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Preface Welcome to the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS), a publication of the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (NAAIMS). We offer the readership a publication that focuses primarily on Islam and Islamic studies which covers a broad cross-section of ethnicities and cultures across seven continents. Since the target audience of such a journal crosses over ethnic boundariesduetothelargeMuslimmosaicofculturesundertheIslamicumbrella, JIMS would fill a vacuum in the international landscape of Muslim societies. A deeper understanding of Islam is generated through the multidisciplinary study of the diverse lived experiences of Muslims worldwide. Inthelasttwentyyearstherehasbeenanexplosionofknowledgeandscholarship about Islam and the Muslim world. Interdisciplinary work, theoretical advances, innovative methodologies, technological innovations, and analytical tools are moving the field of Islamic studies ahead. On the demand side, there is a growing and dramatic interest in the field of Islam. Classrooms across the world are restructuring curricula to respond to the needs of a changing and increasingly diverse and demanding student body and a globalizing world. They engage in the critique of Western discourse, the interrogation of the politics of knowledge production, and the dissemination of interdisciplinary knowledge about Islam and Muslims in the US and around the world. Therefore,webelievethatajournaldedicatedtoIslamicandMuslimstudiesadvances the understanding of Islam as a religion and a civilization without the polemics and apologetics that dominated the 20th century. JIMS can yield critical, reflective JIMS can yield critical, reflective JIMS and rigorous scholarship about Islam and Muslims from an interdisciplinary perspective. Among the numerous analyses of religious, political and social issues, articles in this journal would simultaneously encourage the study of gender issues and alternative perspectives in Muslim experiences; examine various approaches to understanding Islam as a diverse and global phenomenon; and inspire the study of Muslim identities and their relationship to Islamic traditions. JIMS serves as an JIMS serves as an JIMS academic vehicle through which debates and discussions on Islam and Muslim societies can be generated in the international arena. ...


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p. viii
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