Synopses & Reviews
Justin Gest explores why many Western Muslims are disaffected, why others are engaged, and why some seek to undermine the very political system that remains their primary means of inclusion. Based on research conducted in London's East End and Madrid's Lavapi's district, and drawing on over one hundred interviews with community elders, imams, extremists, politicians, gangsters, and ordinary people just trying to get by, Apart maps the daily experiences of young Muslim men.
Confronting conventional explanations that point to inequality, discrimination, and religion, Gest builds a new theory that distinguishes alienated and engaged political behavior not by structural factors but by the interpretation of shared realities by social agents. Sounding an unambiguous warning to Western policymakers, he presages an imminent American encounter with the same challenges. The way in which governments and people discipline their fear and understand their Muslim fellows, Gest claims, may shape the course of democratic social life in the foreseeable future.