October 31st, 2018 – Gravestones can be used to document and explain the exceptional internal diversity of the Muslim community of southeast Michigan. In reality, this is not a single community but a mosaic of diverse communities, diverse in terms of national, cultural, and even religious sub-groupings. While Muslims agree on the five Pillars of the Faith, there is otherwise great variation. In that sense, the gravestones and markers in this study are not Islamic stones. They are the stones of Muslims. And Muslims do not fit a single pattern.
Historians, anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists, and others approach this community with different paradigms. The approach of this talk is to examine the Muslim community through how individuals are defined on their gravestones. The data are a collection of photos of over 1,000 Muslim gravestones. All were taken by the author.
Dr. Ronald Stockton, is the founding director of the Michigan Committee on US-Arab Relations. He is also a Principle Investigator on the Detroit Arab American Study (one of two). That study produced a vast data set and a team-authored book, Citizenship and Crisis, Arab Detroit After 9/11, 2009, (Russell Sage Press). Dr. Stockton produced single-authored two chapters, and a book chapter.
Dr. Stockton wrote articles in Middle East Journal (Christian Zionism), Middle East Policy (two articles on divestiture), The Journal of Palestine Studies (two pieces on Intifada death patterns), PS: Teaching and Political Science (Walking Between Raindrops: Teaching the I-P Conflict). He also wrote a book chapter on “Ethnic Archetypes and the Arab Image in Cartoons and Comic Books.”