New book on Muslims in Brazil

The Construction of Muslim Identities in Contemporary Brazil

Cristina Maria de Castro
Lexington Books, 2013


In this fascinating original study, Cristina Maria de Castro presents an insightful overview of the little-known Muslim communities in Brazil and their at times precarious relationship with majority society in the years of the War on Terror and increasing Islamophobia. Extensive fieldwork has given her access to many of the discussions and debates in these communities. I found her analysis of how ‘born’ Muslim women (of Arab and South African origin) and converts negotiate their gender and religious identities vis-à-vis each other and the non-Muslim majority especially of great interest. The author’s comparative research on the Muslim communities of the Netherlands adds a valuable dimension to this study, bringing out more clearly the specificities of the Brazilian situation.
– Martin van Bruinessen, Department of Religious Studies, Utrecht University and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

About the author:
Cristina Maria de Castro is a Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). In 2005 and 2007 she acted as a visiting researcher at the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, based in Leiden, The Netherlands. In 2007, Castro was approved in a highly competitive selection process to participate in a training program for new PhD researchers in the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, CEBRAP, one of the most renowned research institutions in Brazil. Articles and book chapters on religion, gender and migration, with emphasis on Muslim minorities, have been published by her in Brazil, the USA and France.