The Arabs and the Muslims

Between Diaspora and Transnationalism

In: Diaspora Studies
Mohammed Alrmizan King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) Saudi Arabia Riyadh
City, University of London UK London

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Both Arab and Muslim migrants have noticeable populations in all parts of the world. This article qualitatively investigates the Arabs, the Muslims, and mainly diaspora and transnationalism theories from historical and social understandings, based on primary and secondary sources. It engages conceptually in defining Arabs and Muslims through the lenses of diaspora and transnationalism theories, discusses theoretical issues and explores the status of the Arab and the Muslim diaspora(s) and transnational communities through primary data and the findings of the Global Muslim Diaspora Project, which surveyed 7,147 participants between 2018 and 2019. The report shows that the Arab experience abroad might be best described as diaspora, whereas Muslim migrants would be best referred to as transnational communities. Diaspora and transnationalism theories, among others, and particularly migration theories, must not be used interchangeably; each term should be used carefully to avoid confusion, especially when Arabs and Muslims are being studied.

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