Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
American Islam

American Islam

The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion

Paul M. Barrett

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Vivid, dramatic portraits of Muslims in America in the years after 9/11, as they define themselves in a religious subculture torn between moderation and extremism

There are as many as six million Muslims in the United States today. Islam (together with Christianity and Judaism) is now an American faith, and the challenges Muslims face as they reconcile their intense and demanding faith with our chaotic and permissive society are recognizable to all of us.

From West Virginia to northern Idaho, American Islam takes readers into Muslim homes, mosques, and private gatherings to introduce a population of striking variety. The central characters range from a charismatic black imam schooled in the militancy of the Nation of Islam to the daughter of an Indian immigrant family whose feminist views divided her father's mosque in West Virginia. Here are lives in conflict, reflecting in different ways the turmoil affecting the religion worldwide. An intricate mixture of ideologies and cultures, American Muslims include immigrants and native born, black and white converts, those who are well integrated into the larger society and those who are alienated and extreme in their political views. Even as many American Muslims succeed in material terms and enrich our society, Islam is enmeshed in controversy in the United States, as thousands of American Muslims have been investigated and interrogated in the wake of 9/11.

American Islam is an intimate and vivid group portrait of American Muslims in a time of turmoil and promise.

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When Arabs arrived in Dearborn, Michigan, in the 1920s and 1930s, they encountered a complex cloud of bigotry mingling with the smoke and soot of the Ford auto factory. Henry Ford hated Jews and fretted about their...

Reviews

Praise for American Islam

“A thoughtful exploration that is both comforting and alarming . . . American Islam reveals the variety of Muslim experience in the U.S., as well as profound aspects of Islam that are underappreciated in this country.” —The Wall Street Journal

“These seven lives, and all the others they represent, heighten my sense that we should be practicing a more complicated patriotism, one with a pluralistic gaze.” —Los Angeles Times

“Well wrought and engaging . . . A welcome antidote to the wide spread Islamophobia that has infected so many Americans over the last five years . . . The book makes a compelling argument that the greatest tool in America's arsenal in the 'war on terror' may be its own thriving and thoroughly assimilated Muslim community.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Timely and engaging.” —The New York Times

“This is a smart, careful look at America in the post-9/11 world. It is definitely worth the time of anyone wondering where the country is going.” —Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

American Islam fills a real need and does so remarkably well. . . . It delivers a set of powerful insights about Muslim life in the United States and the tensions that are shaping the community . . . Barrett's carefully crafted approach is a smart one.” —Slate.com

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About the author

Paul M. Barrett

Paul M. Barrett, for eighteen years a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, where American Islam originated, currently directs the investigative reporting team at Business Week. He is the author of The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America.

Paul M. Barrett

David Rudes

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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