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Listening While Muslim

  • Nabeel Zuberi (a1)

You are what you hear, not what you say. This personal reflection explores how listening to music in the post 9/11 context enabled me to negotiate ideas of diasporic Muslim identity when speaking as Muslim proved much more difficult. Islamophobia and Islamophilia both apply pressures on the kind of Muslim one can be in public. Listening to electronic music genres, hip hop and punk from the US and UK opened up spaces to engage with war and terror, racism and media. Much of this music refers directly to Muslim peoples, places and structures of feeling. Yet music that isn't explicit about the Muslim is also conscripted for life during wartime in which some of us feel wary about articulating those Muslim parts of our garbled selves. Music genres have specific affordances that modulate Muslim affects and discourses, and shape new and indeterminate ways of being Muslim.

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Popular Music
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  • EISSN: 1474-0095
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