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Islamic Education in the United States and the Evolution of Muslim Nonprofit Institutions

Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

This book is a novel and ambitious attempt to map the Muslim American nonprofit sector: its origins, growth and impact on American society. Using theories from the fields of philanthropy, public administration and data gathered from surveys and interviews, the authors make a compelling case for the Muslim American nonprofit sector’s key role in America. They argue that in a time when Islamic schools are grossly misunderstood, there is a need to examine them closely, for the landscape of these schools is far more complex than meets the eye.
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Chapter 2: Islamic philanthropy as a discursive tradition

Sabith Khan and Shariq Siddiqui

Extract

This chapter seeks to offer a theoretical framework for contextualizing Islamic philanthropy during “crisis” in the US and argues that philanthropy in this context should be seen as a gradually evolving “discursive tradition.” Given the discourse of Islam in America being one framed in the rubric of crisis and the attempts by Muslim American organizations to garner philanthropic support using this framework, it is important to understand how certain crisis situations have impacted discourses of philanthropy towards this sector. This chapter attempts a Foucaldian analysis of how Muslims Americans negotiate this discursive tension in the realm of giving. We build on the work of various scholars and offer a framework that treats philanthropy towards Islamic schools and cultural and educational institutions as a “discursive tradition” to understand how the dynamics of philanthropy are changing in this sector. We propose that a genealogical approach could also offer us new insights into how philanthropy is being transformed under certain institutional constraints and relations of power.

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