Islam in America: young members of this ethnically diverse community are trying to forge their own identity in the post-9/11 world.BACKGROUND
Since 9/11, American Muslims have reported a rise in anti-Muslim feelings. In some cases, this has included violence directed against individuals or mosques. "Islam in America" takes a took at Muslims in the U.S., with a focus on young people who in many ways share the hopes and dreams of all young Americans.
* Are students aware of anti Muslim feelings prompted by 9/11?
* Do the memory of those attacks and ongoing security alerts continue to fuel anti Muslim feelings?
* Remind students of earlier discrimination--the internment internment, in international law, detention of the nationals or property of an enemy or a belligerent. A belligerent will intern enemy merchant ships or take them as prize, and a neutral should intern both belligerent ships that fail to leave its ports within a of innocent Japanese-Americans following the Pearl Harbor attack Pearl Harbor attack
(Dec. 7, 1941) Surprise aerial attack by the Japanese on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor on Oahu island, Hawaii, that precipitated U.S. entry into World War II. In the decade preceding the attack, U.S. in December 1941.
* Refer to Professor Bagby's comment that it is easy to accept the worst stereotypes about others when we do not know them. Ask students why people stereotype others. (Fear of the unknown plays a key role in stereotyping.)
CRITICAL THINKING/CULTURE VS. RELIGION
* Note the references to the distinction between religion and culture on pages 12 and 13. Do students understand the distinction between religion and culture?
* Give an example Ask: Do American Christians or Jews share religious values with their counterparts in Europe? What about their cultures? Is it the same with Muslims?
* Notice the distinction between US. and European Muslims.
* What does this suggest about social mobility in Europe and the U.S.?
* Have students write a brief essay on anything about Islam or-American Muslims they found interesting or surprising.
Like most American teenagers, 17-year-old Sana Haq enjoys hanging out with her friends and going to the movies. She just got her driver's license Noun 1. driver's license - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
driver's licence, driving licence, driving license
license, permit, licence - a legal document giving official permission to do something
, and she's stressing over college applications. But Sana, a high school senior from Norwood, N.J., is an observant ob·ser·vant
1. Quick to perceive or apprehend; alert: an observant traveler. See Synonyms at careful.
2. Muslim, and that makes her different from most of her friends.
She prays five times a day, as Islam requires. She wears only modest clothing--no shorts, no bathing suits, nothing too snug. Going to the mall for a pair of jeans can turn into a week-long quest because most are too tight or low-cut to meet her definition of "decent."
Islam, she says, affects every aspect of her life. "If you ask me to describe myself in one word, that one word would be Muslim," says Sana, who was born in the U.S. to Pakistani immigrants. "Not American, not Pakistani, not a teenager. Muslim. It's the most important thing to me."
Largely because of immigrant families like Sana's, Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the U.S. Since the Census doesn't track religious affiliations, the number of American Muslims is hard to pin down, but estimates range from 1.5 million to 9 million.
Whatever its size, the Muslim community in the U.S. is very diverse. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. a 2004 poll by Georgetown University Georgetown University, in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C.; Jesuit; coeducational; founded 1789 by John Carroll, chartered 1815, inc. 1844. Its law and medical schools are noteworthy, and its archives are especially rich in letters and manuscripts by and and Zogby polling, South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, etc.) are the largest group, followed by Arabs, and African-Americans. (Starting in the 1960s, a significant number of blacks in the U.S. converted to Islam.) Thirty-six percent of American Muslims were born in the U.S; the other 64 percent come from 80 different countries. (See graphs, p. 13.)
Trying to carve an American Muslin muslin, general name for plain woven fine white cottons for domestic use. It is believed that muslins were first made at Mosul (now a city of Iraq). They were widely made in India, from where they were first imported to England in the late 17th cent. 1 identity out of this diversity is one of the challenges facing young Muslims Young Muslims is an Islamic organization aimed at Muslim Youth between the ages of 14-25 in North America. They have a presence in both Canada and the United States. Young Muslims has two major branches, one for each gender, called Young Muslim Brothers, and Young Muslim Sisters. . "They are creating traditions and a culture that is particular to them and not imported from another majority-Muslim country," says Tayyibah Taylor, editor of Azzizah, a Muslim women's magazine published in Atlanta. "Something that blends their American way The American way of life is an expression that refers to the "life style" of people living in the United States of America. It is an example of a behavioral modality, developed from the 17th century until today. of thinking and their American way of living with Islamic guidelines."
CONTRAST WITH EUROPE
As a group, American Muslims have a higher median income than Americans as a whole, and they vote in higher numbers. In addition, they are increasingly contributing to American culture, forming Muslim comedy groups, rap groups, Scout troops, magazines, and other media.
Their integration into American society and culture stands in contrast to Europe's Muslim communities, which have remained largely on the economic and political fringes. In November, Muslims rioted in many French cities.
In parts of the U.S. with large Muslim populations, Islam mingles with American traditions. At Dearborn High School Dearborn High School is a secondary school, founded in 1893, located on Outer Drive in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. Dearborn High, is one of the three high schools of the Dearborn City School District. The current principal at Dearborn High is Gail Shenkman. in Dearborn, Mich., about one third of the students--and the football team--are Muslim. Because Ramadan (the Muslim holy month that requires dawn-to-dusk fasting) coincided with football season this year, Muslim players had to wake up at 4:30 for a predawn pre·dawn
The time just before dawn.
predawn adj. breakfast; go through their classes without eating or drinking; and start most Friday night games This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . before darkness allowed them to break their fasts.
"When you start your day off fasting and you get to football at the end of the day, that's the challenge," says Hassan Cheaib, a 17-year-old senior. "You know you've worked hard. You know you've been faithful ... After fasting all day, you feel like a warrior."
Because some of Islam's social tenets--modesty and chastity Chastity
See also Modesty, Purity, Virginity.
virgin saint and martyr. [Christian Hagiog.: Brewster, 76]
(Rom. Diana) moon goddess; virgin huntress. [Gk. Myth. , for example--are so different from American norms, they can present a challenge for young Muslims. For Sana, adherence to Islam means she doesn't date. "Dating means going out with someone and spending intimate time with them, and for me, that's not allowed," she explains. "But it's not that I don't talk to guys. I have guy friends."
IMPACT OF 9/11
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were a transformative moment for Muslims in America. On the one hand, there has been an increase in anti-Muslim feeling, discrimination, and hate crimes. On the other hand, many Muslims have responded by taking more interest in their religion and reaching out more to non-Muslims.
"September 11 exposed American Muslims for the first time to a large degree of hostility," says Ishan Bagby, a professor of Islamic Studies
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. you it's easy for them to accept the worst stereotypes."
According to one 2003 poll, 63 percent of Americans say they do not have a good understanding of Islam as a religion. Indeed, many young Muslims spend a lot of time correcting common misperceptions about Islam: that it condones terrorism (it doesn't); and that it denies women equal rights (it doesn't, though many majority-Muslim cultures and countries do).
When Ibrahim Elshamy, 18, was growing up in Manchester, N.H., Islam was a regular part of his life. Every Friday he left school at lunch to attend services at a mosque. Now a freshman at Dartmouth College Dartmouth College, at Hanover, N.H.; coeducational; chartered 1769, opened 1770, the ninth colonial college (see Wheelock, Eleazar). Originally a men's college, Dartmouth began admitting women in 1972. in Hanover, N.H., his religion remains important. Two days after his arrival on campus, he contacted the Muslim student group. And five times a day, he returns to his dorm room to say his prayers.
In college, Ibrahim has found for the first time a Muslim community in which he feels at home. The mosque he and his Egyptian father attended in Manchester attracted many Arab, Asian, and African immigrants. The problem with that, he says, was that people melded their cultural traditions with their practice of Islam. As an American-born Muslim, he found that frustrating.
"Here at Dartmouth, it was extremely refreshing," he says, "because I was finally around Muslims who were exactly like me in that respect."
Professor Bagby says many young Muslims want to distinguish between Islam's teachings and the cultural traditions often associated with Islam, particularly the role of women. Stressing that nothing in the Koran itself prohibits women's full participation (in religion or in life), American women are increasingly demanding not only equal participation but leadership roles in the mosque. "It's definitely rocking some boats," says Tayyibah Taylor of Azzizah
Samiyyah All, 17, grew up in Altanta and describes herself as a practicing Muslim, rather than an observant one. She uses the principles of Islam to guide her, but doesn't worry about following every last tenet. Like 20 percent of American Muslims, she is African-American. Her parents converted to Islam before she was born.
Other than her name, there's not much about Samiyyah that would tell a stranger she is Muslim. She's a senior at Westminster Academy Westminster Academy may refer to:
She views the Koran as something that should not be followed literally, much like other historical documents that should be understood in context. "A lot of stuff is still applicable--honor and respect is always applicable," says Samiyyah. "But other things that are cultural--even ideas about sex--need to be taken in context. Back then people got married when they were 14 ... Maybe because my family is a convert family, we're just not so orthodox."
The Muslim community in America is currently undergoing a generational shift. Most American mosques were founded by first-generation immigrants, and as their American-born children take over, the norms are changing.
"Islam in America will feel a lot different in the next 40 years," Professor Bagby says. "It'll feel more American, that's for sure."
1. Islam requires the faithful to pray--times each day.
2. Briefly explain why there is no solid information on the number of Muslims in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .--
3. A graph in "Islam in America" shows that the most common ethnic heritage of Muslims in the United States is
d South Asian.
4. Identify what the article says are the principal differences between Muslim communities in Europe and the U.S.
5. During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, followers followers
see dairy herd. are required to
a make a pilgrimage to Mecca pilgrimage to Mecca
(hajj) journey every good Muslim tries to make at least once. [Islamic Religion: WB, 10: 374–376]
See : Journey , Islam's holiest site.
b increase their donations to the poor.
c abstain from abstain from
verb refrain from, avoid, decline, give up, stop, refuse, cease, do without, shun, renounce, eschew, leave off, keep from, forgo, withhold from, forbear, desist from, deny yourself, kick ( eating during daylight hours.
d pray twice as much as usual..
6. Which of the following statements is correct?
a Virtually all American Muslims live on or near the Atlantic coast.
b As a group, American Muslims vote more regularly than the U.S. population as a whole.
c All American Muslim girls wear Long sari-like dresses and head scarves.
d Most American Muslims speak Arabic.
7. Many American Muslims report that the enhanced scrutiny they have faced since--has prompted them spend a tot of time correcting misperceptions about Islam.
1. What do you think might account for the fact that so many African-Americans have converted to Islam? (The Black Muslim Black Muslim
A member of the Nation of Islam.
Noun 1. Black Muslim - an activist member of a largely American group of Blacks called the Nation of Islam movement started as an alternative to Christianity, the religion of most slaveowners.)
2. Do you think security personnel at airports and other Locations should pay particular attention to people they assume are Muslims? Or is such scrutiny unfair?
2. The U.S. Census Bureau Noun 1. Census Bureau - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Bureau of the Census does not collect information on religion. (Similar wording is acceptable.)
3. [d] South Asian.
4. Europe's Muslims are on the economic and political fringes. American Muslims are more integrated. (Similar wording is acceptable.)
5. [c] abstain from eating during daylight.
6. [b] As a group, Muslims vote more regularly than most Americans.
7. the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
* The first substantial Muslim migration to the U.S. began in 1893. mostly from Palestine and present day Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
* The first structure in the U.S. built specifically as a mosque opened in Cedar Rapids Cedar Rapids, city (1990 pop. 108,751), seat of Linn co., E central Iowa, on the Cedar River; inc. as a city 1856. The second largest city in Iowa, it is named for the surging rapids in the river. . Iowa, in 1935.
A State Department site provides more than 20 links to additional information about Muslims in the US
With additional reporting by Samuel G. Freedman For the immunologist, see .
For the judge, see .
Samuel G. Freedman is a journalist and currently a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. of The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times.