and Islamic calls to holy war. Among non-Muslim rulers of South-East Asia, the Vietnamese emperor Minh-Mang stood out as the fiercest enemy of Islam. A marked break with the policies of the Dutch East India Company occurred in 1808. The 'colonial peace' contributed to a growing flow of pilgrims to the Ḥijāz, especially measures taken against banditry, piracy and epidemics. Local forms of millenarianism were boosted by widely held Islamic beliefs that the imām mahdī was coming to fill the earth with justice, prior to the last judgement.
  • 10 - Africa south of the Sahara to the First World War
    pp 269-298
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    In the long perspective of historical development, as well as the nineteenth century, sub-Saharan Muslim societies have developed different expressions of 'Islamic religious culture'. The wars that ended with the victory of Muslim religious scholars were legitimised in religious terms and came to be regarded as jihads. This chapter focuses on four cases of Islamic governance, namely the Sokoto jihad and the Bornu response; the jihad of al-Ḥājj ʿUmar Taal; and Masina. Traditions of coexistence of Islam and pre-Islamic communal cults became, at the same time, increasingly obsolete, and pre-Islamic religious traditions were marginalised. Whereas seas of sand connect the northern and southern reaches of the Sahara, the Indian Ocean and the monsoons connect the East African coast with the shores of India and Arabia. In the nineteenth century, the societies of the East African coast came to experience a series of crises which were linked, in political terms, with the rise and demise of the sultanate of Zanzibar-Oman.
  • 11 - Turkey from the rise of Atatürk
    pp 299-335
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    Westernisation has been the central ambition of the modern Turkish Republic since its foundation in 1923. This chapter starts with the rise of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the national leader, and the formation of the republic in the early twentieth century and explains the bifurcation of Turkey's modern history. In the aftermath of the First World War, most territories of the Ottoman Empire were either colonised or fell under the occupation of French, British, Italian or Greek forces. The Lausanne Treaty represents the end of a period of population shuffling that had affected the Ottoman territories since at least the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. By the end of the Second World War Republican People's Party rule was identified with the restriction of civil liberties and the deterioration of economic conditions in the country. On 12 September 1980 Turkey's military made one more effort to re-establish control over social change, launching a new coup.
  • 12 - West Asia from the First World War
    pp 336-371
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    The loss by the Ottoman Empire of its last Arab provinces during the First World War, and the dissolution soon thereafter of the Ottoman state itself, opened up the possibilities of radical political change in the region. The awarding of the mandates for Syria to France and for Mesopotamia and Palestine to Great Britain by the League of Nations in April 1920 sanctioned the occupation of these territories and opened the way for their political reorganisation. Some of those who participated in the war of 1948 were volunteers from the Muslim Brotherhood in Transjordan. The young army officers, state servants and urbanised peasantry who played an increasingly prominent part in the politics of the region were driven by the visions of Arab nationalism, of state socialism and of Marxism. In 1985 Hizbullah outlined its main goals: the expulsion of Israeli forces from Lebanon and the eventual establishment of an Islamic state in Lebanon.
  • 13 - Egypt from 1919
    pp 372-401
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    Egypt was the springboard for the Gallipoli campaign, then the invasion of Syria. Egyptian nationalists laid foundations for an independent constitutional monarchy and the onset of the liberal era. Secular liberals, socialists, Marxists and Islamists all supplied terms of discourse and models for social activism and reorganisation. Egypt at mid-century remained a rural nation uncertain of its relationship to the broader Arab world. The Second World War stimulated Egyptian industry, and rural overcrowding prompted mass migrations to urban centres, particularly Cairo. By 1952 the Free Officers envisioned a coup, but acted only when they feared arrest. Gamal Abd al-Nasser (d. 1970), the real leader of the Free Officers movement asserted his claim to power. Public opinion, however, swung towards Najib, and the revolutionary council recalled him. Underpinning the optimism of the Nasser era was a modern secular society, very much a continuation of trends dominant throughout the twentieth century.
  • 14 - Sudan from 1919
    pp 402-416
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    Sudanese have struggled to forge a national identity within African, Arab, Christian, Muslim and animist traditions. The Sudan is about a third 'Northerners', who may claim an 'Arab' identity since Arabic is their first language. The Anglo-Egyptian 'Reconquest' launched British colonial administration following the 1898 Karari massacre and the assassination of the Mahdist Khalifa Abd Allahi with his surviving group. Sudan is on one of the historic pilgrimage routes to Mecca across the Sahel. On 1 January 1956 the British withdrew and Sudan was restored as an independent state under the National Unionist Party-dominated parliament. By 1963 southern resistance transformed into the Anya-Nya guerrilla force linked with the Sudan African National Union and other exile groups. The lives of the poor in Sudan deteriorated due to the civil war and underdevelopment, yet elite areas in Khartoum still grew. The al-Bashir regime stood committed to its Islamist policies and repression of dissent through much of the 1990s.
  • 15 - North Africa from the First World War
    pp 417-450
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    At the start of the First World War, no region of the Maghreb had eluded European colonial rule, although the length and intensity of their experiences varied. Algeria was, in theory, fully integrated with France, while in Tunisia the protectorate created the appearance of sovereignty even as it concentrated effective power in the hands of European officials. As colonial officials attempted to thwart political opposition in Algeria and Tunisia during the 1920s, their colleagues in Morocco and Libya still faced armed resistance. The participation of Moroccan units of the Spanish army in that country's civil war drew North Africans into European hostilities even before the outbreak of the Second World War. Developments in Algeria contributed significantly to the decision to acknowledge Moroccan and Tunisian sovereignty. Post-war Algeria's political history generally replicated that of the protectorates. In 1985 and 1986, after several years of liberalising reforms had failed to cut through Algeria's economic morass, strikes and demonstrations exploded across the country.
  • 16 - Saudi Arabia, southern Arabia and the Gulf states from the First World War
    pp 451-480
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    The aftermath of the First World War brought a new political order to the entire Middle East, including Arabia. Prior to Arabia's passage to a hydrocarbon economy, agriculture, pastoral nomadism and caravan trade were the main sources of livelihood. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the third incarnation of Saudi-Wahhabi power. The indeterminacy of international borders among Oman, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia fostered rival claims to concession areas held by foreign companies. Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the Trucial states had Exclusive Agreements with Great Britain that gave London an exclusive role in foreign relations, provided shaykhs independence from larger regional powers and strengthened shaykhly lineages against internal challenges. In 1929 Bahrain became the first Gulf shaykhdom to enter the global oil market when an American firm, the Bahrain Petroleum Company obtained a concession. Yemen possesses the most extensive and productive agricultural lands in the peninsula, allowing for relatively dense settlement of Arabia's second most populous country.
  • 17 - Iran from 1919
    pp 481-516
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    Iran's tumultuous history during the twentieth century swirled around conflicts over political power, economic resources and ideological schisms. Britain invaded Iran in January 1918 on the heels of Russia's October revolution as Bolsheviks withdrew their troops from Iran and renounced all tsarist privileges. Reza Khan's action was approved by highranking British officers and officials, who argued that Iran needed a military strongman. Reza Khan installed the Pahlavi dynasty and became known as Reza Shah. The most important development following the Second World War was the nationalist movement opposed to foreign control of Iran's oil, as during the war the Americans, and later the Soviets, attempted to win oil concessions from Iran. Ruh Allah Musawi Khomeini condemned virtually all aspects of the White Revolution and their broader implications for Iran's place in the world. The political and economic developments of the early 1960s led to a realignment within the system and set the stage for the conflicts of the 1970s.
  • 18 - Central Asia and the Caucasus from the First World War
    pp 517-541
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    The indigenous peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus underwent profound changes from the First World War to the early twenty-first century. Wartime demands imposed heavy burdens on many inhabitants throughout the Russian empire. In the final months of the First World War the southern Caucasus was a bone of contention between the Ottoman and British empires. By 1919 the Bolsheviks' successes on other fronts in the civil war enabled them to divert more forces to Central Asia. After the civil war the leadership in Moscow began to reorganise the country's administrative structure. Soviet policy towards the non-Russians in the early 1920s also applied to cultural matters. The policy was described by the slogan 'national in form, socialist in content'. In the late 1920s the Kremlin under Joseph Stalin launched initiatives designed to transform the Soviet Union along socialist lines. The Stalin era, especially the Second World War, saw a spurt of industrial growth in Azerbaijan and Central Asia.
  • 19 - Afghanistan from 1919
    pp 542-557
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    Aman Allah gained control of Afghanistan's foreign affairs, hence independence, from British India following a brief war. The central focus of the anti-Aman Allah campaign became his modernisation policies. Nadir Shah, the founder of the Musahiban dynasty, introduced policies with lasting impact upon the future course of Afghanistan's political, social and economic developments. The decade of Daud's rule proved to be crucial for the Afghan state and its relationship with both Islam and ethnic communities. The Cold War made it possible for Daud's regime to receive substantial foreign aid from both the Soviets and the West. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan coup and direct Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan offered the fledgling Islamist movements a new lease on life. The jihad victory culminated in renewed regional proxy wars, the rising menace of the Taliban and Talibanism and the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, followed by US intervention and the ongoing so-called 'War on Terror'.
  • 20 - South Asia from 1919
    pp 558-590
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    In 1919 the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, which devolved some powers on Indians in the provinces, and the Rowlatt Act, which restricted Indian civil rights, had changed the legal and political structure of British colonialism. The legacy of Muslim activism at the turn of the century, combined with Azad and Iqbal's influence, laid the foundations for debates on religion, society and politics. The inter-war period was one of uncertainty for Indian Muslims. British rule had destroyed their position of dominance, and they were anxious about their fate in independent India. During the inter-war years the British had recognised Muslims as a separate political community. The Muslim League took advantage of this to challenge Congress's claim on Muslim politics. Given the circumstances of Pakistan's birth, the place of Islam in politics soon became central to national debate. The change in Society of ulama of Islam (JUI) leadership was important as the JUI emerged in the 1970s as a powerful force in Islamic politics.
  • 21 - South-East Asia from 1910
    pp 591-622
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    The last stand of South-East Asia's independent Muslim polities took place at the turn of the twentieth century. In South-East Asia's new cities, the expansion in popular literacy combined with migration and population growth to create restless Muslim publics, eager to explore new modes of piety and politics. The twentieth century introduced a new wrinkle into Muslim South-East Asia's pluralist legacy. In South-East Asia itself the most distinctive development in the early twentieth century was, not just the spread of Islamic reform, but the growing appeal of Cairene ideas linking religious renewal to nationhood. Minangkabau had a history of politicised reformism. Most countries in South-East Asia have at least some Muslims among their native population. The state-supported system of Islamic universities expanded during the Suharto era, blossoming into twenty-eight university campuses. In post-war Malaysia the drivers of Muslim culture and politics were not secular nationalism and Islamism, but ethnic competition between Malays and non-Malays.
  • 22 - Africa south of the Sahara from the First World War
    pp 623-658
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    The twentieth century was decisive in making Islam the faith of significant numbers of Africans south of the Sahara. This chapter focuses on Muslim communities in tropical Africa after the First World War. It examines colonial encounters between European officials and Muslims, and is followed by an analysis of Muslim expansion. The chapter then assesses Muslim participation in nationalist and post-colonial politics and recent Islamic movements. From the late nineteenth century Europeans imposed their rule in sub-Saharan Africa. Working relations developed between British officials and Muslim elites in northern Nigeria, a territory including the Sokoto empire founded after Usman dan Fodio's nineteenth-century jihad. Colonial officials remarked on the widespread and often rapid expansion in Muslim affiliation in sub-Saharan Africa. Muslims participated in nationalist movements that pushed for independence across sub-Saharan Africa after the Second World War. The new 'scripturalism', with its emphasis on textual authority, occurred at a time of increased interaction in the Islamic world.
  • 23 - Islam in China from the First World War
    pp 659-685
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    The First World War China has been engaged in an unremitting project of nationalisation that includes, emancipation from its imperial past, engagement with Western political institutions and establishment of its sovereignty over its bounded territory. This chapter examines Islamic identity and expression in China with special attention to the Hui and Uyghur. Islam in China has primarily been propagated over the last 1,300 years among the people now known as Hui, but many of the issues confronting them are relevant to the Turkic and Indo-European Muslims on China's inner Asian frontier. The hierarchical organisation of Sufi networks helped in the mobilisation of large numbers of Hui during economic and political crises of the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. During the Cultural Revolution Muslims became the focus for both anti-religious and anti-ethnic nationalist critiques, leading to widespread persecutions, mosque closings and at least one large massacre of 1,000 Hui following a 1975 uprising in Yunnan Province.
  • 24 - Islam in the West
    pp 686-716
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    Muslims represent a permanent, expanding and diverse element in the populations of most Western states. The historical engagement of Islam with the West has always reflected changing commercial, military and geopolitical power balances. Muslim migration to Britain, France and the Netherlands represented an offshoot of the mainstream of migration that transported thousands of Muslims as slaves and indentured labour to the colonies and even the metropole itself. Eastern Europe by the 1990s contained an estimated 8,250,000 Muslims, comprising about 15 per cent of the population. The housing profile of Muslims has similarly been shaped by migratory history, socio-cultural and educational background and material circumstances. Muslim communities in the early twenty-first-century West articulate their specific needs in the context of external factors and constraints, such as racism and available socio-economic opportunities. Muslims living in early twenty-first-century Western transnational space are busy creating a range of identities that combine their consciousness of the umma with their citizenship of societies in the West.

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