Muslims began arriving in the New World long before the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri's fascinating book traces the history of Muslims in the United States and their different waves of immigration and conversion across five centuries, through colonial and antebellum America, through world wars and civil rights struggles, to the contemporary era. The book tells the often deeply moving stories of individual Muslims and their lives as immigrants and citizens within the broad context of the American religious experience, showing how that experience has been integral to the evolution of American Muslim institutions and practices. This is a unique and intelligent portrayal of a diverse religious community and its relationship with America. It will serve as a strong antidote to the current politicized dichotomy between Islam and the West, which has come to dominate the study of Muslims in America and further afield.
a history of islam in america
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An introduction to the ways in which ordinary Muslim Americans practice their faith. Muslims have always been part of the United States, but very little is known about how Muslim Americans practice their religion. How do they pray? What’s it like to go on pilgrimage to Mecca? What rituals accompany the birth of a child, a wedding, or the death of a loved one? What holidays do Muslims celebrate and what charities do they support? How do they learn about the Qur’an? The Practice of Islam in America introduces readers to the way Islam is lived in the United States, offering vivid portraits of Muslim American life passages, ethical actions, religious holidays, prayer, pilgrimage, and other religious activities. It takes readers into homes, religious congregations, schools, workplaces, cemeteries, restaurants—and all the way to Mecca—to understand the diverse religious practices of Muslim Americans. Going beyond a theoretical discussion of what Muslims are supposed to do, this volume focuses on what they actually do. As the volume reveals, their religious practices are shaped by their racial and ethnic identity, their gender and sexual orientation, and their sectarian identity, among other social factors. Readers gain practical information about Islamic religion while also coming to understand how the day-to-day realities of American life shape Muslim American practice.
This collection brings together sixteen previously unpublished essays about the history, organization, challenges, responses, outstanding thinkers, and future prospects of the Muslim community in the United States and Canada. Both Muslims and non-Muslims are represented among the contributors, who include such leading Islamic scholars as John Esposito, Frederick Denny, Jane Smith, and John Voll. Focusing on the manner in which American Muslims adapt their institutions as they become increasingly an indigenous part of America, the essays discuss American Muslim self-images, perceptions of Muslims by non-Muslim Americans, leading American Muslim intellectuals, political activity of Muslims in America, Muslims in American prisons, Islamic education, the status of Muslim women in America, and the impact of American foreign policy on Muslims in the United States.
A two volume encyclopedia set that examines the legacy, impact, and contributions of Muslim Americans to U.S. history.
Most Americans are only vaguely aware of the Muslim community in the United States and know little about the religion itself, despite Islam's increasing importance in international affairs and the rapid growth in the number of Americans who call themselves Muslims. Now a foremost authority in the field has crafted a richly textured portrait of the Muslim community in the United States today. Jane I. Smith introduces the basic tenets of the Muslim faith, surveys the history of Islam in this country, and profiles the lifestyles, religious practices, and worldviews of American Muslims. The volume pays particular attention to the tension felt by many in this community as they attempt to live faithfully, adhering to their traditions while at the same time adapting to an alien culture that appears to many Muslims to be excessively secular and materialistic. The book also covers the role of women in American Islam, the raising and educating of children, the use of products acceptable to Muslims, appropriate dress and behavior, concerns about prejudice and unfair treatment, and other issues related to life in a country in which Islam is often misunderstood.
Across North America, Islam is portrayed as a religion of immigrants, converts, and cultural outsiders. Yet Muslims have been embedded in American society for much longer than most people realize. Old Islam in Detroit documents the rich history of Islam in Detroit, a city that is home to several of America's oldest and most diverse Muslim communities. In the early 1900s, there were thousands of Muslims in Detroit. Most came from Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and British India. Bythe 1930s, new Islam-oriented social movements were taking root among African Americans in Detroit. By the 1950s, Albanians, Arabs, African Americans, and South Asians all had mosques and religious associations in the city, and they were confident that Islam could be, and had already become, an American religion. Old Islam in Detroit explores the rise of Detroit's earliest Muslim communities. The book documents the culture wars and doctrinal debates that ensued as these populations confronted Muslim newcomers who did not understand their manner of worship or the American identities they had created. By looking closely at this historical encounter, Sally Howell provides a new interpretation of the possibilities and limits of Muslim incorporation in American life. Showing how Islam has become American in the past, Howell argues that the anxieties many new Muslim Americans and non-Muslims feel about the place of Islam in American society today are part of a dynamic process of political and religious change that is still unfolding.
Muslims are neither new nor foreign to the United States. They have been a vital presence in North America since the 16th century. Muslims in America unearths their history, documenting the lives of African, Middle Eastern, South Asian, European, black, white, Hispanic and other Americans who have been followers of Islam. The book begins with the tale of Job Ben Solomon, a 18th century African American Muslim slave, and goes on to chart the stories of sodbusters in North Dakota, African American converts to Islam in the 1920s, Muslim barkeepers in Toledo, the post-1965 wave of professional immigrants from Asia and Africa, and Muslim Americans after 9/11. The book reveals the richness of Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi and other forms of Islamic theology, ethics, and rituals in the United States by illustrating the way Islamic faith has been imagined and practiced in the everyday lives of individuals. Muslims in America recovers the place of Muslims in the larger American story, too. Showing how Muslim American men and women participated in each era of U.S. history, the book explores how they have both shaped and have been shaped by larger historical trends such as the abolition movement, Gilded Age immigration, the Great Migration of African Americans, urbanization, religious revivalism, the feminist movement, and the current war on terror. It also shows how, from the very beginning of American history, Muslim Americans have been at once a part of their local communities, their nation, and the worldwide community of Muslims. The first single-author history of Muslims in America from colonial times to the present, this book fills a huge gap and provides invaluable background on one of the most poorly understood groups in the United States. Religion in American Life explores the evolution, character, and dynamic of organized religion in America from 1500 to the present day. Written by distinguished historians of religion, these books weave together the varying stories that compose the religious fabric of the United States, from Puritanism to alternative religious practices. Primary source material coupled with handsome illustrations and lucid text make these books essential in any exploration of America's diverse nature. Each book includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and an index.
This installment in the critically acclaimed Contemporary Debates series uses evidence-based documentation to provide a full and impartial examination of beliefs and claims made about Muslim individuals, families, and communities in the United States. • Provides evidence-based information about American Muslims and their historical and current roles in American life and culture • Surveys and explains ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity among the US Muslim population • Offers an in-depth analysis of the dynamics of Islamophobia and its impact on American Muslims • Objectively examines claims that Muslims are "un-American" or potential threats to American national security and society
A valuable resource for readers interested in the role of Islam in contemporary U. S. politics and society, this first-of-its kind reference synthesizes Islamic teachings, the example of Prophet Muhammad, and the vision of the Founding Fathers. • Summarizes the role of Islam in contemporary U.S. politics and society via overview essays • Uses a chronology to identify the most important events related to Islam in the U.S. • Includes roughly 50 alphabetically arranged reference entries for key topics related to Islam in American religion and politics • Features bibliographies and an end-of-work annotated bibliography to direct the reader to additional sources of information
Islam has been part of the increasingly complex American religious scene for well over a century, and was brought into more dramatic focus by the attacks of September 11, 2001. American Islam is practiced by a unique blend of immigrants and American-born Muslims. The immigrants have come from all corners of the world; they include rich and poor, well-educated and illiterate, those from upper and lower classes as well as economic and political refugees. The community's diversity has been enhanced by the conversion of African Americans, Latina/os, and others, making it the most heterogeneous Muslim community in the world. With an up-to-the-minute analysis by thirty of the top scholars in the field, this handbook covers the growth of Islam in America from the earliest Muslims to set foot on American soil to the current wave of Islamophobia. Topics covered include the development of African American Islam; pre- and post-WWII immigrants; Sunni, Shi`ite, sectarian and Sufi movements in America; the role and status of women, marriage, and family; and the Americanization of Islamic culture. Throughout these chapters the contributors explore the meaning of religious identity in the context of race, ethnicity, gender, and politics, both within the American Islamic community and in relation to international Islam.