Mos Def Budapest, by Gergely Csatari

Muslim Cool: Muslim Contributions to American Culture

In the opening to her new book, Muslim Cool, Purdue University professor Su’ad Abdul Khabeer directly states her purpose: her research “poses a direct challenge to [the] racialization of Muslims as foreign and as perpetual threats to the United States.” By telling the history of Black Muslim cultural production and its importance to American culture, she builds on the interconnections and intersections of identity to counter the narrative of American Muslims as somehow foreign.

In a time when both Islam and hip-hop are being constructed as threats to America, Muslim Cool presents a far more nuanced and intriguing story. “In the United States, we have a mainstream, but we also have multiple streams—we have multiple communities. While the mainstream conversation dominates [culture] and pushes policy on some level, it’s not the only conversation,” says Khabeer.

Khabeer's full interview can be read here, while her book is available through NYU Press.

Photo by Gergely Csatari I CC 2.0

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