Diaspora by Design: Muslim Immigrants in Canada and Beyond (Book Review)
Immigration and Nationality Law Review, Vol. 32, Pg. 823-835, 2011
Posted: 26 Apr 2019
Date Written: 2011
In Diaspora by Design: Muslim Immigrants in Canada and Beyond, Haideh Moghissi, Saeed Rahnema, and Mark J. Goodman uncover the factors that inhibit the social and cultural integration of Muslim immigrants in the West and keep them on the margins of society. The authors argue that integration is about more than tolerance: it requires a two-way exchange in which immigrants accept the host society's social norms, while the host society actively promotes policies aimed at removing the barriers to full social and economic participation. In so doing, the authors also dismantle the dominant view in the West that Muslim immigrants comprise one homogenous, religiously driven “Muslim diaspora.” In fact, these immigrants are anything but homogenous: they include individuals and families from various ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and – crucially – religious backgrounds.
The book's biggest strength is its effective combination of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. However, it has some flaws. Most importantly, in discussing needed policy changes, the authors focus on the most general aims of policy rather than on practical, concrete measures that could be taken; they focus on the problems but present little in the way of solutions. Ultimately, Diaspora by Design is an eye-opening read and a much needed work during a time of increasing division between communities of Muslim immigrants and their host societies.
Keywords: immigration, islam, muslim, canada, immigrants, immigration law, tolerance, society, culture
JEL Classification: K37, Y30, Z10, Z12, Z18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation