What’s on Our Nightstands—”Far from Mecca: Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean”

Far from Mecca: Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean (Rutgers University Press, 2020) by Aliyah Khan (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) explores the varied cultural and historical expressions of Muslim presence in the Caribbean region through literature and music.

Description: Far from Mecca: Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean is the first academic work on Muslims in the English-speaking Caribbean. Khan focuses on the fiction, poetry, and music of Islam in Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Combining archival research, ethnography, and literary analysis, Khan argues for a historical continuity of Afro- and Indo-Muslim presence and cultural production in the Caribbean. Case studies explored range from Arabic-language autobiographical and religious texts written by enslaved Sufi West Africans in nineteenth-century Jamaica, to early twentieth-century fictions of post-indenture South Asian Muslim indigeneity and El Dorado, to the attempted government coup in 1990 by the Jamaat al-Muslimeen in Trinidad, as well as the island’s calypso music, to contemporary judicial cases concerning Caribbean Muslims and global terrorism.

Khan argues that the Caribbean Muslim subject, the “fullaman,” a performative identity that relies on gendering and racializing Islam, troubles discourses of creolization that are fundamental to postcolonial nationalisms in the Caribbean.

Aliyah Khan is an assistant professor of English and Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

For purchasing information, see https://www.amazon.com/Far-Mecca-Globalizing-Caribbean-Critical/dp/1978806655

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