A Brazilian-Muslim Identity in the Land of the Holy Cross: The Assimilation of Muslim Immigrants in Curitiba, Brazil (2001-2020)
AdvisorClancy-Smith, Julia A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractScholarship on the Muslim diaspora in Brazil is still relatively scarce. There is an abundance of English and Portuguese academic research focused mainly on Arab Christian immigrants, who arrived in the late nineteenth century, in large measure because of the estimated twelve million Syro-Lebanese descendants now calling the country home. Nevertheless, Muslim communities have deep roots in Brazil, stretching back to the slave trade. Thus, Muslim immigrants have played a significant role in the evolution of a Brazilian society. This thesis investigates the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in Curitiba, the capital of the southern state of Paraná, mainly during the latest period of the diaspora, from 2001-2020. I chose the city of Curitiba for my fieldwork because of the strong assimilation (Birgit Meyer, 1999) of the Muslim community into society and the hyphenated Brazilian-Muslim identity (Jeffrey Lesser, 1999) there. However, my fieldwork revealed that instead of being a united ummah (Vanessa Souza-Lima, 2016), Shi’i and Sunni Muslims in Curitiba currently compete in order to create a more ample social space in society for themselves. To explain this competition, I lay out the historical background, the physical, non-physical and virtual spaces in which these immigrants have created a Brazilian-Muslim identity, and the forces that have led to exclusion and discrimination. This thesis identifies a Brazilian-Muslim identity and argues that acculturation is not merely or simply a one-sided process but that both Muslim and non-Muslim immigrants in Brazil have adapted to some aspects of Brazilian culture, norms, and social expectations, and distancing themselves from others.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Middle Eastern & North African Studies