Review of the Week: 3/6/17

This Review of the Week explores a topic that is incredibly timely and relevant--now more than ever.

Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States

Khabeer, Su’ad Abdul. New York University, 2016
273p bibl index, 9781479872152 $89.00, 9781479894505 $30.00, 9781479829897

Muslim Cool: Race, Religion, and Hip Hop in the United States book cover

“Muslim cool” is an extraordinary concept that brings popular culture, race, and religion into an anthropological space for examination. Many 21st-century anthropological texts strive to include the author as a source of disclosure and miss the mark. Purdue anthropologist Khabeer does this right. Using Chicago as a primary site of inquiry, the author takes readers on a journey through hip-hop and its relationship to race, Islam, and the various individuals who have locked into this venue. She also interrogates the sometimes oppositional relationships that erupt when non-black Muslims attempt to use the space of hip-hop to create an American identity. There is a deft use of contemporary analytical sources here that make sense of often-used theories on the body and surveillance. The style is very accessible, though challenging. This truly new anthropology of urban spaces and international places looks at US environments rather than those in foreign lands, a much welcomed and much needed perspective for the health and potential well-being of society, especially as it focuses on race and religion. A must read for any student of anthropology, religion, migration, or urban studies.

Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries.
Reviewer: A. B. Al-Deen, DePaul University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies , Islamic Studies , Urban Studies
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Anthropology
Choice Issue: Jun 2017