Chapter

Identity and Community in a New Generation: The Muslim Community in the Early Seventh Century and Today

Ghada Osman

in Passing on the Faith

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226474
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236640 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823226474.003.0011

Series: Abrahamic Dialogues

Identity and Community in a New Generation: The Muslim Community               in the Early Seventh Century and Today

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This chapter presents a comparison between the Muslim minority community in 7th-century Mecca and the Muslim minority community in the United States, which brings to light some useful social elements that can serve as a helpful guide to American Muslim identity and behavior today. It identifies three significant points of comparison between the community of Mecca and that of the United States: the composition of the Muslim community, its relations with the majority, and its methods of coping with and promoting its identity as a minority. The chapter shows that amid American Muslims' appreciation for freedom of speech, and the American values of honesty and hard work, lies their dislike of what they regard as the social disintegration of the family, the community, and the society as a whole. Such a tension is very similar to that of the Meccan Muslim community, which on the one hand was against the rampant materialism and social decline of the society, but on the other hand benefited strongly from the city's position as a trade and religious center, both with regard to economic prosperity as well as the opportunity to interact with groups from around the peninsula.

Keywords: Islam; Muslims; Muslim community; United States; minority community; American Muslim identity; Mecca

Chapter.  6707 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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