Radicalized Loyalties (Paperback)
Becoming Muslim in the West
Polity Press, 9781509519354, 220pp.
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
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This book takes us beyond the rhetoric and into the housing estates on the outskirts of Paris to meet Adama, Radouane, Hassan, Tarik, Marley, and a shadowy figure whose name suddenly and brutally became known to the world at the time of the Charlie Hebdo shootings: Am dy Coulibaly. Seeing Am dy through the eyes of close friends and other young Muslim men in the neighbourhoods where they grew up, Fabien Truong uncovers a network of competing loyalties and maps the road these youths take to resolve the conflicts they face: becoming Muslim. For these young men, Islam stands, often alone, as a resource, a gateway - as if it were the last route to "escape" without betrayal and to "fight" in a meaningful and noble way.
Becoming Muslim does not necessarily lead to the radicalized "other". It is more like a long-distance race, a powerful reconversion of the self that allows for introspection and change. But it can also lead to a belligerent presentation of the self that transforms a dead-end into a call to arms.