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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text that is one of the sources of Islamic jurisprudence. “Some people come to the United States and they can’t resist watching pornography, so it is important to get married young.” “If you go to bed at 11 p.m.—and this should be the maximum—you should get up at 4. If you are sleeping seven to eight hours straight there is something wrong with your mind and body.” Once he has covered their personal lives, he moves on to their careers and dietary habits. “It is dangerous to study in Western

young female teacher wearing a headscarf tried to explain that all practicing Muslim women, not only radicals, wear headscarves. While this might seem like an extreme practice in the United States, veiling is part of Islamic tradition and Muslim women all over the world cover their hair to maintain modest dress, she told them. “This doesn’t mean a Muslim woman is radical,” she said. She went on to explain that many Muslims across the world consider veiling a duty in Islam. One editor, who had

arrested by Israeli military authorities during a trip to the occupied territories back in 1993. They were held incommunicado from the beginning, and the U.S. government seemed strangely lackadaisical about the whole business. In January 1995, after secret detention, secret interrogation (except, oddly, for a special command performance before the ubiquitous Judith Miller of the New York Times) and a non-public, military trial, Salah was found guilty of, as the Tribune’s story at the time put it,

was but a small detail in Mawdudi’s vision for a worldwide ummah. When immigrants from the subcontinent arrived in the United States, they brought Mawdudi’s views with them, including their experience of women either praying at home instead of the mosque, or being separated from men in prayer. At the same time, imams affiliated with American mosques were returning from religious studies in Saudi Arabia, and the conservative Saudi government was sending charismatic personalities to U.S. college

arrives at the mosque late, there is always a crowd of boys and girls waiting for her. They look forward to their Sunday halaqa with the nurturing forty-seven-year-old from Egypt who could easily be their mother. With her bright headscarves, nicely tailored overcoats, and impassioned lectures about Islam, she transports the young Muslims to another life for an hour or two. Rabab began her lectures in the mid-1990s after noticing that some Muslim women who were recent converts at the Bridgeview

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