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American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion


Vivid, dramatic portraits of Muslims in America in the years after 9/11, as they define themselves in a religious subculture torn between moderation and extremism There are as many as six million Muslims in the United States today. Islam (together with Christianity and Judaism) is now an American faith, and the challenges Muslims face as they reconcile their intense and demanding faith with our chaotic and permissive society are recognizable to all of us. From West Virginia to northern Idaho, "American Islam "takes readers into Muslim homes, mosques, and private gatherings to introduce a population of striking variety. The central characters range from a charismatic black imam schooled in the militancy of the Nation of Islam to the daughter of an Indian immigrant family whose feminist views divided her father's mosque in West Virginia. Here are lives in conflict, reflecting in different ways the turmoil affecting the religion worldwide. An intricate mixture of ideologies and cultures, American Muslims include immigrants and native born, black and white converts, those who are well integrated into the larger society and those who are alienated and extreme in their political views. Even as many American Muslims succeed in material terms and enrich our society, Islam is enmeshed in controversy in the United States, as thousands of American Muslims have been investigated and interrogated in the wake of 9/11. """American Islam "is an intimate and vivid group portrait of American Muslims in a time of turmoil and promise. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion

Overall customer rating: 5.000
robert m

Excellent overview of Muslim diversity.

by robert m on Jun 2, 2011

An excellent overview of the diversity of Islam - within the USA. Read and imagine the diversity that must exist worldwide. The section "The Feminist" should dispel the commonly held image of Islam as an unchanging religious monolith. Of special interest is how the Wahhab-Saud alliance has exported Wahhabism into the USA and throughout the world.


Islam is Multi-faceted

by BruceHH on Mar 20, 2007

The Sub-title says it all. The book is about religious controversy within Islam. On the book cover are pictures eight people, but you meet more than them in this work. The eight are used as the core of each of the chapters but others are brought in as there relationships are explored. They are used to introduce other individuals and the issues that they address. There is a wide spectrum one meets. There is the scholar who calls for a more modern, rational interpretation of the Koran and Hadith. We also meet the feminist who advocates for women?s rights within Islam and confronts discrimination in the mosque her father helped build. There are the mystics who see God everywhere. We read about the publisher who understands the different views of Arab-America and is a political power in his own right. One chapter is on one an individual deported for being a webmaster who helped maintain anti-American websites fostering a combatant Islam. We also find the African American Imam who drove drug pushers away from a section of New York City, reminiscent of what some churches have done. The last chapter is on the activist who was for a brief time an extremist but has since developed a website to oppose the ?ultraconservative Muslim agenda. The book is a very easy, quick read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel it is a useful work for the study of Islam and, in comparison, the study of religion in general

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