Questioning the Template: Bangladeshi Muslim Americans

By Parveen Ali and Shihab Ali.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There is at present a paucity of research examining Bangladeshi Muslim Americans as a unique subgroup within the South Asian Muslim American population. The present study investigates how the experience of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants in the United States compares to the generalizations about South Asian Muslim immigrants presented by the literature. This qualitative study utilizes fifty-eight open-response questionnaires and eight telephone interviews submitted by first-generation Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants to investigate how Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants conform to or challenge the generalized template of the South Asian Muslim immigrant and whether there are additional, previously undocumented nuances to the Bangladeshi Muslim American experience. Responses from the sample in this study suggest that Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, particularly with regards to return migration, experiences with discrimination, and self-identification, do not entirely adhere to the archetypal South Asian Muslim experience.

Keywords: Bangladeshi Muslim American Immigrants, South Asian Muslim American Immigrants, Self-identification, Return Migration, Reasons for Immigration, Experience with Prejudice, Social Prestige for Immigration, Importance of Bengali Language

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.23-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 246.590KB).

Dr. Parveen Ali

Assistant Professor, College of Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, USA

Dr. Parveen Ali earned her M.S. in physics and D.Ed in curriculum and instruction in the United States of America. Before she joined the College of Education at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ali taught mathematics and physics for 14 years in secondary schools, and taught mathematics in 4-year and 2-year colleges for eight years. Dr. Ali has extensive experience in various levels of math teaching and in curriculum development. Her research interests are in gender equity, diversity, and math education.

Shihab Ali

Research Associate, Laboratory for Quantitative Medicine, Cambridge, USA

Shihab Ali is a research associate at the Laboratory for Quantitative Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Quantitative Neuroscience from Princeton University. Along with his scientific interests, Mr. Ali investigates the experience of Bangladeshi Americans in the United States. He will be enrolling in medical school in 2012.