Date of Award

Fall 12-13-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in American Studies (MAST)


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Rebecca Hill, PhD

Second Advisor

Debarati Sen, PhD

Third Advisor

Kenneth Williamson, PhD


My thesis will analyze the religious life of Bangladeshi Muslims in Atlanta, Georgia. Previous research recognized a significant clash between secular nationalistic ideology and Islamic ideology in Bangladesh and elsewhere; therefore, this research focuses on Atlanta’s Bangladeshi Muslims’ identity and ideology regarding secularism and Islamism. Previous literature reveals the fact that some terms about Muslims like fundamentalist, extremist, and revivalist are intermingled with terrorism and radicalism; Muslims are identified based on these terms and concepts. This paper also examines the fear of Islam in America and how this fear impacts Bangladeshi Muslims in Atlanta. This research will focus on the ideology and identity of Bangladeshi Muslim in their religious life. It will analyze the conflicts, clashes, threats, inner conflicts and dilemmas of Bangladeshi Muslims regarding Islam while dealing with a two-way fear that I possess as a Muslim; I bear a fear of Islamist terrorist attack and a fear of being a Muslim in America. Therefore, it considers how America treats Muslims and Islam as a religion, and how the life of Bangladeshi Muslims in Atlanta is impacted. The research is based upon several interviews with Bangladeshi Muslims in the Atlanta area, participation observations, and my experiences as a Bangladeshi Muslim.