Few studies analyze minorities among the African American Muslims in the United States. The absence of ethnographic research shows that the current scholarship neglects the minority status of African American Twelver Shias. Based on fieldwork observations from March to December 2015 and several informal interviews, I try to understand how the African American Shia community of New York was formed and how it negotiated its identity when encountered with African American non-Shia Muslims and with Twelver Muslims of other ethnic backgrounds. I try to revisit the diasporic/immigrant religious culture that some Twelver Shias like to practice. This culture seems to have no resonance for the African American Twelver Muslims. Because some African American Twelvers joined Shia Islam after the end of the classic period of the Nation of Islam, it is argued that highlighting cultural practices by the immigrant community might force some African American Twelvers back to their practices of origin.
Abbas Aghdassi and Seyed Mohammad Marandi
Zeinab Ghasemi and Seyed Mohammad Marandi
Exilic Iranian memoirs by female writers began to emerge after the 1979 Iranian Revolution and surged after September 11, 2001. The dramatic increase in Iranian–American memoirs, which began after 9/11 signifies a complex relation between publication of this literary genre and mass consumption in a specific historical moment. The present paper offers a thematic analysis of a number of memoirs published by female Iranian–Americas in English from 1979 to 2012. Using Orientalism as a theoretical framework the study finds that Orientalist stereotypes are often used in framing and explaining events and issues related to Iranian women and sexuality under the Islamic Republic. In analyzing texts specific assumptions toward Iranian women will be questioned and discussed with occasional reference to details.