Muslims began arriving in the New World long before the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. Kambiz GhaneaBassiri's fascinating book traces the history of Muslims in the United States and their different waves of immigration and conversion across five centuries, through colonial and antebellum America, through world wars and civil rights struggles, to the contemporary era. The book tells the often deeply moving stories of individual Muslims and their lives as immigrants and citizens within the broad context of the American religious experience, showing how that experience has been integral to the evolution of American Muslim institutions and practices. This is a unique and intelligent portrayal of a diverse religious community and its relationship with America. It will serve as a strong antidote to the current politicized dichotomy between Islam and the West, which has come to dominate the study of Muslims in America and further afield.
Kambiz GhaneaBassiri is Associate Professor of Religion and Humanities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of Competing Visions of Islam in the United States: A Study of Los Angeles and has served on the editorial board of The Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States and the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History.
Introduction; 1. Islam in the 'New World': the historical setting; 2. Islamic beliefs and practice in colonial and antebellum America; 3. Conflating race, religion and progress: social change, national identity, and Islam in the post-Civil War era; 4. Race, ethnicity, religion and citizenship: Muslim immigration at the turn of the twentieth century; 5. Rooting Islam in America: community and institution building in the interwar period; 6. Islam and American civil religion in the aftermath of World War II; 7. A new religious America and post-colonial Muslim world: American Muslim institution building and activism, 1960s-80s; 8. Between experience and politics: American Muslims and the 'new world order', 1989-2008; Epilogue.