Islam in the Hinterlands Muslim Cultural Politics in Canada By Jasmine Zine, ed. (Vancouver, Canada: University of British Columbia Press, 2012. 325 pages.)

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Liyakat Takim



There have been few studies on Islam in Canada. Hence this publication is a
welcome addition to the list. Its ten chapters, divided into four sections, examine
diverse issues regarding Muslim cultural politics in the Canadian hinterlands.
More specifically, it seeks to understand how they have been affected
by the post-9/11 era of wars, domestic security policies, calls for reformation,
and media sensationalism, as well as how these, combined with racial and re-
ligious profiling, have impacted Muslims in the Canadian diaspora. The book
tries to construct multiple readings of Islam and Muslims by examining this
community within its social, cultural, educational, and political settings and
the integration of these diverse factors in the formation of the national Islamic
The first section covers gender, race, the Shari‘ah debate, and Muslim
women’s political engagement. Section 2 focusses on media representation
and examines the construction of the “Muslim other” post-9/11, the politics
of reform as articulated by two Muslim female journalists, and the representation
of Canadian Islam in a popular Muslim sitcom. An important theme in
section 3 is the civic engagement of the country’s Islamic schools. The last
section looks at security issues and the targeting and profiling of Muslims in
post-9/11 Canada.
As Jasmine Zine correctly points out in the introduction, Muslims have
been living peacefully in Canada since the middle of the nineteenth century
and are proud to be Canadian. However, since 9/11 the debate on their integration
into the mosaic and their appropriation of Canadian values has intensified,
especially in Quebec, where discrimination and prejudice have
increased due to the issue of veiling. Women who choose to veil are exiled
from public services and space by means of Bill 94. In essence they are portrayed
as victims of patriarchal violence ...

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