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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

Muslims in the United States

Justine Howe, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University

Friday March 28, 2014
12:30-1:30 p.m.

***Alternate Site: Kelvin Smith Library, Lower Level, Room LL06 B/C ***
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

The current situation of Muslims in the United States is influenced by reactions – especially among American conservatives – in the wake of 9/11. Yet compared to other immigrant groups, the Muslim population in the United States is remarkably diverse. It is not even entirely immigrant: there is a substantial convert population, especially among African-Americans. Immigrants hail from at least seventy-seven countries, with very varied social backgrounds – ranging from impoverished Somalis to South Asians who came to the U.S. for higher education and stayed. The income distribution among American Muslims is very close to the distribution within the wider society. One study remarks that, "nowhere else in the world will one find such a diverse collection of Muslims."

In spite of this diversity, the classic issues of adaptation – from religious identity to intermarriage, keeping children in the community to "losing" them – may share some patterns across Muslims for reasons related to religion on either side – Islam or U.S. Christianity – as well as the provocations perceived on both sides from 9/11 and its aftermath. And the culture clash between the socially conservative values within Islam and the secular values of U.S. society may be especially strong. This leads to claims that Muslims' place in the U.S. will be especially problematic. While this may be true from some religious perspectives of a minority of U.S. Muslims, how does this work out for most? Tina Howe investigates such issues through ethnographic study of Muslim individuals and communities around Chicago.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Justine Howe specializes in contemporary Islam with a focus on Muslim communities in the United States. She earned a B.A. in History from Williams College (2003), an M.A. in the Anthropology and Sociology of Religion from the University of Chicago (2007), and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Northwestern University (2013). She joined the Department of Religious Studies in the fall of 2013 and serves as a Core Research faculty member in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at CWRU.

Dr. Howe’s current book project, tentatively entitled The Construction of American Islam: Rethinking Pluralism and Authority after 911, examines how American Muslim identity is formed at the intersection of consumerist practices, institutional rituals, and everyday life. She is also developing other projects, including a historical-anthropological project on Islam in Cleveland and a multi-sited, transnational ethnography of Muslims who attend Catholic Schools.

Dr. Howe’s teaching interests include Islam in North America and Europe, the Qur’an, Islamic law, Women and Gender in Islam, and the anthropology of religion.

Where We Meet

This week's meeting of the Public Affairs Discussion Group is on the lower level of Kelvin Smith Library. So please go down the elevator or the stairway from the entry level. If you get off the elevator, go left a few steps and then Room LL06B/C will be down a corridor to the right. On most days we meet in the Dampeer Room on the second floor of the library.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

April 4: The “Problem” of Teen Mothers. With Mary Erdmans, Associate Professor of Sociology.

April 11: Is the Federal Government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States Anti-Asian? With Timothy Webster, Assistant Professor of Law and Director, East Asian Legal Studies. ***Alternate Site: Mather House Room 100.***

April 18: Is Cleveland Dying?
With John A. Begala, Executive Director, Center for Community Solutions.

April 25: Pope Francis: So Far. With Paul V. Murphy, Professor of History and Director, Institute of Catholic Studies, John Carroll University
March 24, 2014

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Upcoming Events

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Putting an End to Separate and Unequal Health Care in the United States 50 Years After the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Thursday March 27, 2014, 9:00 a.m.-4:10 p.m., Friday March 28, 2014, 9:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Moot Court Room (A59), Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Sponsored by the The Law Medicine Center Symposium and co-sponsored by The Case Western Center for Reducing Health Disparities.

With the enactment of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, federal law mandated that all races had the right to equal enjoyment and access to health care. Fifty years later, access to health care remains separate and unequal. Decades of research, including the Institute of Medicine's 2003 report on "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare," suggest that racial bias in health care is one of the root causes of racial disparities in health between African Americans and Caucasians. Over two days, the Law-Medicine Symposium will investigate the extent of and possible responses to racial bias in health care, with a program featuring leading legal, medical, social science, and public health scholars, physicians, policy makers, and community leaders. They will present current research and then break into working groups to develop concrete legal, medical, and policy solutions. By the end of the Symposium, there will be an action plan to put an end to racial bias in health care that causes racial disparities in health care.

Among the participants will be David Smith, Ph.D., Research Professor in the Center for Health Equality and the Department of Health Management and Policy, Drexel University; Mary Frances Berry, Ph.D., Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania; Barbara Sears, Ohio State Representative, Johnnie “Chip” Allen, Director of Health Equity, Ohio Department of Health; Dr. Claudia Fegan, Chief Medical Officer for Stroger Hospital of Cook County Health and Hospital System; Dr. Camara Jones, Senior Fellow, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine; and Dr. Michelle van Ryn, Professor and Director of the Research Program on Equity and Quality in Provider-Patient Encounters, Mayo Clinic.For further information visit the lecture web site for this program.

March 2014







































About the Friday Lunch Newsletter

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Visit the Public Affairs Discussion Group Web Site.

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