Islam: An American Religion

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Islam: An American Religion

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Length: 418 pages6 hours

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The practice of Islam in the United States, spanning more than a century, has a contentious history that has escalated over the past decade. Debates have raged over Islam’s articles of faith, especially within an American context, and its practitioners’ intent. Some characterize these arguments as a clash between a white, evangelical majority and a Muslim minority, or they see it as evidence of the divide between tolerant liberals and close-minded conservatives. Casting this conflict as a generic struggle between us and them, Nadia Marzouki argues, is a gross oversimplification of Islam’s development in America.

In Islam: An American Religion, Marzouki investigates how Islam is lived, how it has changed, and how its identity has overlapped with American foreign policy toward the Muslim world. Revisiting the uproar over the construction of mosques, the perceived threat of encroaching Shar’ia law, and the overseas promotion of America’s secular democratic traditions, Marzouki finds that public tensions over Islam in the United States reflect more of the West’s ambivalence toward freedom of speech and political culture than the religion’s purported agenda. Her unbiased portrait highlights American Islam’s open outlook, which embodies and advances the core principles of the American political project.
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