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

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

Geneive Abdo

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0195332377

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


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

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assassination, which Malcolm suggested was a direct and natural byproduct of America’s violent culture. Critics of the Nation took this to mean that Malcolm was sanctioning the assassination, and Elijah Muhammad banned his one-time protégé from speaking in public for ninety days. Soon Malcolm was removed as minister of New York City’s prominent Temple Number Seven. At the same time, Wallace Deen Muhammad, whose mastery of Arabic allowed him to consult traditional Islamic sources, began to

interacted with non-Muslim society took to the airwaves to assure their fellow citizens that Islam was not a religion of violence and America was not a breeding ground for Islamic extremists. Ordinary Muslims took a less defensive approach. They began to realize it was up to them to define what it means to be a Muslim in the modern world, and more specifically, what it means in the new America. Rami and David certainly weren’t the first to use hip-hop for Islamic expression, or what is known as

wearing a long black chador similar to the floor-length veil I had worn during my years in Iran. Her dark eyes, accented with black mascara and liner, made her look nearly entirely black. I had never seen a convert in America dressed so conservatively, although this type of veil is common in many countries, particularly in the Persian Gulf. Some Muslims had told me that converts sometimes try to compensate for not being born into the faith by taking extreme measures, such as wearing conservative

many imams pretend does not exist because it suggests that Muslims have not been successful in warding off the negative influences of Western society. At times, when enthusiastic Muslim students try to recreate campus life back in their home mosques the result is a clash between the old and young generation. This was certainly true when Nedaa, an active member of the Muslim Students’ Association at DePaul University in Chicago, organized youth counseling sessions at her mosque in one of the

the written page, but by studying the work of all the theologians before them who analyzed the Koran and hadiths. Many verses must be considered in the context of other verses appearing throughout the book before an educated judgment can be made about their meaning. And some contemporary scholars seek to place Koranic teachings in their historical context before applying them to today’s world. From studies in the Koran, many scholars move on to learning Islamic jurisprudence and the other Islamic

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