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Contemporary Islam

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 101–103 | Cite as

Review of Mucahit Bilici, Finding Mecca in America: How Islam is Becoming an American Religion

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012. xii+257 pp. ISBN 978-0-226-04957-1
  • Jeffrey Guhin
Article

Books about American Islam tend to fall into a few categories. There is the autobiographical reflection without a lot of theory or careful empirical calibration. There is the highbrow theory that depends on others’ empirical work. There is also the classic ethnography—generally part of a dissertation—that tells us all about a certain mosque, neighborhood, or school. And then there is the journalistic tour, traveling across America with various vignettes of proud Americans in beards and hijabs. What is remarkable about Mucahit Bilici’s new book is how it manages to combine all of these genres. His autobiographical reflections are situated within careful ethnographic work. Unlike most ethnographies, his story extends across the United States, and unlike book-length journalism with superficial surveys of ‘Muslims in America,’ Bilici’s command of social theory and knowledge of his various field sites give the book an impressive depth and an actual argument besides ‘Muslims! They’re just...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Advanced Studies in CultureUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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