The New Edition: The Truth: A Way Out of the Wilderness: Muslim Views during the Election of 2008
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It started with movements such as the Nation of Islam. But today the majority practices a more mainstream form of the faith, following the lead of Malcolm X and later Imam Warith Deen Mohammed.
The son of Elijah Muhammad, the prominent Nation of Islam leader, Mohammed abandoned a black separatist narrative and is credited with bringing a more traditional practice to Black Muslims. The first wave of Muslim immigrants in modern history began in the late s; mostly from the Levant, they sought economic opportunities and settled largely in the Midwest. The first mosque was in North Dakota. Iowa is home to the oldest surviving place of worship built for Muslims, the Mother Mosque of America.
But the door all but closed for Muslims in , with an immigration act that barred people from Asia. In the next wave began, when new legislation reopened the U. That immigration continues today. The largest Muslim immigrant group hails from South Asia. There are now more than 2, mosques across the country. But for some, having a mosque of their own is still elusive, like the Muslim families in rural Santa Clara County, south of San Jose, California. The area is a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and sheep farms. The community pooled its money, bought a piece of land, and drew up plans for the Cordoba Center.
But the project quickly became a lightning rod. The Pakistani American is the project manager. They associate all of us with that. The president of the Patriots says its opposition was never about Islam but about the environment. We want to protect that land. Civil rights advocates say using environmental concerns is a tactic commonly employed by anti-Muslim groups to block mosques or Muslim cemeteries. Similar arguments have been used to block, or try to block, projects in Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Texas.
The president’s final state-of-the-union showed his virtues and his weakness
In the first land-use meeting before the county planning commission in , Akhter and others in the Muslim community were shouted down and told to go back to their countries. There have been incidents that shocked her. It was so sudden. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, who founded MuslimGirl. Despite the troubles, Bakri Musa, a Malaysian-American surgeon in the community, says he prefers a lawsuit to the alternative. The Palestinian American, a lieutenant on the force, sees himself as a little bit of an ambassador for his faith. Here, he says, he can choose to be the kind of person, the kind of American, the kind of Muslim he wants to be.
He points to his shelves at his rustic home on a sheep farm. The day after we talked, the mosque rents out the community center to host an interfaith dinner with Jewish and Christian leaders, as well as guests. Musa and his wife, Karen, a Canadian American, sit next to a Jewish couple and explain the different South Asian foods being served. Many young Muslim Americans are tired of constantly having to explain themselves or speak for all Muslims. He stops traffic as he runs from the clinic and offices on one side of the street to the Mexican restaurant turned prayer room, cafeteria, and extra office space on the other.
The year-old community activist founded this place to use Islam to serve the underserved. Nashashibi was born to nonreligious Arab parents and found his way to the faith, like many American converts, through hip-hop and the social justice movement. Islam as a source of mercy, a source of reconciliation. Today Nashashibi and the staff at IMAN work with corner-store owners to bring fresh food and a more inviting environment—things like no bars on the windows—to food deserts in low-income neighborhoods. They get residents involved in community organizing, provide free medical services, and run a reentry program for former inmates who leave prison with a few dollars and often no family support.
Vendors hawk cold-pressed juices, bean pies, and colorful jewelry. The guests are from the neighborhood: community organizers, politicians, faith leaders, and friends. Nashashibi addresses the crowd. Sadia Nawab, the year-old arts-and-culture manager for IMAN, sits on the ground outside the store with a pair of teens painting trash cans to beautify the place. Her hair is covered in a stylish multicolored head wrap knotted at the top, her nose pierced.
Nawab grew up culturally confused. She found her way back to her faith. IMAN is a way to make Islam relevant to American Muslims, Nashashibi says, especially those searching for a purpose and a connection to a faith so often portrayed as a foreign threat on American television. And America, he says, is the best place to be a Muslim today. Read Caption. Led by Imam Jihad Saafir, the center works to promote community, education, and social and economic empowerment.
By Leila Fadel. Photographs by Lynsey Addario. This story appears in the May issue of National Geographic magazine. This story is part of Diversity in America, a National Geographic series covering racial, ethnic, and religious groups and examining their changing roles in 21st-century life. Tell us your story with IDefineMe. Imam Fazal Hassan and Amjad Shaik survey damage to their mosque in Bellevue, Washington, after it was set on fire last year.
A mentally ill man who had earlier assaulted a member of the mosque pleaded guilty but was not charged with a hate crime. Percent Muslim by county estimate. No data. Top 10 Cities with the Highest Number of Mosques. Size indicates Muslim population. Number of mosques. New York. San Francisco. Dallas—Fort Worth. Los Angeles. Muslim adults. Not U.
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Targeting mosques Incidents of anti-Muslim vandalism, arson, harassment, and violence at mosques surged in Arson or bombing attack against a mosque in Bellevue January 14, Boston, Mass. Detroit— Dearborn. Mother Mosque of America. Baltimore, Md. San Jose. Washington, D.
Virginia Beach—Norfolk. San Diego. San Antonio. Victoria January 28, Other, including Hispanic of any race. Graduate degree. College degree. Some college. United States. High school diploma. No answer. Less than high school. Non- specific.
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Sub-Saharan Africa. South Asia. Bullying of Muslim children in the United States is rising largely because of cultural and religious misunderstanding, according to an institute that studies issues affecting Muslims. Inner-City Muslim Action Network, a community organization formed two decades ago, sponsored the event. Brother Ali, a white Muslim hip-hop artist, performs in his hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Born with albinism, Jason Douglas Newman felt ostracized as a child by white children but accepted by black children, and he gravitated toward black culture.
The married couple are among a group of Muslim friends who occasionally meet to surf. Hamtramck, a city surrounded by Detroit, became the first city in the United States with a Muslim-majority population. Muslims are also a majority on the city council. The city once attracted immigrants from Poland and eastern Europe. Today large populations of immigrants are from Bangladesh, Iraq, Yemen, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and African countries. Abdul El-Sayed, a Democratic candidate for governor in Michigan, records videos for his campaign.
Relatives and friends of Jamil Ibn Rafael, who lived in Detroit, pay their respects at a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan, before his burial. Indigent and 66, he died of unknown causes. He converted to Islam when he was in his 20s.
For his sisters one at left, two at far right , who are Christian, it was their first time in a mosque. Born into a devoutly Catholic Polish-American family, she converted to Islam in her sophomore year of college. In Hamtramck, Michigan, children flock to an ice-cream truck to buy cool treats. In this neighborhood most of the children have parents who came from Yemen. Mixed with the religious tenets of Islam were black pride and black nationalism.
The followers of Fard became known as Black Muslims. When Fard mysteriously disappeared, Elijah Muhammad became the leader of the movement. The Nation of Islam attracted many followers, especially in prisons, where lost African Americans most looked for guidance. They preached adherence to a strict moral code and reliance on other African Americans. Integration was not a goal. Rather, the Nation of Islam wanted blacks to set up their own schools, churches, and support networks.
When Malcolm X made his personal conversion, Elijah Muhammad soon recognized his talents and made him a leading spokesperson for the Black Muslims.
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The goal has always been the same, with the approaches to it as different as mine and Dr. Martin Luther King's non-violent marching, that dramatizes the brutality and the evil of the white man against defenseless blacks. And in the racial climate of this country today, it is anybody's guess which of the "extremes" in approach to the black man's problems might personally meet a fatal catastrophe first — "non-violent" Dr.
King, or so-called '"violent" me. As Martin Luther King preached his gospel of peaceful change and integration in the late s and early s, Malcolm X delivered a different message: whites were not to be trusted. He called on African Americans to be proud of their heritage and to set up strong communities without the help of white Americans. He promoted the establishment of a separate state for African Americans in which they could rely on themselves to provide solutions to their own problems.
Violence was not the only answer, but violence was justified in self-defense.
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Blacks should achieve what was rightfully theirs "by any means necessary. Malcolm X electrified urban audiences with his eloquent prose and inspirational style. In , he split with the Nation of Islam; in , he made the pilgrimage to Mecca. Later that year, he showed signs of softening his stand on violence and even met with Martin Luther King Jr. What direction he might have ultimately taken is lost to a history that can never be written. Report broken link. American History 1. The Iroquois Tribes 2.
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