Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11

Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America after 9/11

Geneive Abdo

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0195332377

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Islam is Americas fastest growing religion, with more than six million Muslims in the United States, all living in the shadow of 9/11. Who are our Muslim neighbors? What are their beliefs and desires? How are they coping with life under the War on Terror?
In Mecca and Main Street, noted author and journalist Geneive Abdo offers illuminating answers to these questions. Gaining unprecedented access to Muslim communities in America, she traveled across the country, visiting schools, mosques, Islamic centers, radio stations, and homes. She reveals a community tired of being judged by American perceptions of Muslims overseas and eager to tell their own stories. Abdo brings these stories vividly to life, allowing us to hear their own voices and inviting us to understand their hopes and their fears.
Inspiring, insightful, tough-minded, and even-handed, this book will appeal to those curious (or fearful) about the Muslim presence in America. It will also be warmly welcomed by the Muslim community.

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the East. He returned home to open a religious publishing house, establish an Islamic mission and mosque in New York City, and extol Islam’s message of racial equality and social harmony. Webb, one of the first white Americans to convert, was something of a sensation at the World’s Parliament of Religions, part of the 1893 World’s Fair held in Chicago, where he presented what was for many their earliest introduction to the faith. Chicago’s civic and business leaders fought hard for the honor,

dawah, spreading the faith. Hip-hop, now estimated to be a $1.8 billion industry in the United States, first appeared in the 1970s. Since that time, this unique brand of music, which has been used to fuse the racial politics of African Americans with the religious and cultural forces of Latinos, Arabs, and South Asians, has inspired the rise of Islam among disenfranchised youth in America’s inner cities. It is not primarily poverty that draws them to Islam; it’s what Islam has to offer. Many

thought. In the Islamic world, it would be unthinkable to visit a sheikh at his home without the scarf, but in America there are divergent views. I want to show respect to Sheikh Hamza, but on the other hand, he knows that I am not a Muslim. I do not want him to think I am somehow pretending to be a Muslim as a ploy to get information. I knock on the door and a young voice shouts from inside the house, “She’s here!” Hamza Yusuf gently opens the door and immediately notices the headscarf. “You

Islam. As a young fine arts and philosophy student living in Paris in the summer of 1986, Ingrid met the first Muslims she ever knew; they were living in dilapidated apartments on the outskirts of the city. She calls this period “the summer I met Muslims.” Their generosity toward one another as well as strangers made a big impression. Even now, she writes and talks about their well-mannered behavior, which reflects the Prophet’s teachings. She returned to Waterloo, Canada, where she was

mistakenly viewed as a failure to assimilate, I am reminded of the obstacles that lie ahead as I struggle to validate my roots as a Muslim Arab American. . . . I began to realize that people didn’t see me when they looked at me, but rather saw an image they had formulated in their minds from Hollywood movies showing Arab fanatics hijacking a plane. . . . Before they’ve even learned my name, heard my laughter or witnessed my tears, before they’ve seen me kick a soccer ball or debate an argument,

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