Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

Nabila Islam

PhD Candidate in Sociology
Summer Fellow 2020
Project Title: Imam Training Programs and the Islam Problem: Contrasting Evidence from Europe and Bangladesh

Imam training programs are an oft-advocated policy prescription for the integration of Muslims in the postcolony and the West. Nabila rethinks the meaning of these programs as a solution to the Islam Problem. She argues that the Islam Problem does not arise from Muslims being irreducibly different fromĀ others and thus unassilimilable into the body politic; the issue is that they are represented as such. Extending from this epistemological reframing and by contrasting imam training programs in Europe and Bangladesh, Nabila then argue that these programs solve a core problem of racial capitalism; they permit elites to regulate the flows of people, resources, and ideas.