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Additional resources for Muslim American Youth: Understanding Hyphenated Identities through Multiple Methods (Qualitative Studies in Psychology)

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To complicate things further, we must add to this long list of Muslim Americans, those — mostly African American, along with some Muslim Americans white, and, most recently, Latinos — who have converted to Islam from other religions. Our goal in this chapter is twofold: (1) to present the most common characteristics of this diverse group in the hope of dispelling some of the misconceptions about Muslim Americans as a group and (2) to underline the many variations within the group in the hope of avoiding stereotypes and oversimplifications.

Bureau of the Census, March 2000 Current Population Survey, published in 2002). Given the lack of research on Muslim youth in general and on their global and historical contexts, we began our project as a research exploration. , Lykes 2001; Lykes & Coquillon 2006; Opotow 2004). Drawing from Bronfenbrenner’s ecological perspective (1979) and Lerner’s (2002) contextual approach to development, our research took a comprehensive view of identity negotiation processes within changing psychological, social, and historical contexts (Lerner 1991).

Culture. Not only is the ethnicity of Muslims diverse; their religious practices differ as well. The vast majority of Muslims belong to one of four Sunni sects (Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanafi, Hanbali), and a much smaller group (about 17%) belong to Shi’a sects ( Jaffari, Ismailliyah, Alawite). The relations between Sunni Islam and Shi’a Islam (or Shi’ite Islam, Shi’ism) Muslim Americans have been hostile since the prophet Muhammad died and various Muslim groups fought for power, ending in the bloody murder of Muhammad’s two grandchildren.

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