Islam in America, Second Edition

Islam in America, Second Edition

Jane I. Smith
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 2
Pages: 256
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7312/smit14710
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  • Book Info
    Islam in America, Second Edition
    Book Description:

    This richly textured, critically acclaimed portrait of American Muslims introduces the basic tenets of the Muslim faith, surveys the history of Islam in North America, and profiles the lifestyles, religious practices, and worldviews of Muslims in the United States. The volume focuses specifically on the difficulty of living faithfully and adhering to tradition while adapting to an American way of life and addresses the role of women in Muslim culture, the raising and education of children, appropriate dress and behavior, and incidences of prejudice and unfair treatment.

    The second edition of Islam in America features a new chapter on post-9/11 realities, which covers infringements on civil rights and profiling, participation in politics, transformations in Islamic law, pluralism and identity issues, foreign influences, anti-Islamic sentiment, intra-Islamic tensions, and the quest for a moderate Islam. Source notes, glossary, and additional resources also reflect recent developments and scholarship.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-51999-1
    Subjects: Religion, History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. ix-xx)

    “Muslim Americans represent the most affluent, integrated, politically engaged Muslim community in the Western world,” professed Newsweek magazine in sharing the results of a major survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2007.¹ Good news indeed. All seems well for American Islam, and indeed in many ways that is quite true. Muslims are as educated and as financially stable as other citizens in America. Yet the subtitle of the article gives the fuller picture: “Muslim Americans are one of this country’s greatest strengths. But they’re vulnerable as never before.” Close to half of Americans feel that their country has...

  4. CHAPTER ONE Muslim Faith and Practice
    (pp. 1-22)

    On Friday shortly after noon in a small inner-city mosque, a converted storefront used primarily by African Americans, the worshipers slowly gather. A man who has volunteered to vacuum before each prayer service makes certain that the carpets are clean to receive the foreheads of those who will soon bow in prostration to God. Each person removes his or her shoes before entering the worship hall, placing them in a wooden rack near the front door. The carpets, which are really thin runners, are arranged so that those gathered for prayer will be facing in the direction of Mecca, indicated...

  5. CHAPTER TWO Contributors to the Development of Islam
    (pp. 23-50)

    What is Islam? For American Muslims, it means many different things, although the most immediate answer is that it consists of the revelation of the Qur’an, the experiences of its Prophet, and its requirements of faith and practice. This is Islam in its essential meaning. However, the many individuals who over the centuries have identified as Muslim have shaped and developed Islam as a living faith. In the same way, the decisions that American Muslims make about how to understand and practice the faith in a Western context will significantly define Islam in the next century. In this chapter we...

  6. CHAPTER THREE Islam Comes to America
    (pp. 51-77)

    Commentators on the emergence of Islam in the North American scene have looked for the most part to the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century as signaling the first real arrival of Muslims in the United States. Indeed, at this time the first Muslim immigrants, primarily from the Middle East, began to come to North America in hopes of earning some kind of fortune, large or small, and then returning to their homelands. We will return to their story shortly. Going back considerably further, some Muslim scholars currently argue that for nearly two centuries before the time of...

  7. CHAPTER FOUR Islam in the African American Community
    (pp. 78-103)

    Students of black religion in America are now increasingly aware that voluntary immigration was only one of the ways in which Muslims arrived on the shores of “the promised land.” Others came against their will, finding America a land not of promise but of bondage. These were the Muslims brought in the slave trade of colonial and postcolonial America. Scholars generally agree that a significant number of the black Africans who were brought to North America during the antebellum slave trade were Muslim, although numbers are impossible to determine. These men and women seized into slavery came from a variety...

  8. CHAPTER FIVE The Public Practice of Islam
    (pp. 104-128)

    This freedom to practice the faith in public—to build and attend mosques, to train indigenous Islamic leadership, to contribute to the spread of knowledge about Islam, to form organizations that will reflect the issues and concerns of American Muslims—is now being accepted by American society as a right and an expectation for this growing religious neighbor. Following is a brief look at how the public face of Islam is being expressed.

    A Muslim architect who came from Pakistan to the United States as a student in 1960 describes his attempts to find a mosque in the Pittsburgh area....

  9. CHAPTER SIX Women and the Muslim American Family
    (pp. 129-154)

    So says Asma Gull Hasan, an American Muslim of South Asian descent, speaking of her struggle with her family about whether or not to follow the traditions of their culture of origin when planning her wedding. Hasan and many other American Muslim women are attempting to show that they can follow the dictates of the Qur’an as well as be sensitive to familial expectations and at the same time experience the freedom to act and to define themselves in new ways. That freedom, for many women, extends from personal life circumstances to education to jobs to involvement in a great...

  10. CHAPTER SEVEN Living a Muslim Life in American Society
    (pp. 155-184)

    Muslims face many questions as they try to live their lives as responsible citizens of their country, of their families, and in many cases, of their religious tradition. How do they provide appropriate education for their children? What economic strictures do they observe? How are matters of nutrition and health, Islamic music, burial of the dead dealt with? What special products are currently being designed for Muslims, how do they deal with the observance of holidays, both American and Islamic, what new forms of music and communication are now available? In this chapter we discuss daily concerns among American Muslims,...

  11. CHAPTER EIGHT Islam in America Post-9/11
    (pp. 185-204)

    Nothing prepared the Muslim community in America for September 11, 2001. The violence perpetrated on that day shocked and horrified Americans in general, and it is now clear that the event has had devastating consequences not only for the United States but for the world. Americans, Iraqis, Afghans, and many others continue to be killed in the resulting wars. The economy of the Western world has staggered while deficits rise as quickly as oil prices. It is difficult to characterize the consequences of the violent acts of a tiny number of Muslim extremists on that September morning. But none have...

  12. CHRONOLOGY
    (pp. 205-208)
  13. NOTES
    (pp. 209-214)
  14. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 215-218)
  15. RESOURCES FOR THE STUDY OF ISLAM IN AMERICA
    (pp. 219-224)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 225-236)