Arguing for more conceptual specificity regarding the term "Muslim diaspora," this article identifies two conflation problems in the scholarship on Muslim immigrants. First, the immigrants' "Muslimness," which refers to the signifiers, thought-processes, discourses, and actions that others perceive to be associated with Islam, is often conflated with the immigrants being "Muslims"—i.e., members of a discrete, bounded group supposedly different from non-Muslims. Second, Muslims' transnational engagements—meaning, their cross-border ties between exclusively the sending and receiving countries—are often conflated as being diasporic—connections targeted towards other Muslims abroad motivated by a sense of religious solidarity. Consequently, researchers have been largely unable to distinguish Muslims' religious performance from an ethnic one and have taken Muslims' immigrant transnationalism as evidence of an emerging "Muslim" "diasporic" consciousness. This article parses existing scholarship on Muslim immigrants in the West and offers a new way of conceptualizing "Muslim diaspora" to move past these ambiguities. It offers the concept of "heartland"—distinct from immigrants' "homeland"—to better distinguish Muslims' religion-based diasporic expressions from their ethnicity based transnational ones.


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pp. 47-63
Launched on MUSE
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