Arab Muslim Identity Transmission : Parents and Youth


Effective Islamic identity transmission requires determination of the nature and extensiveness of the different interpretations held by parents and their children and the ways these interpretations are reflected in their practice of Isl-am and association with Arabic heritage. Fifteen Arab Muslim families of varied nationalities were interviewed as part of a larger study on Muslims in North America. The findings indicate that parents and youth have significantly different perceptions. Parents have higher levels of perception for the central concept of Isl-am, i.e., Taw.h-id (Oneness of God), but only in abstract form, whereas youth tend to emphasize some of the auxiliary concepts of Isl-am, i.e., human-interrelation behavior, but in the context of Western values. This may explain (1) difficulties parents encounter in effectively transmitting the Islamic belief system and/or the Arabic heritage to their children, (2) the youths' inability to distinguish between the Islamic/Arabic and the Western systems on the ideological level, and (3) the youths' confusion concerning their roots and history.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Barazangi2007ArabMI, title={Arab Muslim Identity Transmission : Parents and Youth}, author={Nimat Hafez Barazangi and Michael W. Suleiman}, year={2007} }