11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy

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Bibliographic Information
Journal Grassroots
Title Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy
Author(s) Chandio, Muhammad Tufail, Muhammad Khan Sangi
Volume 53
Issue 2
Year 2019
Pages 173-187
Full Text Crystal Clear mimetype pdf.png
URL Link
Keywords Muslim Identity, Post-9/11 Fiction, the Reluctant Fundamentalist, Home Boy
Chicago 16th Chandio, Muhammad Tufail, Muhammad Khan Sangi. "Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy." Grassroots 53, no. 2 (2019).
APA 6th Chandio, M. T., Sangi, M. K. (2019). Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy. Grassroots, 53(2).
MHRA Chandio, Muhammad Tufail, Muhammad Khan Sangi. 2019. 'Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy', Grassroots, 53.
MLA Chandio, Muhammad Tufail, Muhammad Khan Sangi. "Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy." Grassroots 53.2 (2019). Print.
Harvard CHANDIO, M. T., SANGI, M. K. 2019. Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy. Grassroots, 53.
Contents
Awareness and Accessibility of Right to Information Act: A Comparative Study of Minorities within Pakistan and India
A Quantitative Analysis of Agro-Based Industry in Matiari District, Sindh, Pakistan: A Sociological Perspective
A Comparative Study of Employees’ Perception Relating to Performance Appraisal Practices in the Public and Private Banking Sector of Sindh
A New Historicist Analysis of Bina Shah’s Novel a Season for Martyrs
Attitude Towards Science: A Case Study of Higher Secondary Level Students of Sindh Province
Historical, Cultural and Geographical Ties Between Pakistan and Iran
Performance of Banking Industry After Privatization in Pakistan: A Case Study of Mcb Bank Limited
Cultural Linkages Between the People of Sindh and Japan
World View: A Philosophical and Theological Perspective
A Comparative Research Between Conventional and Islamic Bank System of Pakistan: Liquidity Risk Management
Why Criminologists Study Journalism?
Empirical Study and Analysis of Forced Marriages and Uneducated Spouse in Sindh Province: A Case Study of Hyderabad District
The Enigma of Stable Employment: Does Job Security Really Make Difference in Employee Performance?
Negotiating the Pre-9/11 Muslim Identity in Reluctant Fundamentlist and Home Boy
University Employed Women’s Perspective on Societal Attitudes Towards Their Employment
Coverage of Women Issues in the Pakistan’s Press: A Critical Analysis
Impact of Traditional Values on the Equality of Females Living in Balochistan, Pakistan
Enlightened Message of Sufism Towards Peaceful Pakistan
The Reluctant Fundamentalist Exploring the Ideological Basis and Bicultural Consciousness in Pakistani Diasporic Anglophone Fiction
Water Sharing Conflicts and Management in the Indus River Basin

Abstract

This paper critically analyses pre-9/11 diasporic identity of Muslims living in the US as immigrants or expatriates depicted in The Reluctant Fundamentlist (TRF) and Home Boy (HB) authored by minority outgroup Muslims (MO). The pre-9/11 identity and image of Muslims has exacerbated from erotic, primitive, barbaric, ignorant, close-minded and semicitizen to maddened, fundamentalist, blood-thirsty and terrorist after the attacks. The study attempts a textual analysis of the novels in the light of Rosenau’s model (2003) of diasporic acculturation process and social identity theory (ST). Given this stereotyping, this study endeavours to dissect the pre-9/11approach Muslims immigrants adopt to negotiate their religious identity in the hostland: whether they are fanatic and diehard separatist or they are moderate and assimilative into the enlightened values of the West. Opposite to popular assumptions, the protagonists have been found very much assimilative and adoptive to the host culture and also adhere to their homeland culture as well.

INTRODUCTION

The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre left tremendous political, economic, social and psychological effects on the USA which later permeated globally. In addition to $ 639 billion dollars direct and indirect loss, 0.1 million Americans lost their lives (Peek, 2005). The US citizens bore physical health issues (Peek, 2005) psycho-emotional trauma (Kershaw, 2002; Meisenhelder & Marcum, 2004), anxiety and depression (Galea et.al., 2002; Kershaw, 2002; Schlenger et.al., 2002; Schuster, Stein, & Jaycox, 2001). The US government reviewed and renewed political policy and affairs (Harwood, 2004; Klein, 2004; Peek, 2005). Given to power discourse and intensified security measure, congestion and rigidity marred the openness of the American society (Martin, 2012). Legislation such as Appropriated Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001’ (USA PATRIOT ACT) was carried out to fund the war on terrorism (Haque, 2002). The retaliation and backlash brought “the culture of disaster” which ultimately permeated from the USA to the globe (Peek & Sutton, 2003). The phase of grief and mourning (Turkel, 2002) was followed by intense national integrity, patriotism and pride (Collins, 2004), which augmented the era of the pro-social behaviour (Cohen, Eimicke, & Horan, 2002). During the tumultuous phase of the intensified patriotism, national unity and pride, when the Muslims were alleged to be perpetrators of the attacks, a wave of backlash, discrimination and othering dominated the US in which the Muslims, being a minority religious outgroup, were assaulted, othered, discriminated and marginalized. Their identity was tarnished and they were termed as terrorist and evil forever.

In addition to Islamophobic social discourse, the post-9/11 fiction produced by Americans and later by other European writers established and added to the xenophobic and Islamophobic trends. This body of fiction presented one side of the coin and the Muslims were demonized and stereotyped as terrorist and fundamentalist. For instance, John Updike’s Terrorist (2006), Martin Amis’ The Last Days of Muhammad Atta (2006), Frédéric Beigbeder’s Window on the World (2003), Ian McEvan’s Saturday (2005), Jonathan Safaran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005), Ken Kalfus’ A Disorder Peculiar to the Country (2006), Don Delillo’s Falling Man (2007) and Joseph O’ Neill’s Netherland (2008) presented white man’s point of view. This established a popular Islamophobic assumption in the West that Muslims are fundamentalist, zealot and extremist and they do not want to acclimatize, adapt and acculturate to the enlightened values and norms of the West. In response to the post-9/11 fiction produced by the MI (majority in-group Americans), the MO (minority outgroup Muslim) represented the other side of the coin. This study critically analyses how the protagonists presented in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) and H. M. Naqvi’s Home Boy (2009) negotiate their pre-9/11 diasporic Muslim identity from the vantage point of Roseanau’s diasporic identity negotiation model. Whether they adopt the separatist approach by valuing the hostland culture or they devalue both the hostland and the homeland cultures and remain marginalized, or by valuing the hostland culture they get altogether assimilated into the hostland culture or they adhere to the integration by valuing both the hostland and the homeland cultures (Rosenau, 2003). The selected novels, by the MO, portray Muslims protagonists living in the US as diasporans in the pre and post-attack periods, which provides the rationale for the selection of these novels and it also establishes the context to conduct the inquiry. This study will establish how the post-9/11 fiction by the MO rebuts the popular assumptions that Muslims are fundamentalist, extremist and conservative and they dispel and discard the enlightened values and practices of the West. The moderate and enlightened outlook of the Muslims in the pre-attack period will dispel the generalized stereotyped assumptions of fanaticism and extremism associated with the MO.

THE EAST VERSUS THE WEST

The transformative relationship between the East and the West has its crossroads and crises. The Crusades Wars between 1096 to 1291, Iran Revolution of 1979, bombing, kidnapping, and hostage taking in the Middle East during 1980-1990, Salman Rushdie affairs (1989), Gulf Wars and Oklahoma City bombing (1995) had debilitated the relationship. Ahmed (2003) and Esposito (2002) add, “Muslims have been portrayed as barbaric, ignorant, closed-minded semi-citizens, maddened terrorists, or intolerant religious zealots” (quoted in Abbas, 2004:28). Ridouani (2011:2) establishes that the “erotic”, “primitive” and “ignorant” image of the Muslims before the 9/11 got exacerbated as the “terrorist”, “fundamentalist” and “blood-thirsty” after the attacks. While referring to this turbulent binary, Said (1978:5) contends “The relationship between Occident and Orient is relationship of power, of domination, of varying degrees of a complex hegemony”. He further argues that the Occident always consider the Orient as “cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the other”. The religious other of the Crusade period witnessed renewed binary position based on political, economic, social and cultural disparity during colonialism. Even in the wake of the post colonialism and transnationalism, this relationship could not transcend to the level of independent, mutual, balanced and reciprocal understanding, cooperation and harmony. A slight spark re-ignites the cold ashes and the flames of hatred commence lashing both groups in particular and humanity in general.

IDENTITY AND THE MUSLIM DIASPORIC IDENTITY

Identity is a concept what an individual develops about him / herself that keeps evolving over the time. The social ascription and individual perception are the core factors which shape the concept. Oyserman, Elmore and Smith (2012:69) maintain “Identities are the traits and characteristics, social relations, roles, and social group memberships that define who one is”. Lois (2003:11) further adds that individuals devise the concept of “self” in the light of others’ reaction or perception about them. The interaction with a society influences and shapes identity, yet it is predominantly based on the “social structure” where the interaction takes place (Peek, 2005:23). Owens, Robinson and Smith-Lovin (2010:479) mention four characterizations as basic sources of identity: “personal or individual identity, role-based identity, category-based identity, and group membership–based identity”. Individuals acquire, retain and maintain multiple shapes and forms of identity. Earlier works termed identity as static, solid, inalienable and unchangeable, but later theories developed a different discourse on it.

Initially religion was not considered as one of the determinists of identity formation, whereas many studies established the role of age, gender, ethnicity, race etc in the formation of an identity (Cerulo, 1997; Frable, 1997; Howard, 2000). However, the later studies contended and asserted its role in the formation of identity and maintenance of solidarity among immigrants in the hostland (Ebaugh & Chafetz, 2000; Gibson, 1988; Hammond, 1988; Warner & Wittner, 1998; Williams, 1988). The cited studies, without analysing deeply, only traced the relationship between the ethnic and religious identity; however, another array of scholarship not only analysed its role but also established its significance for the first generation in getting settled in the hostland and shifting same norms and values to the second generation (Bankston & Zhou, 1996; Chong, 1998; Kurien, 1998; Ng, 2002). The immigrants resort to their religious affiliation once they fell stressed, estranged and perplexed in the new hostland (Smith, 1978), and they manoeuvre religious institutionalization and cultural practices to have an aura of the home in hostland (Kurien, 1998; Rayaprol, 1997). The immigrants, who migrate from a majority religious in group and turn to become a minority out group in the hostland, often resort to such practices and it is common with Vietnamese Buddhists, Israeli Jews, Indian Hindus and Pakistani Muslims.

Adamson (2012) quotes that the term diaspora originated from the Greek and referred to the act of colonization and migration. In the later period, it was used for any banished religious, ethnic or national group; additionally, it also referred to the Jewish Diaspora, dispersed in the 6th century BC. However, in the present era of globalization, transnationalism, multiculturalism and consumerism, there are various reasons of mass migration such as education, socio-economic pursuit, refuge from religious or political persecution, local or international wars. Muslims, belonging to different ethnic, cultural, national and geographical backgrounds, constitute Muslim diaspora, when the Western majority in group identifies them as religious minority out group irrespective of their diversity.

Once people leave their homeland, they have various ways to negotiate their identity in the hostland. Adamson (2012:28) adds, “Diasporas are conceived of as transnational ethnic groups defined by a common identity and attached to a real or imagined homeland”. Adamson (2012:27) classifies the literature on diasporas into three varied approaches to the identity: “traditional (essentialist and restricted), pluralist (essentialist yet expansive) and constructivist”. Rosenau (2003) presents a model based on four acculturation processes which illustrates the diaspora identity construct depending on whether they value or devalue the hostland and the homeland cultures. Valuing the homeland culture and devaluing the hostland culture result in separatism, devaluing both cultures ushers in marginalization, valuing the host culture but not the home culture leads to assimilation, whereas valuing both cultures promotes integration.

Diasporans’ Model of Acculturation and

Assimilation into Hostland Identity (Rosenau, 2003)

The textual analysis of the reviewed data has been made with the help of close-reading technique to ascertain the stand of the protagonists while negotiating their diasporic religious identity (Kain, 1998; Johnson, 2004). In close-reading word meaning, sound, structure, syntax, textual context, tone, narrative voice, rhetorical devices, theme, gender and history present in the text are analysed to construct theism for the understanding of a phenomenon (McClennen, 2001). The main aim of this study is to critically evaluate how diasporic Muslim immigrants negotiate their religious identity before the attacks in the selected fiction. Whether they are adaptive and assimilative into the hostland identity or they remain detached, indifferent and hostile to it and remain inclined towards the homeland identity. Their stance in the pre-9/11 period will determine whether they are diehard zealot and fanatic or they are moderate and enlightened global being and equally capable of living in the world of trans-nationalism, trans-globalization and multiculturalism.

EMIGRATING TO THE HOSTLAND WITH PRE-9/11 MULTIPLE MUSLIM IDENTITIES

The protagonists of the selected novels belong to the Muslim world and they have different ethnic, hyphenated and transnational identities. They immigrate to the hostland to get their American dream fulfilled. Changez of The Reluctant Fundamentalist (TRF) is having ethnically Punjabi, nationally Pakistani and religiously Muslim Identity, whereas Shahzad (Chuck) of Home Boy (HB) is Urdu, Pakistani and Muslim. Ali Chaudhry (AC) of HB is Punjabi, Pakistani-American and Muslim; his sister migrated in 1981 and sponsored his Green Card. Jamshed Khan Pathan (Jimbo) of HB is Pathan, Pakistani-American and Muslim. His father, a retired foreman, immigrated about a quarter of a century back and settled in Jersey City and raised a son and daughter as bona fide Americans. Despite these multiple identities, the protagonists wish to live with their American dream in the hostland. The selected novels manifest that given to corruption, unemployment, low academic opportunities, underdevelopment, lack of meritocracy, nepotism, cronyism, continuously contracting and withering socio-economic state in the homeland, the MO are motivated to migrate to the hostland. The MO do not go to the hostland with strict adherence to their religious identity, and their motivation is to live a happy, successful and materialistically prosperous life; they have no overt or covert agenda to assert or propagate their religious identity.

THE ACCULTURATION PROCESS LEADING TO AN IDENTITY CONSTRUCT

The acculturation process of the MO in the US has been analysed from the vantage point of valuing or devaluing the hostland and the homeland cultures. However, the reviewed and analysed text from the selected novels shows that there is no trait of devaluing both cultures, which could culminate in marginalization, nor is the tendency towards assimilation by only valuing the hostland culture and devaluing their homeland cultures. However, there are some cases where the protagonists devalue hostland culture by adopting the separatist approach. For instance, on his arrival at America, Changez finds it alien to split the bill among acquaintances, because back in Lahore when the American fellow wants to pay the bill by mutual contribution, Changez categorically mentions that they either pay or let others pay in full (Hamid, 2007). Though MO does not like such aberration in the conduct of the MI, yet there is no extreme approach which could lead to diehard separatism and hinder integrative acculturation process.

ASSIMILATION INTO THE HOSTLAND CULTURE IN TRF

The integration process requires immigrants or diasporans to value and assimilate into the hostland culture (Rosenau, 2003). Changez, a young Pakistani Muslim fellow, goes to the USA in the pursuit of higher education and a thriving career. In Princeton, he considers himself as a “star”, the professors as “titans” and students as “philosopher -king(s)” (Hamid, 2007:2,4). Vacation in America is a superb experience for him. He develops confidence and skills, as a result, he successfully gets inducted in Underwood Samson – a valuing company. He feels more empowered and expects a bright future, when the company gives him a credit card to spend more in an hour than his father can earn in a day. Once he gets injured but he makes it “through physiotherapy in half the time the doctors expected”. He maintains a fascinating public persona and feels excited after meeting with Erica. He is also glad to contribute to the American society. Thus, the American national identity starts surfacing, whereas his Pakistaniness relegates into the background. After the successful induction in Underwood Samson, he considers himself as a young citizen of the hostland: “I was, in four and a half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker” (Hamid, 2007:20). He ceases to think like a Pakistani, rather he is proud of his impressive office at the firm. He wishes if he could show it to his parents and friends. During valuation of a recorded music business in Manila, he considers himself as an active member of the team: “We, indirectly of course, would help decide” and he does not dissociate himself from the Americans (Hamid, 2007:39). He is quite prominent and comfortable with Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Yale university qualified fellows: “I was the only non-American in our group, but I suspected my Pakistaniness was invisible, cloaked by my suit, by my expense account, and – most of all – by my companions” (Hamid, 2007:42). It shows that his homeland national identity is going to assimilate into the hostland national identity and there are no feelings of dislike or aversion to this process.

Assimilation also includes paying regard to the music, art, literature, culture, dress, language, traditions and social practices of the hostland (Rosenau, 2003). Changez is quite familiar with English music, even at one point of time Erica, American by origin, asks him to tell her about the music sung by a fellow during their visit to Greece and he exactly identifies: “Bryan Adams, ‘Sumer of ’69’” (Hamid, 2007:11). Changez is well- aware of the American female icons and he associates Erica with the group of Paltrow rather than of Spears. He alludes to his dilemma of either looking or not at the naked breast of Erica with a passage in Mr Palomar. During training session at Underwood Samson, Wainwright, one of the new entrants in the firm, is twirling his pen in his fingers and Changez reminisces Val Kilmer in Top Gun. He equally enjoys the American cuisine and wine with his fellow American students and co-workers, albeit wine and some ingredients of food such as octopus are not permissible in accordance with the tenets of his religious identity. Drinking wine is not a social norm in the hostland society, yet he drinks wine on several occasions with his fellow students, co-workers, Erica, Erica’s father and even sometimes being alone (Hamid, 2007:12,16,23,26,32,52,97). Besides, his extramarital relationship with Erica is beyond the scope of his religious identity. Changez is found all immersed in the art, music, literature, food and social practices such as drinking or matting in order to get socially assimilated into the hostland culture.

ASSIMILATION INTO THE HOSTLAND CULTURE IN HB

Shahzad immigrates to the US from Karachi, Pakistan in order to pursue his academic career. He works hard to obtain remarkable credentials and for financial assistance, he works in a library. Despite insistence and regular provision of recipes of home food from his mother, he prefers American food. Moreover, he develops friendship and bond with the people of different sexual orientations, which the homeland culture deems as taboo, impermissible and even sinful. He has a gay friend, Lawrence né Larry, who introduces them to a pair who are quite an active in promoting lesbian parties; subsequently, three Pakistani, Ali Chaudhry, Shahzad and Jamshed Khan, become part of the beau monde. He loses his virginity in an erratic liaison with the daughter of a preacher during his brief sojourn in a dormitory. His relationship with women is beyond the cultural and religious mores he belongs to: “I wanted to lick her shaved armpits, taste her immaculate toes; I wanted her, wanted every woman, Swede, Oriental alike” (Naqvi, 2010:9). He visits different bars for wine and becomes drug addict: “I tapped powdered clumps onto the porcelain top, cut two slugs with the serrated edge of an expired MasterCard, and rolling up a fiver, inhaled through either nostril. There is solace in ritual and routine” (Naqvi, 2010:8). Within four years, he gets assimilated: “I was the only expatriate among us, liked to believe I’d since claimed the city and city had claimed me” (Naqvi, 2010:3). He intends to sponsor his mother and live a happy life like any other American family without the presence of a father, which is tantamount to shunning the patriarchal norms he is brought up with to adhere. He develops sceptical bent of mind and questions God after joining philosophy classes and listening to the sermons delivered by a Saudi group during Friday congregational prayers at the campus. To manifest pluralism and transcend beyond religious boundaries, he purchases a tree to celebrate Christmas and joins the celebration. Every aspect of Shahzad’s homeland identity gets massively transformed and changed. Sex, wine, women become his routine things. He starts questioning the existence of God, which indicates the religious identity is wavering. His hatred against the Saudis – religious fellows – shows that he does not regard the concept of the ummah (supranational community of Muslims) so seriously.

ASSIMILATION IN THE MUSLIMS OF THE AMERICAN NATIONALITY

In addition to the fresh immigrants, the Muslims who immigrated to the US in past and have acquired green cards and have permanent citizenship, are equally assimilative into the hostland identity. The mother of Jamshed Khan of HB, referred as Mrs Khan, originally belonged to the Indian subcontinent. Her parents left India as their house was set on fire by Hindu extremists. She got education in the society where females were culturally deprived of such basic rights. She married Old Man Khan and immigrated to America in 1972. Mr Khan worked in an Irish construction outfit and supported his wife to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Later, she joined Hudson County Community College as a teacher. She bore Khan two children (Naqvi, 2010). Though she belongs to a conservative community, where the role of a female is very much reserved and a woman is not allowed to deal with the public affairs, contrary to that, she gets an education in the US and starts serving as a teacher.

Mini Auntie of HB, Ali’s sister, emigrates from Lahore to the US during the first wave of Pakistani immigrants in 1981. She is welcoming, hospitable and supportive for the Pakistani immigrants and she serves and cares them like a foster mother. “You must eat something, child. You’re cadaverous! What would your mother say if she saw you now?” She offers dishes belonging to the homeland: “If you were lucky, she’d warm up a plate of killer nihari, transporting you home, to Burns Road”. She is like an institution and “a pillar of the city’s expatriate Pakistani community” (Naqvi, 2010:17). She is all absorbed in the hostland society. She has developed contacts with prominent public figures of both homeland and hostland cultures.

Ali Chaudhary of HB – cryptically nicknamed as AC – is sponsored by his elder sister, Mini Auntie, for doing a PhD. After his arrival in the US, he has become very much assimilative and liberal in his conduct as well. He can “chat, chant, dance burlesquely, flirt amiably”, which shows that he is lavish, extravagant, open and imprudent. The song, he sings, better explains his conduct, character and priorities he has assimilated into after reaching the hostland:

I rise at eleven,

I dine about two,

I get drunk before sev’n;

And the next thing I do,

I send for my whore, when for fear of a clap,

I spend in her hand, and I spew in her lap!” (Naqvi, 2010:5)

The excessive drinking habits, promiscuous behaviour, perverted sexuality, drug-addiction and whatever activities, he is engaged with, are forbidden, condemned and discouraged in his homeland culture and religion.

Jamshed Khan Pathan of HB, nicknamed as Jimbo, is a Pakistani-American. He and his sister are born and brought up in Jersey with American national identity. He is a Dj, whereas his sister is still studying. He is famous for his “malapropisms and portmanteaus” (Naqvi, 2010:2). Being a DJ, slash producer by vocation, he “distilled the post-disco-proto-house-neo-soul canon in his compositions. His credo was: Is All Good” (p.4). He has a white girlfriend. Pathans, as a community, live in a tribal, conservative, traditional and patriarchal society. They have very strict cultural codes and norms, where the free display of sexual aberration, drink and extramarital relationship usually end in a catastrophic tragedy. However, Jamshed Khan is found diametrically opposite to the norms of his homeland culture, and this is the possible outcome of assimilation into the hostland culture.

Mohammed Shah (the Shaman), a Pakistani Gatsby, is an American story of success. He undergoes a long period of hardship remains engaged in various menial and blue-collar jobs, stays hand to mouth for years but eventually climbs to the top-notch position in an insurance company. Sometimes, he introduces himself as an Arab Sheikh. He owns “a scarlet Mercedes 500 SEL and “rubble stone and wood houses in Westbrook, Connecticut, where he hosted ostentatious parties” (Naqvi, 2010:21). He has a horsey blonde girlfriend. He runs a bar owned by a “paunchy Pakistani Christian who introduced himself as Ron and religiously plied us with the choicest liquor for the remainder of the evening as if it were a matter of jus soli or national duty” (Naqvi, 2010:80). Like Changez of TRF, he is an example of successful professional development. He has earned a remarkable place in the host society.

The above analysed data clearly manifests that the MO, either of American or other nationalities, are eager to assimilate into the American hostland culture before the attacks. No significant difference has been found in both the American Muslims and the fresh Muslim immigrants. Their role, group, ethnic and national identities undergo significant changes. While assimilating, they even imbibe to some of the norms and practices of the hostland culture such as drinking, dating and extramarital relationship, which are forbidden, discouraged, and impermissible in their homeland culture.

RETENTION OF THE HOMELAND CULTURE

The assimilation into the hostland culture, as discussed above and the retention of homeland culture are the underlying factors of the integrative process (Rosenau, 2003). The dress is an integral part of a culture and people develop a deep attachment to it. While going to Erica’s house for dinner, Changez wears a white kurta with embroidery. He relates things, places, buildings, houses and weather of the hostland with his homeland. Erica has a penthouse in Upper East Side of New York which reminds him of his house in Gulberg Lahore. For him, the summer of New York is like the spring of Lahore. Even Erica suggests abandoning his strong yearning for home. TRF shifts things from the homeland to the hostland in order to devise the aura of homeliness.

ESTABLISHING THE HOMELAND SIMILITUDE IN THE HOSTLAND

Smith (1978) maintains that because of estrangement, alienation, detachment and the unfamiliar situation at hostland, immigrants try to develop an environment similar to their homeland culture. Kurien (1998) and Rayaprol (1997) add that they establish religious institutes and start cultural activities to feel like being at home. Post-9/11 fiction shows the MO have established such settlements in the hostland. In TRF, Manhattan, New York brings an aura of home to Changez, because of the prevalence of Urdu language and Pakistani food at the Pak-Punjab Deli restaurant. As a marked manifestation of Eastern hospitality, the guests from Pakistan are served with a free meal on their first arrival at the restaurant. The owner of the restaurant and Changez speak in Urdu language (Hamid, 2007). HB refers to “Kabab King Diner, a bright and cluttered Pakistani restaurant” adjacent to Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, which sells food more common at homeland (Naqvi, 2010:183). In addition, it also mentions “a now-defunct twenty-four hour dhaba in Little India”, where Abdul Karim takes Shahzad for dinner Naqvi, 2010:33). The food brings the nostalgia of home and Shahzad recalls: “Bundoo Khan’s legendary seekh kababs, picnicking in the shade of the palm trees at the Jinnah Mausoleum, riding pillion on a Honda C70, the tangy whiff of the Arabian Sea” (Naqvi, 2010:34). It is found that the MO establishes similitude between the homeland and hostland to interact, live, talk, and eat together with intimacy and attachment. But in the wake of the persecution ensued after the attacks, these establishments wear a gloomy look of desertion, disintegration, decadence and downfall. Both TRF and HB are consistent with such establishments.

THE PRE-9/11 RELIGIOUS IDENTITY OF THE MO

This section analyses that to what extent the MO display and demonstrate religiosity, adhere to the injunctions of Islam, abstain from the forbidden things in the religious code, believe in the existence of God and contribute for the welfare of Muslim fraternity (Umah). Before the attacks, Changez, the protagonist of TRF, is a clean-shaven cultural Muslim. But after the attacks, when he is socially discriminated, suspected, othered and physically or verbally abused, he grows a beard which in fact is a religious identity marker. Quite opposite to the injunctions of his religious identity, he has been found using wine at different occasions. Besides he has an extramarital relationship with Erica. Likewise, Ali Chaudhry, Shahzad and Jamshed Khan, the protagonists of HB, are frequent wine consumers. They watch pornographic videos and discuss how French, Iranis, Latins and British women groan differently during intercourse. They have friendship with gay and lesbian party promoters. Shahzad loses his virginity in an erratic liaison with the daughter of a preacher during his brief sojourn in a dormitory. He questions the existence of God after joining the philosophy class. He does not like the Saudi Muslims and the first short of wine he drinks is to just manifest his malice towards them. Moreover, one year he purchases a tree to celebrate Christmas. It is obvious that the religious identity of the MO is dormant, passive, cultural or symbolical one. They do not display religiosity in their conduct; moreover, they are non-practising cultural Muslims. Neither a beard among men nor hijab among women is observed as a ceremonial religious obligation. They do not adhere to the injunctions of Islam in letter and spirit in their daily course of life. No character of the selected novels has been found strictly abiding by the worshipping cannons. They drink wine, sing, dance and live with extramarital relationship and perverted sexuality. The young watch pornographic movies lose virginity and make friendship with gay and lesbian party promoters. Contrary to it, they do not have a strong affiliation with the Muslims of other nationalities, moreover, some hate incidents against the MO themselves are available in the data. Even some of them are atheists and question the existence of God.

CONCLUSION

The post-9/11 fiction represents that Muslim diaspora immigrate to the US with multiple ethnic and religious identities. They have been found equally assimilative into the hostland culture with concomitant retention of the homeland identity. Given to the adverse social, economic, political and academic conditions, bad-governance, lack of meritocracy, political unrest and poor infrastructure, they aspire to immigrate and live in the hostland. It has been found that the MO adopts the integrative approach to actively assimilate into the hostland culture and retain the homeland values as well. The young generations are bolder and more open to assimilation as compared to the old ones. In order to cope alienation, separation and detachment, the diasporans establish markets and restaurants bearing similitude with their homeland. The religious identity of the MO is passive, cultural or mere symbolical one. They are non-practising Muslims and do not manifest religiosity in their conduct. The key injunctions of Islam such as abstinence from wine, coitus and extramarital relationship are most common with them. Worshiping norms and religious identity markers such as a beard and hijab are not strictly observed as an integral part of the Muslim identity. Thus, post-9/11 fiction by the MO dispels the popular perception and stereotyping asserted by the MI that the Muslims are radical and diehard zealot and less inclined towards enlightenment, progress and peace. Liao (2013:19) has rightly said, “I believe that a rich and critical 9/11 literature should begin where the Euro-American narcissism ends”.

REFERENCE

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