Mucahit Bilici

Mucahit Bilici

Mucahit Bilici
Associate Professor
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Haaren Hall 52004


2008 PhD    Sociology, University of Michigan


Mucahit Bilici is Associate Professor of Sociology at John Jay College and CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012). Besides American Islam, his research interests include social theory, Islamophobia, Muslim societies (Turkey), Said Nursi and Kurdish Studies. Bilici is a faculty fellow at CUNY Dispute Resolution Center.



Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

The events of 9/11 had a profound impact on American society, but they had an even more lasting effect on Muslims living in the United States. Once practically invisible, they suddenly found themselves overexposed. By describing how Islam in America began as a strange cultural object and is gradually sinking into familiarity, Finding Mecca in America illuminates the growing relationship between Islam and American culture as Muslims find a homeland in America. Rich in ethnographic detail, the book is an up-close account of how Islam takes its American shape. In this book, Mucahit Bilici traces American Muslims’ progress from outsiders to natives and from immigrants to citizens. Drawing on the philosophies of Simmel and Heidegger, Bilici develops a novel sociological approach and offers insights into the civil rights activities of Muslim Americans, their increasing efforts at interfaith dialogue, and the recent phenomenon of Muslim ethnic comedy. Theoretically sophisticated, Finding Mecca in America is both a portrait of American Islam and a groundbreaking study of what it means to feel at home.

Selected Publications

Bilici, Mucahit. 2011. “Homeland Insecurity: How Immigrant Muslims Naturalize America in Islam,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 53 (3): 595-622.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2010. “Muslim Ethnic Comedy: Inversions of Islamophobia.” In Islamophobia/Islamophilia: Beyond the Politics of Enemy and Friend, ed. A. Shryock. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2009. “Black Turks, White Turks: On the Three Requirements of Turkish Citizenship,” Insight Turkey 11 (3): 23-35.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2008. “Said Nursi’s Moral Philosophy,” Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 19 (1): 89-98.

Khalil, M. H. and Mucahit Bilici. 2007. “Conversion out of Islam: A Study of Conversion Narratives of Former Muslims,” The Muslim World 97 (January 2007): 111-124.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2006. “The Fethullah Gulen Movement and Its Politics of Representation in Turkey,” The Muslim World 96 (January): 1-20.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2006. “Ummah and Empire: Global Formations after Nation.” In Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought, ed. Ibrahim AbuRabi. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2005. “American Jihad: Representations of Islam in the United States after 9/11,” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) 22(1): 50-69.

Bilici, Mucahit. 2003. “Forgetting Gramsci and Remembering Nursi: Parallel Theories of Gramsci and Nursi in the Space of Eurocentrism.” In Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, ed. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Research interest

American Islam, Religion, Islamophobia

Social Theory, Philosophy & Sociology

Kurdish Studies, Said Nursi Studies, Kurds, Turkey, Middle East


Islam, American Islam, Islamophobia

Kurdish Studies, Said Nursi Studies, Kurds, Islam in Turkey, Middle East