Religion > Islam

Muslim American Flag by Christopher Batchelder

Muslim American Flag by Christopher Batchelder May 2012

Just as there is a great diversity of Muslims around the world, there are also various Muslim communities in the United States. In this country, these groups meet each other, mingle and learn a great deal about the diversity of Islam through these interactions.

Most Muslims in America (and in the world) are Sunni. They account for 75 to 90% of all Muslims. Shii are the second largest group, accounting for approximately 10 to 20% of Muslims.

Islamic Center of Washington, Washington DC,        Photo by SimonP

Muslims living in America feel a strong sense of their Americanness, and many believe they have formed a new type of American Islam.

However, following September 11, 2001, Muslims (and Middle-eastern looking individuals in general) have suffered much backlash. Many Americans feel suspicious towards Muslims and distrust their patriotism and loyalty.

 

Areas of Misunderstanding:

Islamophobia

Islamophobia is a prejudice against Islam, or a hatred or irrational fear of Muslims. Though the term has been used for more than a century, modern use of the word in the United States typically relates directly to the discrimination Arabs faced following the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Women & Veiling

Muslim women are a frequent subject of controversy; in particular there persists the stereotype that women who veil are forced to do so, are passive, and must submit to male figures. Veiling is often a topic of debate in the US and throughout the world.

Construction of Mosques

The establishment of places of worship for Muslims is a subject frequently targeted by Islamophobic individuals who wrongly see mosques as symbols of extremism and violence. Two of the most famous to be opposed are the Park 51 controversy and the Murfreesboro Mosque.

Sharia Law

Sharia Law is a frequent subject of concern, especially among Conservatives, in the United States. Laws banning Sharia law have been discussed in multiple states and it is a topic that has appeared in the American legal arena, notably with the 2010 “Save Our State” amendment to the Oklahoma constitution.