American Islamic Communities

Jane I. Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 American Islamic Communities

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Muslims who live in regions such as Europe and the United States that are outside the sphere of dominant Islamic culture face a steady array of choices. Underlying the lifestyle decisions of many American Muslims is what is often posed as a fundamental choice between being first an American or first a Muslim. Muslims who currently make their home in the United States represent a great number of movements and identities—immigrant and indigenous, Sunni and Shi'i, conservative and liberal, orthodox and heterodox. Over the last three decades, the number of Muslims in the United States has grown from fewer than half a million to an estimated six million. American Muslims can be clustered into three general groups, although this is not to suggest that they necessarily live or operate discretely: Muslims who are recent immigrants or children of immigrant families, including students; African Americans; and other Americans who have converted to Islam. This article describes Islamic communities, converts to Islam, mosques, and Islamic organizations in the United States.

Keywords: Islam; United States; Americans; Muslims; mosques; Islamic organizations; immigrants; African Americans; American Muslims; converts

Article.  3117 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Islam

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