Jump directly to the content

The Americanization of Islam

Adapting the faith for non-immigrants.

Soon, Islam in America will no longer be an immigrant faith. It will be the faith of people who grew up attending American public schools, colleges, movie theaters, and shopping malls. "But as the first generation of American-born Muslims begins graduating from college in significant numbers, with a swelling tide behind them, some congregations are beginning to seek native imams who can talk about religious and social issues that seem relevant to young people, like dating and drugs." It's tough to find "culturally savvy" imams when those who are religiously educated come from the Middle East and those whose parents immigrated did not come to see their children lead a mosque.

An article in today's New York Times describes the religion's slow transition from imported to homegrown. If American-born Muslims do not find a way to adapt the faith to a new context, Muslims worry, they will either drop the religion or seek its radical fringe.

"Islam in America is trying to create a new cultural matrix that can survive in the broader context of America," said Prof. Sherman Jackson, who teaches Arabic and Islamic law at the University of Michigan. "It has to change for the religion to survive."

Related Topics:Islam
Posted:June 1, 2007 at 9:48AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Login
or
Subscribe
or
Register
Recent Posts
Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'
Attempt at increasing recruits ten-fold occurs against backdrop of stalled peace talks, Hamas-PLO reconciliation.
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'
New Poverty-Fighting Alliance Launches
World Relief, Germany-based PartnerAid combine to grow programs, donor base.