The formation of Muslim identities in Canadian offline and online spaces

Basak, Mehmet Ali (2019) The formation of Muslim identities in Canadian offline and online spaces. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study examines how Muslims who live in three Canadian cities have described and framed their religious identities. It has three foci: First, how religiously pluralist offline spaces shape the Islamic legal tradition preferences of the fifty-five self-defined Muslims I interviewed in Mississauga, Halifax, and St. John's from October 2017 to April 2018. Second, how Islamic online spaces influence their offline religious engagements in postmigration Canadian contexts. Third, what roles the Internet and other digital technologies occupy in shaping the religious identities of my participants in their post-migration religious lives. I show how Islamic sects and sectarian differences in the Canadian public sphere are predominantly tolerant and respectful, also in how my participants imagine other groups. More specifically, I argue that my participants believe that describing their Muslim identities with reference to a particular Islamic legal tradition is either redundant or improper in Canada, where the nation state is committed to pluralism, equality and religious freedom. I also consider how the Internet is far weaker in determining religiosity post-migration than active in-person engagement. I conclude that the Internet facilitates information for my Muslim interlocutors to practice their religious identities in minority contexts, but is less important in determining their post-migration religious lives than is commonly imagined.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 14335
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 98-101).
Keywords: Muslims, Identity , Islam in Canada, Online and Offline Spaces
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Religious Studies
Date: November 2019
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Muslims--Canada; Group identity--Canada; Online identities--Canada.

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