The Crescent and the Dynamo: The Cultural and Linguistic Attitudes of Muslims in the Washington Metropolitan Area



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This modified grounded theory study discusses the linguistic and cultural attitudes of multicultural/multilingual Muslims living in the Washington DC metropolitan area and offers an emerging theory to explain how these attitudes developed. The findings of this study suggest that the influence and relevance of heritage cultures and languages of participants is diminishing significantly. Fluid identities were preferred by most participants. These non-traditional identities resolved much of the tension among their heritage cultures/languages, the English language, Islam, and globalism. Choosing the English language as their dominant language and identifying as American were not only compatible with most participants’ Muslim identities, but also integral and essential. While heritage languages and cultures were largely extraneous to participants’ lives in most cases, the English language was vital, as it was associated with the ability to access powerful ideas that challenged the traditional norms, assumptions, values, and practices of heritage cultures.