Muslim ‘Belonging’ in the West and Some Global Implications

  • Mohammed Jamal Haider Western Sydney University, Australia
Keywords: Muslim belonging, Migration causes, Racism, Populists, Terrorists, 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.


Ali, J.A. Australian Muslims as Radicalised ‘Other’ and Their Experiences. In Abe W.A. and Ali, J.A. (eds) 2018. Islam in the West: Perceptions and Reactions. UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Ali, J.A. and Cottle, D. Islam-West Relations and the Rise of Muslim Radicalisation and Global Jihadism. In Abe W. Ata and Ali, Jan A. (eds) 2018. Islam in the West: Perceptions and Reactions. UK: Oxford University Press, 2018.
Barker, M. The New Racism: Conservatives and the Ideology of the Tribe. Frederick, Maryland: University Publications of America, 1981.
Baer, M., Makdisi, U. and Shryock, A. Tolerance and Conversion in the Ottoman Empire: A Conversation. Comparative Studies in Society and History. 2009, 51(40). 927–940. Cambridge University Press.
Castles, S., and Miller, M.J. The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 1993.
Campo, J.E., (ed). Encyclopedia of Islam (ebook). New York: Infobase Publishing, 2010.
Clayer, N. Saints and Sufi’s in post-Communist Albania. In Kisaichi, M. (ed). Popular Movements and Democratization in the Islamic World. London: Routledge. pp. 33–42. 2007.
Cox, O.C. Class Cast and Race: A study of Social Dynamics. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1959.
Delgado, Richard and Stefancic, Jean. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press, 2001.
Elahi, F. and Khan, O. Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for us. 20th Anniversary Report. London: Runnymede Trust. 2019.
Farmer, Brian R. Radical Islam in the West: ideology and challenge. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co., 2010.
Fisher, M.H. Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Traveller and Settler in Britain 16001857. Delhi: Permanent Black, Distributed by Orient Longman, 2006.
Gates, W.E. The Spread of Ibn Khaldun’s Ideas on Climate and Culture. Journal of the History of Ideas. 28 (3): 415–22, 1967.
Giddens, A. and Sutton, P.W. Sociology. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013.
Haider, M.J. The First Command: Iqra and its Impact on Global Intellectualism and the Renaissance. Kuala Lumpur: The Other Press, 2018.
Hasan, M. History of Islam: Classical Period 571 - 1258 CE. New Delhi: Adam Publishers, 2004.
Hasan, M. Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique. New Delhi: Kitab Bhaban, 1997.
Krstić, T. Illuminated by the Light of Islam and the Glory of the Ottoman Sultanate: Self-Narratives of Conversion to Islam in the Age of Confessionalisation. Comparative Studies in Society and History. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 December 2008. DOI:
Lane, R.W. The Discovery of Freedom—Man’s Struggle Against Authority, John Day Company, New York, 1943.

Lyons, J. The House of Wisdom—How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilisation. London, Bloomsbury, 2009.
Lyons, J. Islam Through the Western Eyes: From the Crusades to the War on Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Mourad, H. The Development and Land Use Impacts of Local Mosques. A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Bachelor of Planning Degree Supervisor. University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2006.
Makdisi, J. A. The Islamic Origin of the Common Law, North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 77, No. 5, Article 2, pp. 1637–1738, University of North Carolina, 1999.
Murshid, G. The call of the sea: History of Bangali in Britain [Kalapanir Hatchani: Bilete Bangaleer Itihash]. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Abosar, 2008.

Ramadan, T. Being a European Muslim. Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1999.
Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.
Siedschlag, B.N. English Participation in the Crusades, 1150–1220. Wisconsin: The Collegiate press, George Banta Publishing Company, 1939.
Sheehan, J. G. Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People. Massachusetts: Olive Branch Press, 2009.
Tester, S.J., A History of Western Astrology, Boydell Press, UK: Woodbridge, 1987.
Turner, B.S. and Nasir, K.M. (eds). The Collected Essays of Bryan S. Turner. Surry: Ashgate, 2013
Turner, B.S. and Arslan, B. Z. Sharia and Legal Pluralism in the West. In Turner, B.S. and Nasir, (eds) 2013. The Collected Essays of Bryan S. Turner. Surry: Ashgate, 2013.
Urry, J. Mobilities. Cambridge: Polity, 2007.
Whitby, M. Chronicon Paschale. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2012. doi:10.1002/9781444338386.wbeah03045.