American Muslim Philanthropy after 9/11

  • Kambiz GhaneaBassiri Reed College


Following 9/11, American Muslim philanthropy has generally been framed in terms of national security and civil liberties.  In practice, however, American Muslims’ charitable giving has neither posed a threat to national security nor has the government’s closing of some of the largest Muslim relief organizations after 9/11 had the chilling effect that many predicted it would have had on American Muslims’ religious obligation of giving to charity.  This article argues that the American Muslim philanthropy post-9/11 belies enduring presuppositions about Islam’s rigidity and religion’s interiority, which resulted in widespread misapprehensions about the nature of Muslim philanthropy in America after 9/11.  American Muslim philanthropy post-9/11 highlights the polyvalence and fluidity of the public practice of Islam.  In the fluid space of practice, American Muslims have brought together Islamic vocabularies of charity and American legal and sociopolitical norms regarding philanthropy to forge new relations across groups of varying social, religious, political, cultural, and economic backgrounds.

Author Biography

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College
Professor of Religion and Humanities


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