The continuous occurrence of terrorist attacks in the name of Islam has shown this ideology and its tenets are at least somewhat connected to jihadists committing attacks in its name. This ideology in terms of 13 themes was investigated by the researcher in 58 sermons outlined in the tables in the appendix. These themes include: brotherhood, death, freedom, human rights, justice and equality, love, oppression, peace and treaty, self-defense, sin, submission, terrorism and truth vs. lies. The researcher used a sample of 10 sermons from U.S.- born imams and 10 sermons from foreign-born imams as the basis for the analysis for the theories and themes. Conducting a thematic analysis of U.S.-born and foreign-born imams' sermons, the researcher uncovered their true interpretations of these themes. Following this, the researcher investigated the imams' speech codes. The researcher found that imams who were born in the United States focused more on religious speech codes compared to the international imams who focused more prominently on cultural speech codes. In terms of social codes, foreign-born imams seem to be more focused on relationships, while those born in the United States focuses more on religious conduct. In terms of religious codes, foreign-born imams seem to have a checklist of requirements in how to act, including referencing believers vs. disbelievers and historical aspects of the codes, while those born in the United States focused on more codes that referred to everyday activities, people and the kind of conduct that a Muslim should have. In terms of cultural codes, foreign-born imams seem to have an immediate need to physically defend against outside forces. This is compared to the United States-born imams, who discuss how to better oneself, how cultural aspects are a distraction and how Muslim converts are more inspirational than the Muslim-born since the converts actively rejected their cultural norms in favor of Islam.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Communication; Interpersonal Communications
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dobiyanski, Chandler, "A Qualitative Analysis of Key Concepts in Islam From the Perspective of Imams" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6186.