September 20, 2010

Prison, Hip Hop, and Islam

SpearIt, Saint Louis University School of Law, has published Spreading the Faith: Music and Culture, in Muslims in U.S. Prisons (Nawal Ammar, ed.; Lynne Rienner Publications) (forthcoming). Here is the abstract.

This chapter argues that prison and hip hop culture are major factors in the popularity and growth of Islam in the United States. The connections among Islam, prisons, and hip hop culture are profound, and all three share a deeply intertwined history; the more one studies Islam in the U.S., the student will be led to the powerful sanctuaries of prisons and hip hop culture, where Islam’s presence is pronounced. This work combines textual analysis of musical cultural productions and scholarly research on prison culture to show hip hop and prison culture as two primary sites of religious conversion. In these cultural spheres, Islam has found a steady stream of new recruits which contribute to Islam as the fastest growing religion in the United States.

The full text is not currently available from SSRN.

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