2022 – Inclusive and Included? Practices of Civic Inclusivity of American Muslims in Los Angeles

American Sociological Association, 2023 Annual Meeting, Los Angeles

Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review 83(2): 145-178,
https://doi.org/10.1093/socrel/srab019

*Winner of the 2022 Student Paper Award, American Sociological Association Sociology of Religion Section. 

* 2022 Honorable Mention for Outstanding Student Paper, American Sociological Association Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Section. 

*Winner of the 2022 Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Award. 

 

ASBTRACT

How do American Muslims practice inclusivity and bridge religious differences in U.S. civic life? Sociological research on bridging focuses mostly on bridging efforts on the part of majority groups, leaving unanswered the timely question of if and how inclusivity is practiced by minority groups, particularly religious minorities, in U.S. civic spaces. Drawing on participant observation among two Muslim groups in Los Angeles, this paper identifies two practices of inclusivity that participants adopt to bridge religious difference: the interreligious heritage practice and the shared ethics practice. Both practices simultaneously draw and diffuse group boundaries, emphasize sameness, albeit using different sets of religious meanings, and are grounded in an understanding of civic spaces as implicitly exclusionary of minorities. I find that these practices can create tension points in the pursuit of mutual understanding and create textures of meanings that operate differently depending on the situation and the participants in the interaction.