Parents and Youth: Perceiving and Practicing Islam in North America

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This chapter examines how some Arab Muslim youth and families in North America perceive themselves both as Arabs and as Muslims in the context of Canadian and United States societies. Parents are concerned with how best to transmit the Islamic ideological and Arab cultural heritage to their children. One of their problems derives from differences among Arab Muslims, who come from varied national origins and hold several interpretations of the Islamic view, not all of which are based on the Qur'an; as a result they also have different nationalistic attachments to their understanding of Arab heritage. A second problem arises between immigrant parents and their American-reared children. The children may participate in American culture to a greater extent than their parents, and they are constantly faced with the conceptual need to accommodate potentially conflicting points of view. Effective identity transmission requires the determination of the nature and extent of the different interpretations held by parents and their children and of the way these interpretations are reflected in their practice of Islam and association with the Arabic heritage.
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Copyright 1996, Temple University Press. This is a reprint of a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in the edited book Muslim Families in North America following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through Alberta University Press: This article was reprinted with permission by Temple University Press: See also:
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Temple University Press
Muslim immigrants; USA and Canada; Intergenerational conflict; Identity and values
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In Barbara C. Aswad and Barbara Bilge, (Eds). Family and Gender Among American Muslims: Issues Facing Middle Eastern Immigrants and Their Descendants. Temple University Press (1996): 129-142
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