Being Muslim in America - Islamic Networks Group

are both Muslim. They live near Detroit,. Michigan, in a community with many Arab-. American residents. Each expresses her faith in her own way, with a combination of traditional and modern dress. Here, they compete fiercely on the basketball court in a sport that blends individual skills and team effort. They — along.
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Being Muslim inAmerica Introduction “I Am

T

he young women pictured on our cover are both Muslim. They live near Detroit, Michigan, in a community with many ArabAmerican residents. Each expresses her faith in her own way, with a combination of traditional and modern dress. Here, they compete fiercely on the basketball court in a sport that blends individual skills and team effort. They — along with the other men, women, and children in this publication — demonstrate every day what it is like to be Muslim in America.

an

American With

a

Muslim Soul” ........... 2

Photo Essay Building

a Life in

America ........... 4

Profiles

Young Muslims Make Their Mark ........... 30

Resources

A Statistical Portrait ........... 48 Neighborhood Mosques ........... 52 Timeline of Key Events ........... 56 Bibliography ........... 63

Supplement

Did You Know?/Performers Mini-poster

1

of Hindu temples. In fact, there are now more

Ag e s , m y s ou l spre ad to the East and We st,

M u s l i m s i n Am e r i c a t h a n E p i s c op a l i a n s , t h e

p r a y i n g i n t h e m osque s and study ing in the

f a i t h p r of e s s e d b y m a n y of Am e r i c a ’s F ou n d -

l i b r a r i e s o f t h e great medieval Muslim cities

ing Fathers.

of C a i r o, B a g h d ad, and C ordoba. M y soul wh i r l e d wi t h Ru m i, re ad A ristotle w ith Av e r-

O n e h u n d r e d y e a r s a g o, t h e g r e a t Af r i c a n -

r oe s , t r a v e l e d t hrough C e ntral A sia w ith N asir

A m e r i c a n s c h o l a r W. E . B . D u B o i s w a r n e d

K h u s r ow. I n t h e colonial e ra, m y M uslim soul

t h a t t h e p r ob l e m of t h e c e n t u r y wou l d b e t h e

w a s s t i r r e d t o j ustice. It marched with Abdul

c ol or l i n e . Th e 21s t c e n t u r y m i g h t we l l b e

G h a f f a r K h a n a nd the Khudai Khidm atgars in

d om i n a t e d b y a d i f f e r e n t l i n e — t h e f a i t h l i n e .

t h e i r s a t y a g r a h a to free India. It stood with

Th e m os t p r e s s i n g q u e s t i on s f or m y c ou n t r y

F a r i d E s a c k , E b rahim M oosa, R ahid Om ar,

( A m e r i c a ) , m y r e l i g i o n ( I s l a m ) , a n d a l l G o d ’s

a n d t h e M u s l i m Youth M ov e m e nt in the ir strug-

people may well be these: How will people

g l e f or a m u l t i c u ltural S outh A frica.

wh o m a y h a v e d i f f e r e n t i d e a s of h e a v e n i n -

“I Am an American With a Muslim Soul”

I

l ove

Am eri ca

n ot

in

be-

W i n t h r o p ’s

Christian

teract together on Earth? Will the steeple, the

I n on e e y e I c arr y this ancie nt M uslim v i-

minaret, the synagogue, the temple, and the

s i on on p l u r a l i s m ; in the othe r e y e I carr y the

sanga learn to share space in a new city on

A m e r i c a n p r o m ise. And in my hear t, I pray

a hill?

t h a t we m a k e r e al this possibility : a city on a h i l l wh e r e d i f f e re nt re ligious com m unitie s re -

I t h i n k t h e Am e r i c a n e t h os — m i xi n g t ol e r a n c e

s p e c t f u l l y s h a r e space and collectively ser ve

a n d r e v e r e n c e — m a y h a v e s om e t h i n g s p e c i a l

t h e c om m on g oo d; a w orld w he re div e rse na-

t o c on t r i b u t e t o t h i s i s s u e .

t i on s a n d p e op l e s com e to k now one anothe r

c a u se I a m un de r th e

faith, and no doubt he

i l lusi o n tha t it is per-

imagined his city on a

f e c t , b u t b eca use it allow s

hill with a steeple in the

Am e r i c a i s a g r a n d g a t h e r i n g of s ou l s , t h e

a c e n t u r y i n w h ich we achieve a common life

m e — the chi ld of M uslim

c e n t e r.

the

v a s t m a j or i t y f r om e l s e wh e r e . Th e Am e r i c a n

t og e t h e r.

i m m i grants from India —

cen t ur ies , A me r i c a h a s r e -

g e n i u s l i e s i n a l l owi n g t h e s e s ou l s t o c on t r i b -

t o pa r ti ci p a te i n its prog-

mained a deeply religious

u t e t h e i r t e xt u r e t o t h e Am e r i c a n t r a d i t i on , t o

Author Eboo Patel is executive director of the In-

r e s s , to ca r ve a plac e in its

c o u n t r y, w h i l e b e c o m i n g

a d d n e w n ot e s t o t h e Am e r i c a n s on g .

ter faith Youth Core in Chicago, Illinois. He is a

p r o m ise, to play a role in

Eboo Patel

Throughout

i n a s p i r i t o f b r otherhood and righteousness;

leader in the inter faith movement.

a r emar k ably p l u r a l on e . I n deed, w e ar e t h e mo s t r eligio u s l y d e v ou t

I a m a n Am e r i c a n wi t h a M u s l i m s ou l . M y s ou l

n a t i o n i n t h e We s t a n d t h e m o s t r e l i g i o u s l y

c a r r i e s a l on g h i s t or y of h e r oe s , m ov e m e n t s ,

J o h n Winthrop, one of the earliest Euro p e a n

div er s e co un t r y in t h e w o r ld. T h e s t e e p l e a t

and civilizations that sought to submit to the

s e t t l ers in America, gave voice to this s e n s e

t h e cen t er o f t h e cit y o n a h ill i s n ow s u r -

wi l l of G od . M y s ou l l i s t e n e d a s t h e P r op h e t

o f po ssi b i li ty. He told h is compatriots t h at

rounded by the minaret of Muslim mosques,

M u h a m m a d p r e a c h e d t h e c e n t r a l m e s s a g e s of

t h e i r so ci ety wo uld be like a c ity upon a h ill,

the Hebrew script of Jewish synagogues, the

Islam, tazaaqa and tawhid, compassionate

a be aco n fo r the world. It w as a h ope r o o t ed

ch an t in g o f B uddh is t s an gas , an d t h e s t a t u e s

j u s t i c e a n d t h e on e n e s s of G od . I n t h e M i d d l e

i t s po ssi b i li ty.

2

3

Building

a Life in

America

I

Abdul and Majida Alsaadi shop at a Wal-Mart in Dearborn, Michigan. mmigrants have come to America from every

Their initial reception was frequently mixed.

corner of the globe. The people are diverse but

These new Americans found a vast new land hun-

their reasons similar: Some sought to escape an

gry for their labor. But some, unfamiliar with these

old way of life, others to find a new one. Some

newcomers’ customs and religions, treated the new

were escaping violence, others the shackles of cus-

Americans as outsiders and believed they could

tom, poverty, or simple lack of opportunity. They

never be real Americans. They were wrong. With

came largely from Europe in the 19th century and

freedom, faith, and hard work, each successive

from the rest of the world — Asia, Africa, the Mid-

wave of immigrants has added its distinctive con-

dle East, and Central and South America — in the

tributions to the American story, enriched our so-

20th and 21st.

ciety and culture, and shaped the ever-dynamic, always-evolving meaning of the single word that

They arrived with hope, and often little else. 4

5

Photo

Any Day

Gallery

binds us together: American. And today, this story is the Muslim-American story too.

arrived in a nation very different from the one ex-

I

perienced by 19th-century immigrants, but today’s n 1965, a new immigration law reshaped pro-

new Americans face the old immigrant challenge of

foundly the inward flow of new Americans. No

defining their place in America’s social, economic,

longer would national-origin quotas determine

and political fabric.

who could come. In their place were categories

Consider two sisters, Assia and Iman Bound-

based on family relationships and job skills. With

aoui. Their parents are from Algeria, and the girls

this change, immigration numbers soared, bringing

were raised near Chicago, Illinois, as Muslim

the first significant numbers of Muslims from South

Americans. As reported by National Public Radio

Asia and the Middle East to the United States. They

(NPR), Assia and Imam grew up watching both the 6

Opposite page: Top left, Sadaf Butt adjusts her hijab; above left, In 2008, Rashida Tlaib is the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature. This page: Above, clothing designer Brooke Samad compares fabric swatches; right, Tahqiq Abbasi at his textile shop in Union City, New Jersey.

7

children’s Nickelodeon station and the news channel Al Jazeera. When they got takeout food, they sometimes chose Kentucky Fried Chicken and sometimes their favorite falafel restaurant. “In America, we would say we’re Muslim first, because that’s what makes us different, I guess,” Assia, age 20, told NPR. “But in another country, like in a Muslim country, we would say we’re American.” Their story is both remarkable and not so, for there is nothing more American than new generations — from kaleidoscopic combinations of ethnicity and religion — defining themselves as Americans. “America has always been the promised land for Muslims and non-Muslims,” observes IranianAmerican Behzad Yaghmaian, author of Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West. She told the New York Times, “They still come here because the United States offers what they’re missing at home.” The tales of Muslim Americans track a familiar arc, but individually they add immeasurably to the vibrant diversity of a nation founded not on common ancestry, but on the shared values of freedom, opportunity, and equal rights for all. “In every era of U.S. history, women and men from around the world have opted for the American experience,” writes historian Hasia Diner. “They arrived as foreigners, bearers of languages, cultures, and religions that at times seemed alien to Ameri-

Clockwise from left, Abdi Mohamed says evening

ca’s essential core. Over time, as ideas about U.S.

prayers in his Omaha, Nebraska, grocery store;

culture changed, the immigrants and their descen-

at home in Brooklyn, New York, a family searches

dants simultaneously built ethnic communities and

the Internet; Susan Fadlallah prepares the meal to

participated in American civic life, contributing to

break the Ramadan fast. Center, butcher Nehme

the nation as a whole.”

Mansour grinds halal meat in Michigan. 8

9

M

uslim Americans possess a diversity that is extraordinary even by American standards. In sharp contrast to other im-

migrant groups, Muslim Americans cannot be defined by race or nationality; in this sense, they more closely resemble the Hispanic Americans whose origins lie in Spain, the many nations of Latin America, and the islands of the Caribbean. Muslim American diversity may be greater still, encompassing origins in South Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe’s Balkan region, and Africa, as well as a small but growing group of Hispanic Muslims. Because the United States does not track population by religion, there is no authoritative count of its Muslim population. Estimates range widely, from 2 million to 7 million or more. Of that number, approximately 34 percent are of Pakistani or South Asian origin and 26 percent are Arab. Another 25 percent of Muslim Americans are indigenous, largely African American, and this adds still more layers to the rich Muslim-American experiPhoto

Careers

ence. In other words, the Muslim-American saga

Gallery

is not just one of immigration and Americanization, but part of one of the most powerful themes in American history: the struggle for racial equality. There are mosques and Muslim social and cultural institutions throughout the country, in urban centers and rural communities alike. Want to visit the International Museum of Muslim Culture — the first Islamic history museum in the United States? Forget about traveling to New York or Washing-

Clockwise from left, Dr. Maya Hammoud holds the

ton; instead you must head for the Arts District of

medical handbook in Arabic that she wrote; Samiul

Jackson, Mississippi. Dearborn, Michigan, is home

Haque Noor, winner of New York City’s annual

to the nation’s largest Arab-American population.

Vendy Award for best street vender food; Mohamad

Muslims from South Asia and Africa form vibrant

Atwi’s Wal-Mart name tag is in two languages. 10

11

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter their color; equal in importance no matter their texture.” — Maya Angelou

and growing communities in the New York-New Jer-

“We all should know that diversity makes for

sey area. Somalis have settled in substantial num-

a rich tapestry,” says the noted African-American

bers in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and

poet Maya Angelou, “and we must understand that

Southern California is home to the country’s largest

all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no

Iranian-American population.

matter their color; equal in importance no matter

Yet even these ethnic communities are hardly

their texture.”

monolithic. Many of the Arabs living in Dearborn

Iman Boundaoui of Chicago, for example,

and elsewhere are Christian, not Muslim, and a

found that freedom involved her decision to wear

number of Iranian Americans living in Los Angeles

a head scarf. She recalls a vivid incident during a

are Jewish.

high school trip to Paris, France, when her group

Generalizing about such a diverse a population

talked with girls at a private Muslim school founded

can obscure more than it explains. Better, perhaps,

in response to a French law banning head scarves

to study representative experiences.

in public schools: “And me and my friends were 12

Clockwise from left, former director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni gives a presentation; comedian Maysoon Zayid does her stand-up routine; Sacramento Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim goes up for a jump shot; Staff Sergeant Magda Khalifa in her U.S.Army uniform. 13

looking at them,” Boundaoui told NPR, “and at that moment we were like, ‘Thank God we live in America,’ that I can walk down the street with my scarf on without having to decide to take it off because I have to go to school.” For Pakistani immigrant Nur Fatima, freedom inPhoto

Service

stead means that after moving to an area of BrookGallery

lyn, New York, known as Little Pakistan, she could choose to remove her head scarf, reveling in the fact that Americans generally regard these social and religious choices as private matters. “This is a land of opportunity, there is equality for everyone,” Fatima told the New York Times. “I came to the United States because I want to improve myself. This is a second birth for me.” Today, in a thousand different circumstances, Americans of Islamic faith embrace their heritage as a crucial part of a self-fashioned identity in which they choose from among all the possibilities of freedom that this land bestows upon all its citizens. As they explore the possibilities, they discover that they, too, have become Americans. “We stress the American Muslim identity, that home is where my grandchildren are going to be raised, not where my grandfather is buried,” Salam Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, told California’s Sacramento Bee newspaper.

W

Clockwise from bottom left, A Somali immigrant casts her ballot; Organizer of an Eid festival in Texas speaks to a local television reporter; Farooq Aboelzahab talks

and organization, Muslim Americans contribute in every field, from

business and scholarship to sports and the arts.

about the diversity at his mosque; religious leaders

Their stories range from Pakistan-born Samiul

gather to celebrate peace and tolerance; Sarah

Haque Noor, whose spicy halal dishes earned

Eltantawi answers questions at a news conference. 14

ith growing numbers, confidence,

him the 2006 award for best food street vendor 15

in New York City, to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, from Algeria, head of the National Institutes of Health from 2002 to 2008; from Newsweek commentator and editor Fareed Zakaria, to actor and hip-hop artist Mos Def; from professional basketball star Dikembe Mutombo of the Houston Rockets, to Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim member of the U.S. Congress. A new generation of Muslim Americans enriches American medicine, science, and literature. Obstetrician and gynecologist Nawal Nour, born in Sudan and raised in Egypt, pioneers women’s health issues as founder of the African Women’s Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts. She received an esteemed MacArthur Fellowship (nicknamed the “genius grant”) in 2003 and Stanford University’s Muslim Scholar Award in 2008. Iranian-American scientist Babak Parviz of the University of Washington has made exciting breakthroughs in nanotechnology — ultra-small electronic and biological applications at the cellular and molecular level — including tiny devices that can assemble and reassemble themselves independently. Writer Mohja Kahf, who came from Syria as a child, has skewered American culture generally and Muslim Americans themselves with gentle irony and razor-sharp observations in her poetry (E-mails From Scheherazad ) and an autobiographical novel set in Indiana (The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf) — books that have drawn fervent admirers, especially among younger Muslim-American women. She also writes a frank online column about relationships and sex for younger Muslims and be-

Imam Hashim Raza leads the prayers during a

lieves that with such works as The Autobiography of

funeral at the al-Fatima Islamic Center in Colonie,

Malcolm X and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner

New York, for Mohsin Naqvi, a U.S. Army officer

Muslim-American literature can now legitimately be

killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

considered a distinct genre. 16

17

Fady Joudah, born to Palestinian parents in Texas, grew up to become an emergency-room physician, now working in Houston, and has served with Doctors Without Borders at refugee camps in Zambia and in Darfur, Sudan. He is also a major new poet and winner of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets competition for his collection The Earth in the Attic. “These are small poems, many of them, but the grandeur of conception inescapable,” wrote poet and critic Louise Glück in her introduction to Joudah’s book. “Fathers and brothers become prophets, hypothesis becomes dream, simple details of landscape transform themselves into emblems and predictions. The book is varied, coherent, fierce: impossible to put down, impossible to forget.”

A

new, truly American Islam is emerging, shaped by American freedoms, but also by the aftermath of the September 11, 2001,

attacks. Even as surveys by the Pew Research Center and others show that Muslim Americans are better educated and more prosperous than the average, the terrorist attacks — planned and executed by non-Americans — raised suspicions among other Americans whose immediate responses, racial profiling among them, triggered in turn a measure of Muslim-American alienation. Sadly, suspicions of this kind are not uncommon — in the United States or in other nations — during wartime or when outside attack is feared. But 2008 is not 2002, when Photo

fears and suspicions were at their height. Context is also important: Every significant immigrant group

Above, students and advisers paint a mural that

has in the United States faced, and overcome, a

recognizes diversity in faith in Philadelphia,

degree of discrimination and resentment.

Education

Gallery

Pennsylvania. Right, A Muslim university student

Nur Fatima, for example, celebrated her new-

with her son.

found freedom in a New York Pakistani communi18

19

This page: Clockwise from left, The cover of a popular 2007 handbook for Muslim teenagers is shown; Dilara Hafiz poses with her children, Imran and Yasmine. All share authorship of the handbook; Adnan Kasseem bows during a class on prayer etiquette in New Mexico. Clockwise from top, high school basketball players prepare for a game in Michigan; A discussion about relations between different American communities, held at Syracuse University in New York; In Syracuse, N.Y., Seham Mere models a dress made especially for Muslim women. 20

21

Photo

Faith

Gallery

ty where, a few years earlier, fear was high and

munities around the nation.”

both businesses and schools closed in the wake

Among the healthy responses to the tensions

of 9/11, according to the New York Times. By

triggered by the terrorist attacks is an expansion of

the time Fatima arrived, Little Pakistan had recov-

the interfaith dialogue in the United States.

ered under the leadership of local businessman

“Anytime you share a space with someone of

Moe Razvi, who helped start English and computer

another culture, you are bound to grow as an in-

classes, opened a community center, and led com-

dividual and learn to see things from another per-

munity leaders to meet and improve relations with

spective,” said Kareema Daoud, a doctoral student

federal authorities.

in Arabic language and literature at Georgetown

“The annual Pakistan Independence Day parade

University who has served as a volunteer citizen

is awash in American flags,” the Times reported. “It

ambassador for the Department of State. “There is

is a transformation seen in Muslim immigrant com-

beauty in diversity,” Daoud concludes. 22

Clockwise from left, Mohamad Hammoud prays at the Islamic Center of America mosque in Dearborn, Michigan; Mariam Motala, at right, prays at the Islamic Center of Hawthorn, California; a young boy hopes to join in on prayers in Brunswick, New Jersey; the Islamic Center of Cleveland, in Parma, Ohio, is home to more than 300 worshippers. 23

The 9/11 attacks also galvanized the MuslimAmerican community to become more active in civic and political activities — to advocate for issues of concern, to build alliances with non-Muslim organizations — and to confront intolerance and threats of violence. “Active engagement and involvement in politics reflects the fact that American Muslims are part of the social fabric of America, and also reflects their patriotic concern for this country,” says editor and writer Nafees Syed of Harvard University in a commentary on the free-wheeling discussion Web site altmuslim.com Paraphrasing President John F. Kennedy, Syed continues, “The question is not only how taking part in the political process will aid American Muslims, but how American Muslims can help this country.” Like the global population, the majority of American Muslims are Sunni, although there are large numbers of Shia and groups who actively follow Sufi traditions. Despite this diversity, says Paul Barrett, author of the 2007 book American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, “distinctions that possibly loomed larger elsewhere are instead in America ‘diluted’ in the deep pool of pluralism that characterizes American society. ... Many immigrants have taken the ambitious step of crossing continents and oceans because they want to escape old-world antagonisms, to pursue education, economic betterment, and a more hopeful life for their children.” Progressive forms of belief, a more prominent role for women, even the recent evolution of “mega-

Above, top, children attend evening prayers; above, Playwright Suehyla El-Attar poses on the set of her play, “The Perfect Prayer.” Opposite page: Top, Muslims pray in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.; bottom, men gather at a Chicago, Illinois meeting. 24

mosques” resembling in size the large evangelical Christian churches — are among the characteristics of a rapidly evolving, uniquely American Islam. 25

“I have found that Muslims in America are melding their faith, ethnic background, and the folkways of their adopted land in many different ways,” Barrett said in an interview on altmuslim.com. “There Photo

Special Days

is no one formula, just as there hasn’t been a formula for past immigrant groups. ... I’m confident

Gallery

that there won’t be one story about how Muslims assimilate. There will be many stories.”

Clockwise from above, Nawal Daoud holds the Quran over the heads of girls as they walk underneath it during a Takleef ceremony; Hafiz Azzubair posts a sign urging people to vote; Young Muslim women read a text message on a cell phone at the End of Ramadan Festival in Austin, Texas.

26

27

“I have found that Muslims in America are melding their faith, ethnic background, and the folkways of their adopted land in many different ways. ... I’m confident that there won’t be one story about how Muslims assimilate. There will be many stories.” — Paul Barrett

This page: Clockwise from bottom left, In Brooklyn, N.Y., three generations gather to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan; At the Miami Book Fair International in Florida, multi-ethnic booksellers exchange greetings; Fawad Yacoob speaks during the Blessing of the Waves ceremony in California; in Tyler, Texas, men embrace during Eid ul-Fitr celebrations. Opposite page: Members of the Malaysian Students Association celebrate their graduation from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. 28

29

American

Artist Heba Amin Th e

t o t h e r i c h n e s s o f A rab and Egy ptian culture t h a t s h e h a d “ p re v iously ov e rlook e d or tak e n f or g r a n t e d . ” F or s e v e r a l y e ars, A m in’s w ork re v olv e d a r ou n d p or t r a i t s of B e douin w om e n, w ho, she s a i d , “ a r e k n ow n for the ir e m broide re d and

c on t e m p or a r y

beaded crafts.

art-

“ Th e E u r op e a n Union had a program de -

ist Heba Amin, 28, has

Profiles

s i g n e d t o p r e s er v e the se crafts, funding the

b e e n d r a wi n g f or a s l on g as

she

can

w o r k a n d e n c o uraging older women to teach

r e m e m b e r,

y o u n g e r o n e s . I became interested in that and

but pursuing art full-time

s t a y e d wi t h d i f f e re nt tribe s to se e the proce ss

did not occur to her until she was a junior in

wor k i n g . I a l s o appre ntice d w ith a B e douin

c ol l e g e . At t h e t i m e , Am i n , wh o n ow l i v e s i n

a r t i s t wh o c r e a t e d sand paintings.”

M i n n e a p ol i s , wa s a m a t h m a j or a n d f i r s t e n -

A s A m i n s p e nt time with dif ferent Bedouin

v i s i on e d h e r s e l f a s a n a r c h i t e c t .

t r i b e s , s h e r e a l i z e d she w as e v e n m ore inte r-

Amin was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt.

e s t e d i n t h e i r way of life than the ir craft.

Her late father was an interior designer; her

“ I wa s s t r u c k by how attache d the y w e re

m ot h e r, a n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e wor k e r a t t h e p r i -

t o t h e i r s u r r o u n dings and the land, and how

v a t e Am e r i c a n s c h ool Am i n a t t e n d e d f r om k i n -

s a d i t wa s t h a t the ir culture w as de te riorating

d e r g a r t e n t h r ou g h 12t h g r a d e .

d u e t o u r b a n s p rawl and moder nization,” she

Af t e r h i g h s c h ool , Am i n t r a v e l e d t o t h e

recalled.

United States to attend Macalester College,

A m in be gan painting

a p r i v a t e , l i b e r a l a r t s s c h ool i n St . P a u l , M i n -

brightly colored por traits

n e s o t a . B y h e r t h i r d y e a r, A m i n r e a l i z e d t h a t

Young Muslims Make Their Mark

of B e douin w om e n juxta-

her heart lay in art, not math, and in 2002

pose d w ith urban ge om e t-

s h e e a r n e d a b a c h e l o r ’s d e g r e e i n s t u d i o a r t ,

ric patte r ns. “ The patte r ns

wi t h a c on c e n t r a t i on i n oi l p a i n t i n g .

ov e r w he lm the paintings,

Living in the United States, she told Fayeq

Top row, from left, Imam Khalid Latif; filmmaker Lena Kahn; artist Heba Amin. Bottom row, from left, business-

O we i s , e d i t or of t h e E n c y c l o p e d i a o f A r a b

man Moose Scheib; fashion designers Nyla Hashmi and Fatima Monkush; singer Kareem Salama; journalist

Am e r i c a n Ar t i s t s , a l l o w e d h e r “ t o t a k e t h e r o l e

Kiran Khalid. Opposite page, far right, Bedouin Girl by Heba Amin.

of the outside obser ver” and opened her eyes

30

representing how the city is tak ing ov e r the B e douin culture ,” she said. 31

“I f o un d t h at pain t in g w as a l i t t l e r e s t r i c -

said, “I love it. I love being in the academic

n i n g a n a m b i t i ous fundraising campaign that

t iv e — I co uldn ’t r eally r elay t h e e m ot i on I

e n v i r on m e n t , wh e r e I h a v e t i m e t o e xp l or e m y

h e h o p e s w i l l allow him to hire a full-time

w as af t er,” s h e s aid. “I w an t ed t o m ov e i n t o

i d e a s a n d h ow t o e xp r e s s t h e m . ”

s t a f f a n d a p p oi nt a scholar- in- re side nce w ithi n t h r e e t o f i v e ye ars.

s o met h in g t h at w as mo r e ex per ien t i a l . I n s t a l -

H o w e v e r, Latif never forgets that he is,

lat io n ar t allo w ed me t o cr eat e a s p a c e t h a t

a b ov e a l l , t h e spiritual le ade r of a y oung

ex pr es s ed t h e emo t io n al ideas I wa s a f t e r. ” A m i n ’s w o r k h a s b e e n s h o w n a t a n u m b e r

a n d v a r i e d c ongre gation. M ost are stude nts

o f galler ies in Min n eapo lis , New Yor k , a n d

s e e k i n g t o f i n d the ir spiritual path as M uslim s

Imam K halid Latif

Wa s h i n g t o n . “I lo o k at cit y in f r as t r uct ur e as r ep r e s e n t a t i on o f t h e pr o gr es s io n o f a s o ciet y,” s h e wr ot e on h e r We b s i t e . “ U r b a n p l a n n i n g i s i n d i c a t i v e o f a s o ciet y ’s po lit ical s it uat io n , a n d I a m i n -

wh i l e f a c i n g t h e challe nge s of y oung colle ge a g e p e op l e a n y w he re . I n 2007, h e w as nam e d as only the se con d M u s l i m c h a plain to the N e w York Police D e p a r t m e n t . L a t if, w ho se r v e s w ith C atholic, P r ot e s t a n t , a n d J e w ish cle rgy, alre ady has

t er es t ed in in v es t igat in g Middle E a s t e r n c i t i e s

E v e ntua lly, Am in ’s Be douin pain tin gs led h er i n a di f ferent a r tistic direc tion , tow ard t h r eed i m e nsional installation pieces. “As I di d t h e

where the infrastructure is an obstacle and a

At

of

b e e n c a l l e d t o hospitals se v e ral tim e s to com -

bur den t o peo ple’s daily liv es . I am i n t e r e s t e d

25, Imam Khalid

f o r t i n j u r e d o f f i cers and their families, none

i n t h e c i t y ’s e f f e c t o n p e r s o n a l s p a c e , w h e r e

Latif already has

of wh om h a s h appe ne d to be M uslim .

city structure begins to take precedence over

achieved

individuality and where buildings and humans

tant

L a t i f g r e w u p in Edison, New Jersey, the son

leadership

of P a k i s t a n - b or n pare nts. H e w as one of only

begin t o o v er lap an d lay er o n t o p of on e a n -

r e s p on s i b i l i t i e s a s c h a p l a i n a n d d i r e c t or of

a s m a l l n u m b e r of M uslim stude nts at school.

o t h er in s t ead o f co ex is t in g.

t h e I s l a m i c C e n t e r a t N e w Yo r k U n i v e r s i t y

B u t i n a p a t t e r n that has carrie d on through

(NYU) and the Muslim chaplain for the New

h i s l i f e , L a t i f a l s o sought out w ide r le ade rship

Yor k P ol i c e D e p a r t m e n t .

p o s i t i o n s , b e c o ming student council president

a d d r e s s t h e i d e a t h a t o n e ’s s u r r o un d i n g s p l a y

c i t y stru cture fo r mat,” sh e ex plain ed.

an immen s e r o le in beh av io r,” s h e wr ot e .

T h e next time she was in Cairo, Amin s a i d , “ I n oticed how many abandoned stru c t u r e s t h e r e were — ex pan sive masse s of lan d w er e c ov e red wi th unfin ish e d buildin gs. I took ph o t o s o f these struc tures, and then star ted d o i n g a s e ries of works about them, investig a t i n g t h e m . Wha t they were, w h y th ey were aban d on e d , thei r ef fe ct on people.” Amin became fascinated with the thought of the city as an emotional idea, rather than a structural one, and that led her to a different medium.

a r e ob v i ou s l y v e r y d i f f e r e n t , ” L a t i f s a i d . “ B u t

cently illustrated a book that profiles Muslim

t h e y ’r e a l s o v e r y s i m i l a r a s Am e r i c a n i n s t i t u -

w o men in h is t o r y called E x t r a o r d i n a r y Wo m e n

tions with growing Muslim populations who

f r o m t h e Mus lim Wo r ld.

a r e t r y i n g t o f i n d t h e i r wa y. ”

a n d c a p t a i n of his football and track te am s. Inquiry Into Faith L a t i f m a j or e d in M iddle Easte r n and I slam ic s t u d i e s a t N e w York Univ e rsity and found him -

In spite of her artistic success, Amin is

L a t i f i s d e e p l y c om m i t t e d t o i n t e r f a i t h d i a -

s e l f c o n t i n u i n g his inquir y into his faith and

reluctant to depend on her art for her living.

logue and community ser vice as integral parts

h i s r ol e a s a M uslim A m e rican in pe rhaps the

“I’m not focused on selling my work,” she

of wh a t i t m e a n s t o b e M u s l i m i n a m od e r n ,

m os t e t h n i c a l l y and re ligiously div e rse m e tro-

s aid. “A n d t h at f r ees me f r o m t h e ob l i g a t i on

multicultural world. “Each of these interactions

p o l i t a n a r e a i n the world.

of making work that other people want. I’ve

c a n b e a n op p or t u n i t y f or s p i r i t u a l g r owt h , ”

been in s ch o o l n o w f o r 1 0 y ear s , a n d u l t i -

he said.

A s f o r liv in g in t h e U n it ed St a t e s , s h e 32

“ Th e u n i v e r s i t y a n d p ol i c e d e p a r t m e n t

I n addit io n t o h er in s t allat io n s , Am i n r e -

mat ely, I ’ d lik e t o s t ay in academi a . ”

Above, installation piece Root Shock by Heba Amin.

age

i m p or -

“These installations are simply intended to

p or t r a i ts, I fo u nd I w as really in te re ste d in t h e

the

H e a l s o b e gan to pe rce iv e the e xtraordin a r y d i v e r s i t y of I slam itse lf. “ A s a fre shm an,

As head of the rapidly growing Islamic

I m e t a n I n d o n esian with a scraggly beard

C e n t e r a t N e w Yor k U n i v e r s i t y, L a t i f i s p l a n -

— a n d a s u r f b oa rd. That w as som e thing ne w. 33

t h e n o n den o min at io n al H ar t f o r d S e m i n a r y i n

i n t o d a y ’s m u l t i c u l t u r a l w o r l d . “ I n t e r f a i t h w o r k

a r e s t u f f e d wi t h giz m os, gadge ts, and curi-

Connecticut, the only accredited program of

can be frustrating at times,” Latif said, and

o s i t i e s t h a t h e l p make the magic of cinema.

i t s k i n d i n t h e c o u n t r y.

r e q u i r e s b ot h t i m e a n d h a r d wor k .

We a r i n g a p a l e gre e n he ad scar f and a de -

A r o un d t h e s ame t ime, L at if v o l u n t e e r e d a s

H e c i t e s a t r i p t o N e w O r l e a n s wi t h m e m -

m u r e b e i g e c a rdigan, Khan discov e rs and

t h e f ir s t ch aplain o f NY U ’s I s lamic C e n t e r. H e

b e r s o f t h e I s l a m i c C e n t e r a n d N Y U ’s J e w i s h

u n s h e a t h e s a t wo-foot long ninja sword with

also co-taught courses on conflict resolution

B r on f m a n C e n t e r t o h e l p wi t h H u r r i c a n e K a -

a m i s c h i e v o u s l ook on her round, pale face.

at A br ah am’s Vis io n , a Mus lim- Je wi s h i n t e r -

t r i n a r e c ov e r y e f f or t s .

“ Th i s wi l l wor k , ” she say s.

f ait h o r gan iz at io n f o r y o un g peo p l e .

B y wor k i n g a n d l i v i n g t og e t h e r ov e r a

T h o u g h s h e defies expectations of what a

I n 2 0 0 6 , L at if accept ed a par t - t i m e p os i -

p e r i od of t i m e , h e s a i d , t h e y ov e r c a m e t h e i r

f i l m m a k e r s h ou l d look lik e — she is y oung, fe -

t i o n a s t h e f i r s t M u s l i m c h a p l a i n o f Princeton

m i s t r u s t “ a n d t h e y a l l l e a r n e d n ot t o d e f i n e

m a l e , d e v ou t l y Muslim , and I ndian A m e rican

University in New Jersey; s o o n h e w a s c o m m u t -

students by religion or background as the

— t h e 24- y e a r - old film school graduate w rite s

in g bet w een Pr in cet o n an d NY U . B ot h s c h ool s

‘O t h e r. ’”

a n d d i r e c t s m u sic v ide os and shor t film s, as

o f f er ed h im f ull- t ime po s it io n s , an d L a t i f a c -

“ Th i s i s r e a l , e f f e c t i v e c h a n g e , ” L a t i f s a i d ,

w e l l a s c o m m e rcials for a restaurant called

c e p t e d N Y U ’s o f f e r t o s e r v e a s d i r e c t o r o f i t s

“change that can emanate into the broader

C r a v e . ( I n on e ad, a ninja throw s w hirling

I s lamic Cen t er.

c om m u n i t y. ”

s a m os a s ) . K h a n won $5,0 0 0 for B asse m is Tr y ing, a

School Chaplain In many respects, Latif is a pioneer at a

h o w a M u s l i m - American man tries to fit in —

t ime w h en t h e gr o w in g Mus lim s t u d e n t p op u -

f or i n s t a n c e , b y blasting hip- hop m usic on

lat io n , co upled w it h lar ge n umbe r s of i n t e r -

h i s c a r r a d i o. He r thre e - m inute shor t A Land

n at io n al s t uden t s , h as gr eat ly in c r e a s e d t h e

On

parched

of d i v e r s e b a c k grounds to hold up handw rit-

August afternoon

t e n s i g n s t h a t e xpre ss m e ssage s the y w ant the

T h e po dcas t Web s it e av er ages 1 5, 000 v i s i t s

in

wor l d t o k n ow about the m as M uslim A m e ri-

a mo n t h . H e h as lis t en er s f r o m 4 0 t o 50 d i f -

Lena

Khan

f er en t co un t r ies , n o t ably I n do n es i a a n d M a -

ruses

lay s ia, alt h o ugh h e als o r eceiv es a p p r e c i a t i v e

of

was almost an afterthought: podcasts of his 2 0 - min ut e Fr iday s er mo n s . A f r ien d s u g g e s t e d

t h e c hi ld ren o f con ver ts.”

t h ey r eco r d an d po s t t h em o n t h e Is l a m i c C e n -

T hro u g ho ut his un iversity years, Lati f co n -

t er Web s it e.

t i n u e d his infor mal study of Islam, and a t a g e

T h e r es po n s e f ar ex ceeded exp e c t a t i on s .

1 8 h e was cajoled into giving his first se r m o n . “ I t s eemed to go fairly well, and I was a s k e d t o g i v e them o n a regular basis,” h e said. I n 2005, after graduating from NYU , L a t i f e n t e r ed the Islamic Chaplaincy Progra m a t

Above, the cover of Newsweek magazine featured American Muslims from all walks of life. Khalid Latif is at center left in cap and police uniform. 34

C a l l e d P a r a d i s e, essentially a music video set

Lena Khan

O n e o f L a t i f ’s m o s t s u c c e s s f u l u n d e r t a k i n g s

A m e r ican, African, conver ted Muslims, a n d

Filmmaker

t o a s on g of t h e sam e nam e by M uslim coun-

n eed f o r Mus lim ch aplain s o n cam p u s . Bu t I a lso m et M uslims wh o were Af r ican

on e - m i n u t e s h or t that hum orously de m onstrate s

a Los

t r y s i n g e r K a r e em S alam a, w on a $ 2 0 ,0 0 0 g r a n d p r i z e f r om One N ation, a M uslim adv oc a c y g r ou p t h a t sponsore d the film com pe tit i o n . K h a n d i r e c ted dozens of men and women

Angeles, pe-

c a n s . Th e s t a t e m e nts are as w him sical as “ I ,

the

aisles

t o o , s h o p a t Vi c toria’s Secret,” and as serious

Hand

Prop

a s “ M y s i s t e r d i e d on S e pte m be r 1 1 .”

mes s ages f r o m s ch o o lt each er s an d f ol l owe r s

Room, a company that supplies stage props

O n e of t h e j udge s for the 2 0 0 7 One N a-

in E ur o pe.

f or m a j or H ol l y wood m ov i e s s u c h a s Th e Av i a -

t i on c om p e t i t i on, for m e r profe ssional bask e t-

L at if r egar ds h is co mmit men t t o i n t e r f a i t h

t or a n d Th e D e p a r t e d . F r om f a u x m e a t c a r -

b a l l p l a y e r K a r e e m A bdul- J abbar, gav e A Land

act iv it ies as cen t r al t o h is mis s io n a s a n i m a m

c a s s e s t o b r on z e Th a i B u d d h a s , t h e s h e l v e s

C a l l e d P a r a d i s e high marks for its “beautiful 35

cin emat ic lan guage,” w h ile jo ur n a l i s t M a r i an e Pear l co mmen ded t h e f ilm “for i t s f r e s h -

Khan became interested in cinema as a

p l e r e a l l y l i s t e n and relate to people who are

ness and sense of humor while addressing

f or m of s oc i a l a c t i v i s m , wh i c h s h e c on s i d e r s

g o i n g t h r o u g h t hose things.” She went on to

v it al emo t io n s f elt by t h e Mus lim p op u l a t i on

a n i m p or t a n t t e n e t of h e r f a i t h . B e c a u s e s h e

g e t a m a s t e r of ar ts de gre e in film at UC LA .

an d t h e r es t o f us .”

i s a b ou t t o g e t m a r r i e d , s h e wa s e xp e c t e d t o

B a c k a t H a nd Prop Room, Khan digs into

Pullin g o f f A L an d Called Par a d i s e w a s a

a c c e p t a d i a m o n d e n g a g e m e n t r i n g . “ I d i d n ’t

a b o x o f n i n j a stars. Once she has selected

majo r ef f o r t , Kh an r ecalled. T h e p r oj e c t s t a r t -

want to have anything to do with the diamond

h e r p r o p s , s h e hops in her dusty red Toyota

ed w it h a ques t io n : “I f y o u co uld s a y s om e -

i n d u s t r y, t h e b l o o d d i a m o n d s . I t ’s j u s t r e a l l y

P r i u s a n d d r i v e s ov e r the H olly w ood H ills to

t h in g t o ev er y bo dy in t h e w o r ld wh o i s n ot

bad,” Khan said. “My parents are like, ‘Why

We s t e r n C o s t u me Company in search of ninja

Muslim, what would you say?”

a r e y ou b e i n g s o l a m e ? J u s t g o b u y a d i a -

masks and suits.

“I sent out e-mails; I went to mosques; I

m on d . I t ’s n ot t h a t b i g a d e a l . ’ B u t I d o t h i n k

used ever y major Muslim Listser v I could think

i t ’s a b i g d e a l . I t ’s a t e s t t o s e e i f y o u c a n

o f ,” s h e s aid.

s a c r i f i c e y ou r own t h i n g s f or ot h e r p e op l e . ”

T h e f ir s t r es po n s e Kh an r eceiv e d wa s “ I s -

And when shooting on location, she insists

w h en I k n ew t h at t h is w as t h e v ide o I wa s g o-

on u s i n g c a t e r e r s wh o c ook on l y f r e e - r a n g e

i n g t o d o , ” s h e s a i d . “ I w o u l d n ’t ha v e t h o u g h t

chicken. “My brother always makes fun of me

of that. I was tr ying to fix the representations

a n d c a l l s m e L i s a Si m p s on , ” K h a n s a i d , r e f e r -

o f M u s l i m s , b u t I d o n ’t t h i n k I c a n s p e a k f o r

r i n g t o t h e w o n k y, i n t e l l e c t u a l y o u n g e r s i s t e r

all of them. And this was my first clue. I got

from the American cartoon television series

2,500 responses, collected them, narrowed

Th e Si m p s on s . science and histor y at UCLA, Khan noticed

I n a d d i t i o n to her ninja commercials, her

ceiv ed h un dr eds o f e- mails f r o m p e op l e wh o

that students would become interested in

f u t u r e p r oj e c t s include a se t of com m e rcials

s a y t h e v i d e o h a s m a d e t h e m c r y, i n s p i r e d

g e n oc i d e s s u c h a s t h os e i n Rwa n d a a n d D a r -

a b o u t t h e p r e s idential election and another

t h em t o o pen a dis cus s io n abo ut I s l a m wi t h

f u r on l y i f t h e y s a w a m ov i e a b ou t t h e t op i c

m u s i c v i d e o f or S alam a.

their families, or broken down walls built by

or if an actor publicized the cause. She also

B u t w h e n i t comes to a 40-minute personal

s t er eo t y pes . T h e v ideo als o o pe n e d p r of e s -

was tired of seeing Hollywood films such as

f i l m t h a t s h e i s making, she said only, “They

s io n al do o r s f o r Kh an , s uch as a m e e t i n g wi t h

Th e Si e g e a n d B l a c k H a wk D own u s e i m a g e s

e xp e c t s om e t h i ng big and popular. S o y e ah,

t h e do cumen t ar y f ilmmak er Mo r ga n Sp u r l oc k .

t o c on n e c t t e r r or i s m t o r i t u a l a b l u t i on s a n d t h e

I h a v e a l i t t l e b it of pressure there.” It’s up to

T h e Mus lim Public A f f air s Co un cil, a t a d i n n e r

c a l l t o p r a y e r.

K h a n t o m a k e i t look lik e m agic.

“These things ate at me. So I decided that

L e n a K h a n ’s v ide os B asse m is Tr y ing and

i n s t e a d of c om p l a i n i n g a b ou t t h e m , I wou l d

A L a n d C a l l e d Paradise can be se e n on You-

“ I f I h a d n ’t e n t e r e d t h e c o n t e s t , I ’ d b e a t

enter the field and do something about it,”

Tu b e . c om .

the same place as I was before,” said Khan,

Khan said. “I wanted to make movies about

a graduate of the University of California,

s oc i a l i s s u e s b e c a u s e i t s e e m s l i k e m ov i e s a r e

t o w at ch .

filming Bassem is Trying . 36

As an undergraduate majoring in political

S in ce t h e v ideo ’s laun ch , Kha n h a s r e -

in Hollywood, recognized her as a filmmaker

stills from A Land Called Paradise . Opposite page,

Sh e c h os e a b i g m oi s s a n i t e r i n g i n s t e a d .

l a m i n h i b i t s m y s u i c i d a l t h o u g h t s . ” “ T h a t ’s

t h em do w n , an d made t h e v ideo .”

Top, still frame from Bassem is Trying . Below, three

t h e b e s t wa y t o te ll a stor y — that’s w he n pe o-

L os An g e l e s ( U C L A) f i l m s c h ool .

37

B u t Sc h e i b p e r s e v e r e d a n d s u c c e e d e d . H e

me an unwavering passion for the pursuit of

received an award for public ser vice from the

k n o w ledge an d jus t ice.”

Ar a b Am e r i c a n I n s t i t u t e i n 2004 a n d s e r v e d

“ M y p a r e n t s sacrificed so much for us,” he

a s a c l e r k f or a N e w Yor k Su p r e m e C ou r t

s a i d . “ Th e y g a ve up a good life in Le banon

justice.

f or u s , t h e i r c h i ldre n, and I w ante d the m to

T h e f amily o f s ix immigr at ed t o t h e U n i t e d

Businessman Moose Scheib

S t at es w h en S ch eib w as s ev en y e a r s ol d , l i v -

man,

the

ex c els in h is s t udie s, atte n ds a dis -

N e w Yo r k l a w f i r m P r o s k a u e r R o s e L L P. H e

I n 2 0 0 6 , S c h eib retur ned home to Dearbor n

f ir s t o f s ev er al s t r o k es , S ch eib’s m ot h e r b e -

valued the business and legal experience he

t o l a u n c h h i s b u sine ss v e nture , LoanM od.com .

came a f ull- t ime r es t aur an t co o k .

g a i n e d t h e r e — e v e n t h ou g h h e k n e w t h e c or -

L o a n M o d r e n e gotiates home mor tgages to

p o r a t e w o r l d d i d n ’t r e p r e s e n t h i s l o n g - t e r m

a v o i d f o r e c l o s u res in a “win-win” manner that

future.

b e n e f i t s b o t h t h e homeowner and the bank or f i n a n c i a l i n s t i t u tion holding the m or tgage .

s h e t o ld us w as t o f o cus o n o ur edu c a t i on a n d

W i t h a s u c c essful re structuring of the m or t-

mak e s ur e t o get s ch o lar s h ips , ‘ as m on e y f or

g a g e l o a n — u sually a simple lowering of the

co llege is s o met h in g I do n ’t h av e f or y ou a t

i n t e r e s t r a t e — the fam ily stay s in its hom e

t h is po in t in o ur liv es .’ ”

a n d t h e b a n k a v oids the m uch highe r e xpe nse of t a k i n g c on t r o l of a fore close d prope r ty.

S ch eib gr aduat ed w it h h o n or s f r om Al -

t i n g u ished law school, and lands a j o b a t a t op la w fi r m . On e day, h e w alks int o t h e r e s t a urant where his mother has worked a s a c oo k fo r yea rs, take s of f h is gloves, an d s ay s : “ Mo m, co m e ho me w ith me. You’ re n e ver go i n g t o ha ve to w ork again .”

bio n Co llege in Mich igan , w h er e h e f ou n d e d

S c h e i b b e l ieves his company is the first

t h e Mus lim S t uden t A s s o ciat io n , th e n a t t e n d -

o f i t s k i n d i n t h e countr y. “We pioneered this

e d C o l u m b i a L a w S c h o o l i n N e w Yo r k C i t y,

b u s i n e s s , s t a r t i ng by helping my uncle out,

where he ser ved as a board member for the

t h e n f r i e n d s , a nd re aliz e d that w e had a v i-

Mus lim L aw S t uden t s A s s o ciat io n .

a b l e b u s i n e s s m ode l,” he said. T h e c o m p any has completed more than

S ch eib’s o n e es cape f r o m t he u n r e l e n t -

B ut it’s not a movie. It is par t of the s t o r y o f Moose Scheib, 28, who today hea d s a c o m pany that has saved thousands of fa m i l i e s f r om lo si ng thei r h omes th rough f ore clos ur e. “ The m a i n th in g is to be able to h elp

in g pr es s ur es o f w o r k an d s t udy wa s s p or t s

“ O n e of t h e f a c t or s t h a t l e d m e t o P r os k a u -

5, 000 s u c c e s s f ul ne gotiations that hav e al-

— especially American-style football. “On the

e r i s b e c a u s e i t ’s t h e l a r g e s t J e w i s h l a w f i r m

l o w e d f a m i l i e s t o keep their homes and banks

f i e l d , I s h e d b a r r i e r s t h a t l a n g u a g e , p o v e r t y,

in the world,” he said. “I’m all about building

t o a v o i d t h e h igh costs of foreclosure. The

an d r ace h ad pr ev io us ly impo s ed on m e , ” h e

b r i d g e s b e t we e n ou r d i v e r s e c om m u n i t i e s . ”

c o m p a n y a n t i c i pates completing 20,000 loan m od i f i c a t i on s b y the e nd of 2 0 0 9 .

w r o t e in h is law s ch o o l applicat ion .

p e o ple stay in their homes — that is the m o s t

S av i n g H o m e s

e x c i t ing thi ng fo r me,” Sc h eib said.

and

bo r n , Mich igan . W h en h is f at h er s u f f e r e d t h e

took a tough job at minimum wage. ... All

son of immig r an t s ,

School

k n ow t h a t t h e s a crifice s had be e n w or th it.”

In 2005, Scheib joined the prestigious

“ ’ Yo u r f a t h e r c a n ’t d o i t , I w i l l , ’ s h e s a i d , a n d

from a movi e . A young

f or g ood .

in g f ir s t in To ledo , O h io , an d t he n i n D e a r -

“My mother never complained,” he said.

It could be a s c e n e

g a v e h e r t h e g i ft of be ing able to quit w ork

lat er w r o t e, “S uch ex per ien ces ... i n s t i l l e d i n

The Legal World

Work

Schei b wa s bor n in Beirut, Le ban on, an d s o m e of his early memories are of the s h o c k

L o o k i n g A h e ad

I n O c t ob e r 2005, wi t h l a w s c h ool b e h i n d

Scheib found law school a challenge. “The

him, Scheib decided the long-anticipated day

Sc h e i b p l a n s to hav e m ore than 1 0 0 pe o-

co mbin at io n o f law s ch o o l an d th e b i g c i t y

h a d a r r i v e d . H e we n t t o t h e r e s t a u r a n t wh e r e

p l e on s t a f f t o m e e t the incre asing ne e d for

was a big shock — and Columbia was the

his mother had cooked for so many years and

h i s s e r v i c e s . As gov e r nm e nt puts pre ssure on

mo s t co mpet it iv e en v ir o n men t I ’ d e v e r b e e n

a n d s tra ng eness of a c h ild’s lif e durin g w ar -

in ,” h e s aid.

t i m e . In his application to law school, S c h e i b

l e n d e r s a n d m or tgage ser vicers to modify t h e i r p o r t f o l i o s to help homeowners avoid

Above, Moose Scheib, center, celebrates his grad-

f o r e c l o s u r e , L o anmod.com is well-positioned

uation from law school with members of his family. 38

39

w i t h its network of 19,000 notaries in a l l 5 0

v e r y c on s e r v a t i ve hom e , and m y pare nts w e re

Clothing Dilemmas

s t at e s . “Our co un se lors w ill guide h om eo w n -

H a s h m i a n d M on k u s h f i r s t b e c a m e i n t e r e s t -

a d a m a n t a b o u t dressing modestly,” Hashmi

e r s t hrough the loan mod process, an d o u r

e d i n c l o t h i n g d e s i g n i n t h e i r t e e n s . H a s h m i ’s

e x p l a i n e d . “ I eventually found my comfor t

n ot a ri es wi ll help th e m properly e x ec ut e t h e

f a m i l y m ov e d t o P a k i s t a n i n 1995, wh e n s h e

z on e . I wi l l wear shor t sle e v e s, but nothing

wa s 10, a l t h ou g h s h e c on t i n u e d t o s p e n d s u m -

l o w c u t o r b o d y hugging. Ever yone has their

mers in Connecticut. (The family moved back

own c om f or t l e ve l.”

Fashion Designers Nyla Hashmi

p ap e r wo rk a t their kitch e n table,” h e sa y s . “ Help i ng p eople save th e most imp o r t an t m a t e rial thing in their life is the best rew a r d o f a l l ,” S chei b sa i d . “Wh e n you save a h ome, it h e l p s the nei g hborh ood, th e commun ity, an d u l t i ma tely the whole c oun tr y.”

and Fatima Monkush

S cheib has big changes happening c l o s e t o h i s ho m e a s w ell: A daugh ter, n amed S o p h i a June, was bor n in 2008. Scheib g r e w u p i n the same D earbor n neighborhood a s h i s w i f e , N a ta li e, w h o is h alf Leban e se and h alf Am e ri ca n Ind i a n.

M on k u s h ’s a pproach “ is not about rule s,

t o t h e U n i t e d St a t e s p e r m a n e n t l y a f t e r t h e t e r -

b u t a b o u t w h a t feels right,” she said. “For

r or i s t a t t a c k s of Se p t e m b e r 11, 2001. ) “When we came back the summer I was

m y s e l f , I ’ m n o t going to walk around in a

13, I went through a huge culture shock,”

t a n k t op or a s hor t dre ss — I ’ m just not com -

H a s h m i s a i d . “ I s a w h ow d i f f e r e n t t h e P a k i -

f o r t a b l e . I d o c over my hair and have since I

s t a n i a n d Am e r i c a n a d ol e s c e n t c u l t u r e s we r e .

wa s 14. ”

My parents wanted me to start dressing more Growing Up

m od e s t l y, b e c a u s e I wa s g r owi n g u p . I wa n t -

Nyla Hashmi, 23, and Fatima Monkush, 25,

d o u b t,” Scheib said. “But I’ve also foun d t h a t

are uncommon women with a lot in common.

t h e h a rd er I wo rk , th e luc kier I am.”

T h ey gr ew up bes t f r ien ds in H ar t f or d , C on n ect icut . B o t h o f t h em h av e Mus l i m f a t h e r s from South Asia and American mothers who co n v er t ed t o I s lam. A n d n o w, bo t h ar e co mmit t ed t o d e s i g n i n g ch ic clo t h in g t h at o f f er s Mus lim w om e n a wa y t o dr es s bo t h mo des t ly an d f as h io n a b l y. The two hope to launch their new clothing lin e, called E v a Kh ur s h id. A lt h o u g h t h e d e s ign er s h av e a s pecif ic mar k et in m i n d , t h e y als o h o pe t o r each a br o ad bas e of p ot e n t i a l cus t o mer s . “T h e n ame w ill be r eco gn iz ab l e a s M u s lim, but an y w o man w o uld lo o k g r e a t i n ou r c l o t h e s , ” s a i d H a s h m i . S h e d e s c r ib e s t h e l i n e as “A mer ican clo t h in g f o r w o r k in g wom e n 25

Above, Moose Scheib, wife Natalie, and daugh-

t o 3 4 y ear s o ld w it h an o n - t h e- go l i f e s t y l e . ”

ter Sophia June pose for a family portrait. 40

M i x e d F a m i ly

Nyla Hashmi’s mother was raised a Catho-

e d t o d r e s s c ool l i k e t h e ot h e r k i d s , b u t t h e r e

lic. Her father, a Pakistani, came to the United

wa s n ot h i n g i n t h e s t or e s . ”

“ I a m luck y ... an d truly ble ssed, n o

in a

M on k u s h h a d a s i m i l a r e xp e r i e n c e . “ I t wa s

States in the 1970s and is a U.S. citizen. “ M y

really difficult to find anything ready-made

m ot h e r wa s s t u d y ing to be a nurse w he n she

t h a t I c o u l d w e a r, ” s h e s a i d . T h e g i r l s o f t e n

m e t m y f a t h e r, who's a hear t surgeon. My

resorted to layering, “the Muslim girl's best

m ot h e r wa s s o i nspire d — he is so k ind and

f r i e n d , ” M on k u s h s a i d wi t h a l a u g h .

g e n e r ou s — t h a t she be cam e inte re ste d in his r e l i g i on a n d c onv e r te d,” H ashm i said.

Both Hashmi and Monkush learned to sew from their mothers. “My mom taught me to f ol l ow a p a t t e r n a n d a l s o t o c h a n g e i t t o c r e a t e s om e t h i n g c om p l e t e l y d i f f e r e n t , s om e t h i n g that was exactly what I wanted,” Monkush s a i d . “ I wa s 16 wh e n I s t a r t e d m a k i n g a l l m y own clothes. That was the summer Nyla and I s e t ou r c ou r s e . ” Comfort

and

Clothes

B ot h wom e n h a v e d e v e l op e d t h e i r own d e f i n i t i on s of a p p r op r i a t e a t t i r e . “ I g r e w u p i n a

Right, Fatima Monkush models one of her designs for Elan magazine. 41

— but bo t h w o men ar e co mmit te d t o t h e i r

H ashm i a ttend e d Islamic sc h ool on Sun day s

“ O k l a h o m a, like me, is a place where

dream.

i n H ar tfo rd , a lo n g w ith h e r th ree siblin g s .

c u l t u r e s m e e t a nd dance,” Salama wrote on

Mo nkush’s fath er is f rom Ban glade s h . H e

The thought behind their clothing extended

h i s We b s i t e . “ Ok lahom a is a hy brid of south-

c am e to the Uni te d States in 1971 to sta y w it h

to their choice of a name. “Eva is the name of

e r n , we s t e r n , a nd N ativ e A m e rican culture ,

a c o usin in Wes t Virginia. Monkush’s m o t h e r

Fat ima’s mat er n al gr an dmo t h er,” H a s h m i e x-

m e t him while visiting a friend, and she , t o o ,

p l a i n e d , “ a n d K h u r s h i d i s m y d a d ’s m o t h e r ’s name.” Like their designs, it marries the two

c on v e r ted to Islam be f ore th e tw o married. P at h

to the

cult ur es . H a s h m i a n d M o n k u s h a r e n ’t q u i t t i n g t h e i r

Fashion World

day jo bs jus t y et , but t h ey ’ r e h o p e f u l t h e i r

After public high school, Monkush w e n t

c o l l e c t i o n w i l l f i l l a n e e d i n t h e i n d u s t r y. “ We

t o t h e Uni versi ty of C on n e cticut an d Cen t r al C o n necti cu t S ta te Un ive rsity, wh ere she maj o r e d in ar t. After graduation she mov e d t o N e w Yo rk Ci ty an d sh ared an apar tme n t t h at

Songwriter Kareem Salama

w an t t o be t h e bigges t an d bes t in wh a t we ’r e

F or K a r e e m Sa l a -

do in g,” H as h mi s aid. “T h is is n o t l i k e a n y ot h -

ma, home is the

er br an d.”

Am e r i c a n tr y

w h o wa s a stude n t at th e

music

r a e l i d esi g ner Elie Tah ari.

singing his own songs, it was quite natural

Mo n ku sh,

bee n

that he would combine a sensibility rooted in

first

h i s M u s l i m f a i t h wi t h a c om p e l l i n g v oi c e a n d

w i t h Coogi, which makes

a distinctive southern accent — even if others

h i p - h op

f i n d t h e c om b i n a t i on s t a r t l i n g .

in

fashion,

urban

m u s i c s t y l e , h e is serious about his faith and d r a ws on i t s r i ch re ligious and cultural he ri-

p r o-

e n ' s swea ters for n oted Is-

w o r k ing

h i s d i s t i n c t i v e s o uthe r n acce nt and A m e rican

Sou t h -

So wh e n Sa l a m a , 30, s t a r t e d wr i t i n g a n d

menswear,

t a g e i n h i s c o m positions. H i s s o n g s a re neither over tly political nor r e l i g i o u s , b u t t hey do reflect his remarkable b a c k g r ou n d , which the We b site altm uslim . c om c a l l s “ a l i ving dichotom y ” on the A m e ric a n m u s i c a l l a n dscape . I n on e s ong de aling w ith the the m e of t o l e r a n c e , f o r example, Salama quotes the p r ov e r b of t h e note d I slam ic scholar and poe t I m a m S h a f i ’ e e : “I am like incense — the more y ou b u r n m e , t h e m ore fragrant I be com e .” H e a c k n owl e d ge s how his fathe r's e xam ple

a n d t hen with Married to the M o b , an edgy streetwear

Oklahoma

l a b e l for women, where she

and

s h a p e d b ot h h i s outlook and m usic: “ H e liv e s

Music

t h e m a x i m ‘ B e hard on yourself, but easy on

Sa l a m a ' s p a r e n t s a r e E g y p t i a n s wh o m ov e d

i s t od a y.

ot h e r s . ’”

to Oklahoma, where they raised him along

Hashmi and Monkush

H e f i n d s t h e songw riting proce ss de e ply

w i t h t w o b r o t h e r s a n d a s i s t e r. A s a c h i l d ,

h av e b een wo rkin g in th e

i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h his faith. “I pray before and

Sa l a m a t r a v e l e d t o r od e os , c ou n t y f a i r s , a n d

e v e n ing s a nd o n wee ke n ds

a f t e r I w r i t e a s ong,” he said in a University

I n d i a n p owwows , a n d h e wa s e xp os e d t o t r a -

t o p ut together their fledgling collectio n . I t ’s a s t r u g g le — H ash mi lives in Que en s an d Mo n ku sh li ves i n Brooklyn w ith h e r h us ban d 42

Above, Fatima Monkush, second from right,

d i t i on a l b l u e g r a s s a n d c ou n t r y m u s i c i n p l a c -

gathers with other young Muslim fashion designers

e s l i k e B r a n s on , M i s s ou r i , a n d t h e l e g e n d a r y

at a photography session for Elan magazine.

G r a n d O l e O p r y i n N a s h v i l l e , Te n n e s s e e .

Music

n e g l e c t h i s M u s lim religious training. Despite

l i t e r a t u r e a n d p oe t r y.

f ou n d a j o b creatin g wom-

and

A t t h e s a m e time, Salama's parents didn’t

studying the rich textures of classical Arabic

Hashmi

h as

Faith

growing up in a devout Muslim household and

A r med with a bachelor’s

to o ,

mersed in it.”

soundtrack to daily life. But home also meant

o g y ( FIT). FI T,

s u r e t h a t I a n d e v e r y one in m y fam ily w as im -

vides much of the

F as h i o n Insti tu te of Te ch n ol-

from

l e a r n a n d e x p e rience new things, she made

we s t , wh e r e c ou n -

f i r s t summer with Hashmi,

d e g r ee

a n d t h a n k s t o m y mother's insatiable desire to

of I owa i n t e r v i e w. “ I choose e ach w ord care f u l l y. I t r y t o b e v e r y hone st and hope that G od b r i n g s t h i s song into pe ople ’s he ar ts.” 43

en ces in t h e U n it ed S t at es an d Eu r op e , a c -

Country Connections

co mpan ied by Mih alo pulo s o n t h e g u i t a r.

S a la m a 's perspe ctive on coun tr y mus ic

He is now working on a commercial debut album that will feature the best material from t h e f i r s t t wo a l b u m s a n d s e v e r a l n e w s on g s .

c an be surp ri si ng, espec ially f or th ose f amil-

Wit h h is t r im go o d lo o k s , co n s er v a t i v e h a i r -

i ar only wi th the domin an t commercial s t r ain

cut , an d co un t r y - clas s ic black co wb oy h a t ,

But Salama is not focusing exclusively

t h a t l eans toward lyrics celebrating the o p e n

S alama r eco gn iz es t h at peo ple ma y c om e f or

o n a s i n g i n g c a r e e r. H a v i n g c o m p l e t e d l a w

r o ad , ho nky to nk bars, an d lost loves.

t h e n o v e l t y o f a M u s l i m c o u n t r y - m u s i c s i n g e r.

s c h ool , h e i s p r e p a r i n g f or t h e l i c e n s i n g ( b a r )

Television Journalist Kiran Khalid

“ There is a kind of soul in countr y m u s i c ... s o m ethi ng that comes from

deeper

down.

...

Yo u ca n sti ll he ar somet h i n g ver y old and ver y t r a d i tional,” Salama said i n an a ltm u sli m i n ter vie w.

A s a child, accord-

In fa ct, S a la m a is draw -

ing to he r m oth-

i n g on a m u ch olde r tra-

er,

d i t i o n that heark ens back

a cardboard box

b l u e g ra ss fro m th e A ppalac h ian region o f t h e

facing outward —

s ou t hea ster n Uni ted State s.

“ so that I w as lit-

S ala m a a lso studied En glish lite ratur e, es -

e r a l l y i n a TV, i f not on it,” Khalid said. S ince

p e c i a lly a celeb rated spiritual poe m by Jo h n

t h e n , K h a l i d , 3 5, has pursued a career as a

D on n e (15 72 -1631) , “A Vale dic tion : Fo r bid-

t e l e v i s i on j ou r n alist, ne w s broadcaste r, and

d i n g Mo u r ni ng , ” f or w h ic h h e wrote a m elo dy t o h e lp hi m self me morize it.

He hopes they’ll stay because they find his

e xa m i n a t i on s a n d i s i n t e r e s t e d i n p r a c t i c i n g

s o n gs co mpellin g.

p a t e n t l a w.

He may be succeeding. On his summer

H e s u m m a r i z e s s om e of h i s t h ou g h t s a b ou t

S ala m a wro te son gs an d lyric s w h ile ear n -

2 0 0 8 t o ur in E ur o pe, S alama play e d t o e n t h u -

h i s m u s i c on h i s M y Sp a c e p a g e : “ M y h op e i s

i n g a n eng i neeri ng degree at th e U n ive r s it y o f

s ias t ic Mus lim an d n o n - Mus lim a u d i e n c e s i n

t h a t m y wor d s wi l l f a l l u p on e a r s a n d h e a r t s

O k l a homa and then attending law scho o l a t

London, Berlin, Paris (at Euro Disney), Rome,

that may be seeking the same thing I am seek-

t h e U ni versi ty o f Iow a, wh ere h e met mus ician

Gen o a, an d A ms t er dam.

ing … the inspiration to live a virtuous life

and

Khalid

use d to sit inside

t o t h e ro o ts o f so-c alled

Composing

Kiran

Performing

Salama's first album, Generous Peace, ap-

Ar i s t o tle Mi ha lo pulos. I n a quintess ential American momen t , t h e

peared in 2006, followed by This Life of Mine

s on s o f E g yp ti a n an d Gre ek immigrant s de-

a year later. His song “A Land Called Paradise”

c i d e d to collaborate on American co u n t r y

provided the soundtrack for an award-winning

m u s i c. Over the n ex t se veral years, Salama

music video celebrating the diversity and vital-

p e r f or m ed b efo re pre domin ately M uslim audi-

ity of the American-Muslim community. 44

p r o d u c e r t h a t h as taken her from local news r e p or t i n g t o c ove ring m ajor national and int e r n a t i on a l n e ws e v e nts. “ I w a s t h e f i rst Pakistani-American woman i n b r oa d c a s t n e w s in the Unite d S tate s,” she s a i d . “ I f I ’m wr ong about that, I w ould lov e to m e e t t h e t r u e p ione e r be cause as far as I ’ v e b e e n t ol d , m y r oad w as untrav e le d.”

t h a t i s p l e a s i n g t o G od . ”

Growing Up

in

Texas

K h a l i d ’s f a t h er w as bor n in N e w De lhi, I nd i a , a n d h e r m other in Karachi, Pakistan, but

Above left, the cover for Kareem Salama’s second CD release , Th i s L i f e of M i n e . Above, in

K h a l i d h e r s e l f grew up in suburban Houston,

concer t in Berlin, Ger many, 2008.

Texas, where her father was a land developer. 45

Co r pus Ch r is t i pr o v ided man y n e ws op p or t un it ies — s t o r ms , dr ug s muggling , a n d i m -

In 2005, Khalid reported on the grim lives

migr at io n — but t h e s t at io n h ad a n t i q u a t e d

of subsistence farmers threatened by famine

F l u e n t i n U r d u, she traveled to Pakistan and

equipmen t , w h ich made w o r k dif f i c u l t .

i n N i g e r a n d M a l i . H e r d oc u m e n t a r y, T h e

b e c a m e o n e o f the first Wester n jour nalists

H u n g e r G a p , wa s a f i n a l i s t i n a U n i t e d N a -

t o r e p o r t f r o m inside the Pakistani religious

t i on s f i l m f e s t i v a l .

s c h ool s , or m a d rassahs, that m any accuse d of

“S t ill, I en jo y ed t h e w o r k , be i n g i n f r on t o f t h e camer a,” s h e r ecalled. “I j u s t k n e w I co uld be go o d at t h is .”

i n g ,” she sa i d . “I was of te n busy writin g s h o r t s t or i e s g ro wi ng up.”

e n c ou r a g i n g t e r rorism .

In the United States, Khalid worked as a field producer for a ver y different kind of

I n 2007, K h a lid re tur ne d for he r m ost dan-

Louisiana, Khalid found the reverse situation:

n e ws op e r a t i on , C ou r t TV, wh i c h c ov e r s m a j or

g e r o u s a s s i g n ment, to film a documentar y,

s t at e- o f - t h e- ar t equipmen t but a r e l a t i v e l y q u i -

criminal and civil trials.

c a l l e d We Ar e N ot Fre e , on m e dia ce nsorship

came t h e w eek en d an ch o r,” s h e s a i d .

i n t e r e st wa s i g n ite d th rough a love of w r it -

t h e s t or y. ”

At another TV station in Lake Charles,

et n ew s en v ir o n men t . “I w o r k ed h a r d a n d b e -

S h e f o cused o n jour n alism e arly in lif e. “My

a n d I k n e w i t wa s now or ne v e r to be par t of

Freelancing

a n d a t t a c k s o n jour nalists by the Musharraf

Khalid also became an active member of

g ov e r n m e n t i n P ak istan.

t h e Sou t h As i a n J ou r n a l i s t s As s oc i a t i on ( SAJ A) .

S h e als o became s o met h in g o f a l oc a l c e -

I n a n i n t e r v i e w w ith A siaM e dia, she said,

l e b r i t y. “ Wa l k i n g i n t o t h e m a l l w o u l d b e l i k e

“ Th e t h i n g t h a t r eally struck m e w as how brav e

walking on stage,” she said with a laugh.

t h e y w e r e . . . willingly to put their safety at

“E v er y bo dy s eemed t o r eco gn iz e m e . ”

r i s k i n or d e r t o pursue w hat the y think is a

I n Mo bile, A labama, Kh alid w a s on t h e a i r

K halid, like her two brothers and her s i s t e r, e x c e lled i n scho ol. T h e siblin gs’ h igh p er f o r m a n ce helped them overcome the stra i n o f b e i n g the only minority family in their s m a l l c om m uni ty. “ I t wa s o ften a situation wh ere you s imply a c c e p ted tha t that’s th e w ay th e w orld w as ,” s h e said, “and I’m grateful for those e a r l y e n c o unters because they prepared me fo r t h e p os t -9/11 b a cklash .”

as man y as f o ur o r f iv e t imes a d a y, b u t s h e

S i n c e J a n uar y 2008, Khalid has been

f o un d h er s elf ex h aus t ed. “I f elt I wa s j u s t g o-

w o r k i n g a s a p roducer for one of television’s

in g in cir cles .” S h e decided t o t r y t h e r i s k i e r

m os t p op u l a r ne w s and fe ature program s,

but f r eer lif e o f a f r eelan ce jo ur n a l i s t .

AB C ’s G ood M or ning A m e rica (GM A ).

L o o k in g back , “t h e mo s t gr a t i f y i n g a s -

“ I l i k e t h e i n tensity of the work,” she said,

pect o f lo cal n ew s is co n s umer in v e s t i g a t i v e

wh i c h m a y m e a n pre paring a stor y on gas

r epo r t in g,” Kh alid s aid. “H o ldin g s h a d y b u s i -

p r i c e s on e d a y and one on the 2 0 0 8 pre si-

n es s es an d peo ple acco un t able for t h e i r a c -

d e n t i a l c a m p a i gn the ne xt.

t io n s t h r o ugh t h e glar e o f a t elev i s i on l e n s i s

“ G M A h a s af forded me the oppor tunity

a co mmun it y s er v ice lo cal n ew s p r ov i d e s t h a t

t o w r i t e a n d p r oduce stories that are seen by

is o f t en o v er lo o k ed.”

L o ca l TV N e w s Kha li d g ra duate d with a major in jo ur n a l i s m from the University of Texas in A u s t i n , w h e r e she said she fell “for the immedia c y o f

noble calling.”

“ I ’m v e r y p r ou d of m y r ol e on SAJ A’s b oa r d , ”

m i l l i on s , ” s h e s a id. “ I n 1 0 y e ars I hope to still

S h e added, “T h e pr es s ur es ar e of t e n i m -

K h a l i d s a i d . “ I l ov e wor k i n g wi t h a n or g a n i -

b e w o r k i n g o n stories that are relevant and

mense as more and more news outlets value

z a t i on t h a t d oe s s o m u c h f or y ou n g j ou r n a l -

s e r v e a g r e a t e r purpose .”

t h e br eak in g- n ew s mo del o v er t h e v i r t u e of

i s t s , s u c h a s m e n t or i n g a n d s c h ol a r s h i p s . ”

s ubs t an t iv e, t h o ugh t f ul r epo r t in g.”

t e l e v ision, the idea of being on the ai r w i t h b r e a k i ng news. ”

Above left, Kiran Khalid stuck in mud on as-

I n 19 96 , she w en t to w ork f or th e lo cal

signment in Africa, 2005. Above right, inter-

C B S station in Corpus Christi, Texas, a j o b

viewing singer John Mayer at the annual Save

t h a t she found both exciting and frustra t i n g .

the Music Foundation Gala, 2007 . 46

P a k i s ta n

and

A m e r i ca

F ol l owi n g t h e Se p t e m b e r 11 t e r r or i s t a t tacks in 2001, Khalid quickly recognized that “ P a k i s t a n w a s g o i n g t o b e a c e n t r a l p l a y e r, 47

Level of education

Muslims

in

America

A Statistical Portrait

T

Muslims

General Public

$100,000

16%

17%

16%

$75,000 - $95,000

10%

11%

Muslims

General Public

study

10%

9%

graduate

14%

Graduate College

Annual household income

Some

college

23%

29%

$50,000 - $74,999

15%

16%

High

school diploma

32%

30%

$30,000 - $49,999

24%

23%

21%

16%

Less

35%

33%

No

high school diploma

than

$30,000

oday’s Muslim American population is an

the immigrants come from Muslim-majority countries

population are first-generation immigrants, and 61

than three years for a decision on their naturaliza-

extraordinary mosaic of ethnic, linguistic,

and inevitably go through a period of adjustment as

percent of the foreign-born arrived in the 1990s

tion applications, a process that should take no

ideological, social, economic, and reli-

they learn the ways of a pluralistic society.

or this decade. Seventy-seven percent of Muslims

longer than 180 days.

gious groups. Native Muslim Americans are well

The size of the Muslim-American population

living in the United States are citizens, with 65 per-

Estimates of the African-American Muslim pop-

integrated into American society, while many new-

has proved difficult to measure because the U.S.

cent of the foreign-born being naturalized citizens.

ulation have ranged from approximately one-fifth

comers are just beginning to adapt to American

Census does not track religious affiliation. Estimates

As a point of comparison, 58 percent of foreign-

to one-third of the total for all Muslim Americans.

life. In terms of religious devotion, Muslims range

vary widely from 2 million to 7 million. What is

born Chinese living in the United States are natural-

The other major ethnic groups are Arabs and

from highly orthodox to moderate to secular. Mus-

clear, however, is that the Muslim-American popula-

ized citizens.

South Asians (Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis,

lims resemble Christians, Jews, Hindus, and other

tion has been growing rapidly as a result of immi-

American religious communities in that many of

gration, a high birth rate, and conversions.

A recent study by the Center for Human Rights

and Afghanis).

and Global Justice at New York University’s School

Even though most Americans identify Islam pri-

them seek full political and social integration,

According to a 2007 survey by the Pew Re-

of Law found that many Muslims were among the

marily with Arabs, two-thirds of Arab Americans

while others prefer to live primarily in the context of

search Center, 65 percent of the Muslim-American

more than 40,000 people who have waited more

are Christian. However, most Arab immigrants

Age and gender distribution of Muslims in the United States

U.S. mosques by dominant

How important is religion in your life? (all faiths)

their communities and cultural practices. Many of

In what regions do Muslims live in the United States?

South

32%

Northeast

29%

Midwest

22%

West

18%

Age 18 - 29

29%

Age 30 - 49

48%

South Asian

28%

Very

Age 50 - 64

18%

African American

27%

Somewhat

16%

Not

too important

5%

at all important

4%

Age 65+

48

ethnic group

5%

South Asian

and

Arab,

mixed evenly

important

Male

54%

Arab

15%

Not

Female

46%

All

14%

Don’t

other combinations

important

know

72% 18%

1%

ers, with 19 percent claiming annual household

since World War II have been Muslims, and Muslims are the fastest-growing segment of the ArabAmerican population. South Asians constitute the

100 to 200

MT

counting for a quarter of all Muslim Americans.

10 to 19

SD

WI

WY

nesians, Nigerians, Somalis, Liberians, Kenyans, and Senegalese, among others. In addition, there

NV

is a small but growing population of white and Hispanic converts, many of them women who

PA

KS

WV

MO

AZ

OK

NM

nation, many have settled in major metropolitan

KY

AR

SC MS

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit/

TX

Dearborn. The 10 states with the largest Muslim populations are California, New York, Illinois,

VA NC

TN

areas along the two coasts and in the Midwest:

AL

due to the strong concentration of Muslims in pro-

NH

fessional, managerial, and technical fields, espe-

VT

cially in information technology, education, medi-

MA

cine, law, and the corporate world. There is some

RI

evidence of a decline in the wages of Muslim and

CT

OH

IN

have married Muslim men. Although Muslims live in every corner of the

NY

IA IL

CO

CA

9

MI NE

UT

0 to

17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely

ME

20 to 49

MN

ID

includes Turks, Iranians, Bosnians, Malays, Indo-

50 to 99

ND

OR

The Muslim population of the United States also

percent for the Muslim population as a whole and

United States

WA

fastest-growing Muslim community, perhaps ac-

Arab men since 2001, although more recent data

NJ

suggest the trend might be reversing.

DE

The Muslim-American journey is unique in that

MD

it is part of two quintessentially American experi-

DC

ences: the African American and the immigrant. Immigrant Muslims and African-American Muslims

GA

LA

have worked to establish their voices in politics and society, sometimes together, but more often FL

AK

New Jersey, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Texas,

on their own. While they share an identity as Muslims, their racial, cultural, socioeconomic,

HI

Ohio, and Maryland. There are also established communities near state universities, which often

and historical circumstances have differed widely. In working toward full political participation, im-

MOSQUE distribution in the United States

have sizable numbers of foreign-born Muslim stu-

migrant Muslims have a great deal to learn from

Calling itself the Global Muslim eCommunity, IslamiCity.com has compiled information about Muslims in the United States since 1995. Its online database tallies more than 2,300 mosques, Islamic schools, and organizations in the 50 states. Listed here by state is the number of mosques in the IslamiCity.com database in December 2008. The statistic for the District of Columbia is from the Islamic Center of Washington, DC. The total is 1,018.

dents and faculty. The 2007 Pew survey found that Muslim Americans generally mirror the U.S. public in edu-

IL

Illinois

43

MT

Montana

2

RI

Rhode Island

0

IN

Indiana

14

NE

Nebraska

1

SC

South Carolina

10

IA

Iowa

5

NV

Nevada

3

SD

South Dakota

1

KS

Kansas

2

NH

New Hampshire

3

TN

Tennessee

10

CA California

198

KY

Kentucky

9

NJ

New Jersey

56

TX

Texas

58

CO Colorado

8

LA

Louisiana

17

7

UT

Utah

5

17

ME

Maine

131

VT

Vermont

0

2

MD

20

VA

Virginia

27

8

MA

WA Washington

10

cation and income levels, with immigrant Muslims

AL

Alabama

slightly more affluent and better educated than na-

AK

Alaska

tive-born Muslims. Twenty-four percent of all Mus-

AZ

Arizona

AR

Arkansas

lims and 29 percent of immigrant Muslims have college degrees, compared to 25 percent for the U.S. general population. Forty-one percent of all

CT

Connecticut

Muslim Americans and 45 percent of immigrant

DE

Delaware

Muslims report annual household income levels

DC District of Columbia FL

of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the na-

Florida

GA Georgia

tional average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earn-

incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16

Mosques in each of the

50

20

NM New Mexico

1

NY

New York

Maryland

18

NC

North Carolina

Massachusetts

13

ND

North Dakota

Michigan

55

OH

Ohio

4 41

42

MI

40

MN Minnesota

3

OK

Oklahoma

9

OR

Oregon

10

PA

Pennsylvania

43

HI

Hawaii

1

MS

ID

Idaho

3

MO Missouri

Mississippi

7

8

WV West Virginia

ticularly in building institutional capacity and communicating effectively with other Americans.

2 12 2

3

Wisconsin

13

WY Wyoming

1

WI

the successes of African-American Muslims, par-

51

Sources: Statistical data excerpted from Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream Pew Research Center, May 22, 2007. Text for this article excerpted from Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, © 2007.

Neighborhood Mosques Masjid Abu-Bakr Al-Siddiq 4425 David Drive, Metairie, Louisiana

Masjid Abu-Bakr (Colorado Muslim Society) 2071 South Parker Road, Denver, Colorado With a weekly prayer attendance between 2,000 and 3,000 people, the Colorado Muslim Society is a pillar of Islamic life in Denver. It recently undertook a large expansion project that doubled the size of its prayer space in order to accommodate an increasing population of Muslims in the area. Located on one of the area’s busiest thoroughfares, the society serves as the hub for Muslim civic life, especially for its younger members. Young adults serve as teachers in the society’s Islamic Sunday school. In addition to the Sunday lessons, the society is involved with Islamic education through the Crescent View Academy. Educating Muslims and non-Muslims from kindergarten through eighth grade, the academy places strong emphasis on learning Arabic and general Islamic knowledge.

Islamic Community Center / Tempe Masjid 131 E. Sixth Street, Tempe, Arizona A cultural center, masjid, and school located just north of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, the Islamic Community Center welcomes members from more than 75 nationalities and all socioeconomic backgrounds. The center was founded in 1984 to bring together Muslims who had previously worshipped in small groups in homes across the area. About 300 attend Friday prayers, but the mosque is actively involved in both the Muslim Student Association at Arizona State and in the community at large. The center maintains a small library with resources on Islam and gives tours of the mosque, which is modeled after the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, for the general public. Providing social services such as marriage ceremonies and burials, the center also operates the Phoenix Metro Islamic School for elementary students.

52

The architecture of the Masjid Abu-Bakr al-Siddiq is unique, as it is the only mosque in the New Orleans area that was built specifically as a mosque, with a geodesic dome and minaret. The 250 to 300 worshippers are mostly first- and second-generation Americans from Pakistan, India, and the Middle East. Twenty percent of the congregation are recent immigrants and converts. The mosque serves Muslims from bordering Kenner, Lousiana, and Orleans Parish. Fortunately, the mosque suffered little damage from Hurricane Katrina. Most members have returned to their homes, and the mosque has retained most of its members.

Islamic Society of Central Florida 1089 N. Goldenrod Road, Orlando, Florida The Islamic Society of Central Florida had modest beginnings in Orlando in the early 1970s. The first mosque, Masjid al-Rahman, or Mosque of the Merciful, was built in the early 1980s. Rapid growth in the area led the society to expand. Today, the society has nine mosques throughout the area, serving 40,000 Muslims from ethnically diverse backgrounds. In 2001, the society founded the Center for Peace, which works to dispel stereotypes about Muslims and promote peace and understanding among people. The Islamic Society of Central Florida also supports the Muslim Student League at the University of Central Florida.

53

Albanian Islamic Center 19775 Harper Avenue, Harper Woods, Michigan The Albanian Islamic Center was founded in 1962 by the Albanian-Muslim population in the Detroit area. Located in the suburbs of Wayne County, the center serves about 150 families of Tosk and Gega Albanians, as well as Iranians, Palestinians, Maltese, Arabs, and Indians. Worship styles have fluctuated with immigration. Tosk Albanians, from the southern region of the country, are considered reformed Muslims and have lived in the United States since the 19th century. Their worship style and social norms are more relaxed. The Gega Albanians, who are from northern Albania, tend to reflect more traditional Islamic practices. As immigration patterns have changed, so has the style of worship.

54

Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City 8501 E. 99th Street, Kansas City, Missouri

Masjid Al-Muslimiin (Islamic Center of Columbia) 1929 Gervais Street, Columbia, South Carolina

A group of residents in Kansas City began planning for a mosque in the early 1970s after the first Salah (prayer) for Eid al-Fitr. Ten years later, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City opened the doors of its mosque to the public and was incorporated as a nonprofit. The society has been expanding ever since, acquiring property for a community park and a Muslim cemetery. A fulltime Islamic school opened at the center in 1987 and has more than 100 students. The society estimates that it serves more than 8,000 Muslims in the Kansas City area, but its reach extends into the non-Muslim community. Visits to the center are encouraged, and the center opens its study sessions on Arabic language, Islam, and the study of the Quran to the public.

Five hundred Muslims worship at Masjid al-Muslimiin in downtown Columbia, South Carolina. With its close proximity to the University of South Carolina, the center, which began operation in 1981, often works with students to bring prominent Islamic speakers to the area. The center offers many services to its members, including Sunday school for Muslim children in Quranic recitation and Islamic history and a women’s forum for educational development, health, and social activities. Actively involved in spreading the Muslim faith to the community at large through its prison outreach program, the center hopes to improve its transitional living assistance to Muslim ex-offenders and all Muslims new to the community. The center also plans to develop a Muslim community food co-op.

Masjid Al-Islam 40 Sayles Hill Road, North Smithfield, Rhode Island The largest masjid in Rhode Island, Masjid al-Islam was built in 1994 to serve the needs of the growing Muslim population in North Smithfield. The masjid openly welcomes Muslims of all religious affiliations from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, but holds primary the Quranic scriptures and the Sunnah. Governance of the mosque is democratic; a committee of six congregants attends to administrative matters, but all major issues are brought before the community before a decision is finalized. Masjid al-Islam works to build interfaith dialogue and actively reaches out to the Christian and Jewish communities for collaboration on community programming. Future plans include partnering with local hospitals for yearly health screening, as part of a health education day for the community. About 250 attend Jumah prayers, but no formal membership is required.

55

A Timeline of Key Events 1 9 1 9 Th e f i r s t I s l a m i c a s s o1908

of

l a n d P a r k ou t s i d e of D e t r oi t ,

begin

M i c h i g a n , wh e r e m a n y i m -

to enter the United States

m i g r a n t s f ou n d wor k i n a u t o

from parts of the Ottoman

manufacturing plants.

Muslim 1 6 19- 1800s

An estimat-

Empire,

ed 10 million Africans are brought to North America as slaves. Approximately 30 percent are Muslim.

Pr es iden t Jo h n A d-

1 8 9 8 Kaw k ab A m r i k a ( S t a r

ams s ign s a Tr eat y o f Peace

o f A mer ica) , t h e f i r s t Ar a b i c

an d F r ien ds h ip w it h t h e B ey

newspaper to appear in the

and S u b j e c t s o f Tr i p o l i o f

U n it ed S t at es , beg i n s d a i l y

Barba r y.

publicat io n , as r e p or t e d b y

1796

c i a t i on i s f ou n d e d i n H i g h -

Syria,

Large

numbers

immigrants

including Lebanon,

1934

Elijah Muhammad

be com e s

S upre m e

M inis-

ter of the Nation of Islam (NOI), a black nationalist

t o d a y ’s

organiz ation

adhe ring

Jordan,

som e I slam ic practice s.

to

a n d Tu r k e y.

1 9 2 4 Th e J oh n s on - Re e d I m -

t h e New Yo r k Time s a b ov e .

m i g r a t i on Ac t i m p os e s n a t i on a l q u ot a s t h a t r e s t r i c t sharply the number of new immigrants

to

the

United

St a t e s .

1913

(1886-1929) 1 7 75

Fo r m er slave Pe ter

1819

Fr eed

by

h is

ter in m i d d l e a g e , Ya r r o w

B a t tle of Bunker Hill and

( M am o ut )

t h r oughout

American

pic ted h er e in 1 8 1 9 , es t ab-

R e v o luti o n. Muslim A me ri-

lishes h i m s e l f a s a p r o p e r t y

c ans ha ve ser v ed w ith dis-

owne r a n d b a n k i n v e s t o r i n

t i n cti o n i n a ll U .S. w ars.

Geor g e t o w n , t o d a y p a r t o f

the

Mar mo o d,

Wash in gt o n , D.C. 56

de-

founds

of

the

New Jersey. This religious

Po lan d, R us s ia, a n d L i t h u -

group claims to be an Islam-

ania

1 9 3 4 The Mother Mosque, the

ic sect but incorporates influ-

first building built specifically

ences from many religions.

to be a mosque, is established

American

M o h a m m e d a n S o c i e t y, t h e n at io n ’s t h e f ir s t M u s l i m or gan iz at io n .

Washington,

Center

D.C.,

a

Pre side nt Dw ight D. Eise n-

1 9 0 7 Tat ar immigr a n t s f r om the

Islamic

center, is dedicated, with

America (MSTA) in Newark,

found

The

m osque and I slam ic cultural

Moorish Science Temple of

mas -

S a l em (Saleem) fights in the

1957

Noble Drew Ali

in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

57

hower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower in attendance.

1 9 65

Presi d en t Lyn don B.

1993

A bdul- R as h e e d M u -

J o h nson signs into law the

h ammad

Im m i g ra ti o n

t h e U . S . A r m y ’s f i r s t M u s l i m

n a t i on a l s or or i t y i n U n i t e d

ch aplain .

St a t e s ,

Gamma

Gamma

Chi,

founded

by

the

team

of

an d

Nation -

a l i t y Act o f 1965, w h ic h a bo li shes origin

the

national-

q uo ta s establish ed

i n 19 24 , a nd spurs n on -Eur o p ean immigration to the U n i ted S ta tes.

1991

The

I s lamic

is

appo i n t e d

as

Cul-

2005

The first Muslim

is

mother-daughter

tural Cen t er in New Yo r k

I m a n i Ab d u l - H a q q a n d D r.

City i s c o m p l e t e d . I t i s t h e

Al t h i a F. Al i t o h e l p i m p r ov e

f irst buildin g er ect ed as a

the image of Muslim women

mosq u e i n N e w Yo r k C i t y

and Islam in general.

an d r egular ly dr aw s mo r e

2006

K e i t h E l l i s on b e -

c om e s t h e f i r s t M u s l i m e l e c t e d t o t h e U . S. C on g r e s s , a s a m e m b e r of t h e H ou s e of Re p r e s e n t a t i v e s

f r om

Min-

n e s ot a .

th an 4 ,0 0 0 f ait h f ul f o r Fr iday pr ay er s .

2008 1 9 9 6 T h e f i r s t ce l e b r a t i o n

Mohammed dies. Known as

o f E id al- Fit r is h e l d a t t h e

“ A m e rica’s I m am ,” he w as

White House.

the first M uslim to of fe r the U.S .

1 9 65

2006

Pub li shed soon af te r

i t s subject’s assassination in F e b ru a r y 1 96 5, T h e A utobio g r ap hy o f Malc olm X tells

1991 Ch ar les B ilal is elect -

t h e sto r y o f o ne man ’s con -

ed may o r o f Ko un t z e, Tex -

2001

v e r sion to Islam in the larger

as, th e f i r s t M u s l i m t o h e a d

v ice is s ues t h e f i r s t s t a m p

c ontext o f the A f rican -A me r-

a U .S . mun icipalit y.

h o n o r i n g a M u s l i m h o l i d a y.

T h e U .S . P os t a l Se r -

i c a n exp eri ence . It remain s

T h e 3 4 - cen t E id s t a m p i s

o n e o f the m ost in f lue n tial

par t o f t h e H o lid a y C e l e -

b oo ks o f the 20th ce n tur y.

br at io n s s er ies .

2007

Islamic

W. B u s h p a r t i c i p a t e s i n t h e

America.

of

N or t h

(1990).

He

prayers

at

inv ocation

also

of fered

President

inte r faith

Bill

pray e r

ser vices and headed The

f i r s t f e m a l e p r e s i d e n t of t h e Soc i e t y

S e nate ’s

C linton’s

C a n a d i a n - b or n I n -

g r i d M a t t s on i s e l e c t e d t h e

58

Imam Warith Deen

President Geroge

c e l e b r a t i on of t h e 50t h a n n i v e r s a r y of t h e I s l a m i c C e n t e r o f Wa s h i n g t o n , D . C .

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Mosque Cares, a dawah project.

Bibliography Abdo, Geneive. Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Photo Credits Hasan, Asma G. American Muslims: The New Generation. New York and London: Continuum, 2000.

Barrett, Paul. American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Huda, Qamar-ul. The Diversity of Muslims in the United States: Views as Americans. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2006.

Cesari, Jocelyne, ed. Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007.

Pew Research Center. Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream. Washington DC: Pew Research Center, May 22, 2007.

Cesari, Jocelyne. When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

Strum, Philippa, ed. Muslims in the United States: Identity, Influence, Innovation. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2005.

Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Strengthening America: The Civic and Political Integration of Muslim Americans. Report of the Task Force on Muslim American Civic and Political Engagement. Chicago: The Council, 2007.

Yazbeck, Yvonne Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and John L. Esposito, eds. Religion and Immigration: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Experiences in the United States. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2003.

Esposito, John L., and Dalia Mogahed. Who Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think. New York: Gallup Press, 2008. Hammond, Andrew. What the Arabs Think of America. Oxford; Westport, CT: Greenwood World Publishing, 2007.

Fazlur Rahman Khan Web site http://fazlurrkhan.com Gamma Gamma Chi Sorority, Inc. http://gammagammachi.org Heba Amin http://hebaamin.com Inter faith Youth Core

http://ifyc.org

The Islamic Center at New York University http://icnyu.org IslamiCity http://www.islamicity.com Kareem Salama http://kareemsalama.com LoanMod.com http://loanmod.com The Mother Mosque of America http://mothermosque.org

Web sites

Pew Research Center http://pewresearch.org

The following web sites were used in the development of this publication:

The Pluralism Project at Harvard University http://pluralism.org

The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology http://web.mit.edu/akpia/www

Dalia Ghanem’s t-shirtat.com http://t-shirtat.com

All photos © AP Images except the following: Page 2: courtesy Eboo Patel; 14: (top) © Bob Daemmrich/The Image Works; (bottom) © Chris Fitzgerald / Candidate Photos / The Image Works. 20: (top, left) © 2009 by Mark Peterman; 21: (bottom, left) © Syracuse Newspapers / F. Ordonez / The Image Works; (bottom, right) © Syracuse Newspapers / J. Commentucci / The Image Works; 27: (bottom, right) © Bob Daemmrich/Photo Edit; 28: (top, left) © Jeff Greenberg/The Image Works; (bottom, left) © David Grossman/The Image Works; 29: © Mohammad Muhaimin Aminuddin; 30: (top, left to right) © Ricardo Barros, courtesy Serena Kim; (bottom, left to right) courtesy Moose M. Scheib, courtesy Nyla Hashmi and Fatima Monkush, courtesy Kareem Salama, courtesy Kiran Khalid; 31: (top) courtesy Kitty Aal; (bottom) courtesy Heba Amin; 32: courtesy Kitty Aal; 33: © Ricardo Barros; 35: courtesy Serena Kim; 36-37: (all) courtesy Lena Khan; 38-39: (all) courtesy Moose M. Scheib; 40: (left) courtesy Moose M. Scheib, (right) courtesy Nyla Hashmi and Fatima Monkush; 41-42: (all) courtesy Carolina Rivera, Elan Magazine; 43-44: (all) courtesy Kareem Salama; 45-47: (all) courtesy Kiran Khalid; 52-55: (all) courtesy Omar Khalidi, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 56: (left, bottom) Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division; (middle, top) Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division; (middle, bottom) portrait of Yarrow Mamout by Charles Wilson Peale, courtesy The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Collection, Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia; 57: (left, top) Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division; (left, bottom) courtesy Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc.; (middle, center) Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division; (right, top) courtesy The Mother Mosque of America. 58: (middle, top) Omar Khalidi, The Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; (middle, bottom) courtesy Charles Bilal; (right, top) courtesy Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad; 59: (left, top) Gamma Gamma Chi Sorority, Inc.; (right) courtesy The Chicago Tribune; Supplement, page 2: (top) courtesy Dalia Ghanem; (third from bottom) courtesy Yasmin Khan Byron.

Production Executive Editor: George Clack Editor-in-Chief: Michael Jay Friedman Managing Editor: Chandley McDonald Contributing Editor: Raphael Calis Photo Editor / Designer: Tim Brown Writers: Howard Cincotta, Deborah Conn, Serena Kim, Meghan Loftus Researcher: Martin Manning Photo Researcher: Joann Stern

Read this book online at http://america.gov/publications/books/being-muslim-in-america.html.

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61

P rograms

A Supplement to

Being Muslim in America Did You Know?

Government Muslim Americans work in federal, state, and local governments throughout the United States. At left, from top to bottom, is a sample. Keith Ellison became the first Muslim elected to the

Sixty-five percent of the Muslim American popula-

U.S. Congress, as the representative from Minnesota’s

tion are first-generation immigrants, and 61 percent

Fifth District, in 2006. He took his oath of office on a

of the foreign-born arrived in the 1990s or later.

copy of the Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Muslim Americans spend about $170 billion on

André Carson, a member of the Indianapolis City-

consumer products annually, according to a 2007

County Council, became the second Muslim member

figure by advertising agency JWT, and this figure is

of Congress after winning a special election in March

expected to grow.

2008 to become the congressman for the Seventh District of Indiana.

Iftar dinners at the White House during Ramadan have become regular occasions since the mid-

Diplomat Zalmay Khalilzad has served as the United

1990s.

States Ambassador to the United Nations, and as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan.

An imam can serve in several different roles in the United States. In most African-American mosques,

Doctor Elias A. Zerhouni was director of the National

the imam operates in both spiritual and adminis-

Institutes of Health from 2002 to 2008.

trative capacities. In predominantly immigrant mosques, however, the imam is more likely to be a

Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli served as senior advi-

spiritual leader only.

sor to the United States Secretary of State.

Children’s books bring the Muslim holy month of

Representative Saqib Ali represents part of Montgom-

Ramadan, like other holidays, into the American

ery County in the Maryland General Assembly’s House

mainstream.

of Delegates.

The largest mosque in the United States, opened by the Islamic Center of America in 2005, is in Dearborn, Michigan.

Business

Sports

Muslim Americans contribute to all aspects of U.S.

Sports in the United States have been an important

business. Pictured at right, starting at the top, is a

route to prominence for many American Muslims.

sampling. New York fashion designer Dalia Ghanem, gives

At top, a young Muhammad Ali, who became

Arab traditions an American twist.

heavyweight champion of the world in 1964. The boxer had changed his name and converted to the

Scientist Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of

Nation of Islam. Later Ali became a Sunni Muslim,

Technology won the Nobel Prize for chemistry.

and he now practices Sufism.

The books of author Yahiya Emerick present Islamic

The basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, at

themes and history to non-Muslim audiences.

far left, is also a Muslim convert. Jabbar, who retired from professional basketball in 1989, is the National Basketball Association’s all-time leading

The innovations of structural engineer Fazlur R.

scorer.

Khan, honored on this postage stamp from Bangladesh, led to Chicago’s 110-story Sears Tower, the world’s tallest building when completed in 1974.

Jihad Muhammad, in the white headband, is another basketball player who recently starred for a

Journalist Fareed Zakaria is the editor of News-

top college team, the University of Cincinnati.

week International magazine and host of the CNN interview program Fareed Zakaria GPS. Professional football player Az-Zahir Hakim, leaping to catch a pass, had a 10-year career in the Hollywood producer and director Moustapha

National Football League.

Akkad filmed stories of Islamic history such as The Message and Lion of the Desert, and the popular Halloween movies.

Boxer Bernard Hopkins learned his craft in prison as a young man and was later the middleweight champion for more than 10 years. He still competes.

U nited S tates D epartment

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P rograms

Mos Def Rapper, actor

The RZA Hip-hop music artist

Maysoon Zayid Comedienne, actress

Q-Tip Rapper, producer

Being Muslim in America

Everlast Singer-songwriter

Performers Mini-Poster

Ronald Bell Singer, Kool & the Gang

Aasif Mandvi Actor, comedian

Shohreh Aghdashloo Actress Ahmad Jamal Jazz pianist

Dave Chappelle Comedian