Muslim ‘Belonging’ in the West and Some Global Implications
The provenance of Muslims in the West is multifarious. During the Crusades, a few Europeans had converted to Islam, but a majority of them converted during the Ottoman rule. During the colonial era, the colonial masters had moved the ‘natives’ around for their own ventures, and some of these ‘natives’ ended up in the West. In recent times, refugees have come to the West in order to escape conflict zones; similarly, individuals have migrated to the West in order to improve their financial situations or pursue higher studies. As the population in the West decreases, there is also a constant need for migrants. The belongingness of Muslims in the West has been of perennial concern due to factors like racism, islamophobia, rightist-populist antagonism and ultra-nationalism. But belongingness is not just a localised insulated phenomenon; it also has global affects and implications. To ensure positive Muslim belongingness in the West, the local problems obviously require to be secured; but, moreover, there is a need to fix the global issues related to the phenomenon and alter some ingrained perceptions efficaciously.
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