The following article appeared one pages one through thirteen of Volume 1, Issue 2 of Studies in Contemporary Islam.
The Muslim Community in the United States: Some Issues
Sulayman S. Nyang*
Muslims in the United States now number at least five million. The demographic complex of Muslims is very diverse. It includes (alphabetically) Algerians, Afghans, and Albanians, Bengalis, Burmans, Ethiopians, Indians, Indonesians, Malians, Palestinians, Pakistanis, Yemenis, and Zambians. In view of the growing Muslim presence in America, and in view of the diversity of the Muslims' national origins and cultural backgrounds, scholars, journalists, and TV news magazines are beginning to pay greater attention to these new citizens of the United States. This increased attention has in turn led to, among other things, an increased attention being paid to the study of the common elements in the migration patterns of Muslims and other faith communities in the country.
This paper examines the Muslim patterns of migration and settlement in America, comparing these with similar Jewish patterns. Starting with the assumption that the experiences of the American Muslim community are similar to those of other faith communities that settled in the United States earlier, and building on the sociological insight that each of the previous religious communities immigrating from the Old World carried with it most, if not all, of the cultural and religious differences that had caused it to become fragmented, the paper argues that one way of indicating that Jewish and Muslim American experiences have points of convergence and divergence is to identify such points within each of the two communities. Another objective of the paper is to show how Muslim leaders and their followers are dealing with differences within their faith community. A third objective is to examine the nature of the challenges facing Muslim organizations and leadership in those parts of the country that have a sizable Muslim presence.
A. The Myth of Return and the Coagulation of the American Muslim Identity
One of the most pressing issues confronting the American Muslim community is that of the question of identity, which arises for many of the immigrant Muslims who still suffer from the myth-of-return syndrome. Scholars who have looked at immigrants around the world both in contemporary and historical terms have come to the conclusion that this phenomenon has existed since the earliest migrations of humans. The classic example of the migrating agent who knew, on a conscious level, that he was not going to return to his original homeland is that of the Patriarch Abraham, whose life story is central to the three Abrahamic religions. Christian and Muslim immigrants know, from Biblical and Qur'anic accounts, about the decision of Abraham not to return, but that has not deterred recent Muslim and Christian Arab immigrants in the United States and Canada from entertaining the myth of return. Muhammad Anwar, a British scholar of Pakistani origins, captured the spirit of the Pakistani immigrants' life in Britain in the title of his book, Pakistanis in Britain: The Myth of Return. How does this psychological and psychocultural state affect the Muslims, and how does it affect the self-definition of the American Muslim community? The data are still sparse; I do not know of any systematic survey that has been conducted, Gallup or Harris style, on this subject. But the growing evidence available in the Muslim press and in Muslim oral exchanges at conferences and symposia does enable one to make some observations on the matter. There is, indeed, a growing realization among Muslims that the myth of return is a psychological wedge separating the second-generation immigrants from the native-born American Muslims. Those immigrants who still entertain the possibility that they are one day going to strike it rich and will then head home delay the necessary cultural and political adjustment of their families in the local communities, and also prevent the inclusion of their interests in the larger American basket of needs and special interests. The inability to resolve this issue spells disaster to an embryonic community, one whose younger generation is trying to secure a foothold in the American landscape and many of whose first-generation immigrants have made significant strides toward greater Americanization. The myth of return affects the relationship not only between the first-generation immigrants and their children and grandchildren, but also between the immigrant community and the native-born Americans. In a paper presented at a conference, I have argued that "pride and prejudice" have developed among American Muslims because the myth of return allows the first-generation immigrant to hold on to the old ways of his homeland and to make little or no effort to adjust properly and meaningfully in his adopted homeland. This points to a fundamental difference between the Jewish immigrants and the other groups who came to the shores of the United States. As the literature on Jewish immigration clearly shows, the Jews fleeing persecution and pogroms in Western and Eastern Europe had nowhere else to go; America was their final destination.
The American Muslim community's myth of return has created many problems of adjustment and assimilation for many recent immigrants from the Muslim world. While these problems are not peculiar to these immigrants, there are reasons to believe that greater Muslim participation in the American experiment would depend largely on the elimination of this myth. The first problem is attitudinal. Those immigrants who dream of returning home are the least likely to change their nationality, and their children are likely to be subjected to tremendous pressure to keep the cultural robes of distinctiveness. By not making any serious effort to be part and parcel of the larger society, these men and women have created a cultural ghetto for themselves and their children. From within these cultural barricades, they make occasional forays into the larger society to fulfill certain needs. A sense of inadequacy in making contacts with people outside their cultural and religious boundaries militates against their making such encounters-even when those in the mainstream are their kith and kin. The myth of return thus poses a formidable challenge to Muslim political activists who are interested in voter registration. Before you can convince someone to vote or to join a political party, you must get him or her to understand the notion of civic responsibility and to appreciate the benefits of citizenship. But the entertaining of the myth of return has, besides negative political consequences, certain cultural consequences.
The first such consequence is erosion of the second-generation American Muslims' confidence in their new homeland. The constant harangues by parents about the virtues and merits of the Mother Country and their incessant use of electronic props to reinforce feelings of nostalgia for it have often combined to create alienation among second-generation immigrants. In a pioneering study he made almost three decades ago, Professor Abdo El-Kholy observed this phenomenon among Arab-American Muslims. The problem has not disappeared, and the electronic revolution has not made the job of Muslim promoters of assimilation any easier.
The second cultural consequence of the myth of return is the lack of attention paid to the socialization process of children. By hoping to leave eventually for their original homelands, Muslim immigrants do not, for example, attend Parent Teacher Association meetings, and, for this and other related reasons, they are woefully ignorant of the state of affairs in the schools their children attend. These Muslim parents-unlike those Muslims, whether native-born or immigrant, who are cognizant of the dangers facing their children in the public school system-see the public school system, or even the private parochial schools, as convenient childcare facilities where their children can pass time and socialize while they win bread for their households and save money for their eventual return home.
The third cultural consequence of the myth of return is the development of a defensive attitude toward the media and the larger society. Instead of using the democratic means for changing stereotypes about them, as was done by other, assimilated groups, such men and women spend much time lamenting how they are being misrepresented, when they could have used such time-tested mechanisms to improve the situation as writing to their members of Congress and meeting with the politicians of their towns, cities, and districts. Instead of forming coalitions with existing groups and pressing for their issues, these men and women resort to political quietism.
For community builders and leaders, the myth of return has another negative consequence. At a time when Muslims are trying to register their presence in the Public Square of American society, some members of their community continue to create conditions that are likely to be detrimental to the integration of their group in the larger society. How is this behavior manifested in the American Public Square? The decision by many of these individuals to adjust to their cultural realities prevents them from mingling and mixing with their coreligionists and others in society, who are both ignorant of their cultural backgrounds and their languages. Unwilling to widen the circle of brotherhood and fellowship in such a way as to include in it the native-born American Muslims, such men and women reify their cultural and linguistic boundaries by deliberately shutting out others through their constant use of ethnic languages. This negative consequence of the myth of return is beginning to receive attention in certain Muslim circles. This author, too, has sounded the alarm in many lectures and speeches given at Muslim community centers in America. Drawing upon his research on the earlier immigration of other religious groups to the United States, he has pointed to the example of the German-American Catholics and the consequences of their linguistic chauvinism for the Catholic Church in America. Learning from the record of past religious immigrants, many Muslim community leaders have joined the cause to tear down the barricades. This task is not easily accomplished, for many of these immigrants have created around themselves a security net through elaborate mechanisms of cultural separation. A simple principle to keep in mind is that whenever two Muslims from different parts of the world meet at a masjid (mosque) in the United States or Canada and neither knows Arabic, English should be used as the medium of conversation between them. This principle applies to all interactions that take place between those Muslims who speak a common language and those who do not. Muslims are, it seems, beginning to see the logic of accommodation and to understand the disruptive nature of cultural segregation.
B. American Muslims and the American Racial Dilemma
Muslims became more visible in American society after the success of the Civil Rights Movement in bringing about significant changes in American political, social, and economic life. Unlike the Jews and Catholics, who had joined the Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement in the battle for social justice in the decades before and after the Second World War, American Muslims came to the limelight after Vietnam and the protest against the Vietnam War. Even though the American Muslims joined the mainstream in the 1970s and 1980s-that is, after the days of Jim Crowism were over-they cannot deny the continued existence of racism in American society. If there is any religious community whose ethos and ethnic make-up qualify it to contribute to interracial reconciliation and cooperation, it is the Muslim community. No doubt, the Jewish community and the Catholic Church have diverse ethnic memberships, but the Muslims are increasingly challenging these sister religions in the area of moral accountability in the context of American race relations. This is particularly true in the context of the developing relationships between the African-American community and the three Abrahamic religions. It is to this and other, related issues that we now turn.
A principal virtue of Islam that the earliest propagator of this religion sought to present before the American people was Islam's allergy to racism. A white American advocate of Islam made this claim a long time ago in his Islam in America (1893). Writing toward the end of the last century, Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb, the founding father of the American Muslim press and the first known native-born American Muslim, presented the non-racist message of Islam at a time when certain segments of American society were offering both theological and scientific justification for racism. Although the historical record shows that Webb had little or no effect on his contemporaries, the fact that he saw in Islam a solution to what the Scandinavian social scientist Gunnar Myrdal called the "American Dilemma" has spotlighted the subject for our generation. Living at the turn of the century and the millennium, and writing from the vantage point of an American Muslim immigrant whose research on the American Muslim community has deepened his understanding of the Webbian legacy, I am struck by the existence, within the Muslim community, of "pride and prejudice," manifestations of which are linked to several factors that deserve our analytical attention.
The first factor has to do with the Muslims' adjustment to the American realities. Coming to a society that prides itself on individual freedom and equality, and condemned to wear the badge of racial consciousness, the immigrant, whether he or she is a Muslim or not, struggles to adjust to the racial climate of his or her adopted society. No matter how he or she defines his or her racial and ethnic identity, he or she must come to terms with the psychology and sociology of the host culture. The average Muslim immigrant, as I have stated elsewhere, is looked upon by his fellow Americans as a member of a racial group and is further classified culturally and religiously as a member of several cultural and religious groups in America:
If he is not mindful of the nonracial nature of Islam in its ideal form, the American Muslim, by virtue of his early conditioning in a racially-conscious society, could easily trap himself in a world of racial consciousness that cuts him off from other Muslims in different racial groups. This is a major challenge to the emerging Muslim ummah. It should be pointed out that other American religions are still grappling with this racial problem.
Because of the racial, ethnic, and linguistic heterogeneity of the Muslim communities of America, one persistent challenge Muslims will face in this country is that of building bridges between the variegated islands of Muslims scattered around the country.
What makes the race issue explosive and potentially divisive for the American Muslim community is the emerging class differences between the immigrant Muslim families and the Muslim segment of the Black underclass that has seized upon Islam as a moral, psychological, and spiritual life jacket in the stormy sea of American racism. This racial and ethnic divide, which is obvious to most Muslims and has received comments in the Muslim press, did not exist prior to the transformation of the Nation of Islam of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the popularization of the Sunni Islam of Malcolm X (Alhajj Malik Shabazz) among many African-Americans. Before the elevation of Imam W. D. Mohammed to the supreme position within the old Nation of Islam, most American Muslim immigrants and most Black Christians saw the Nation of Islam as a peculiar religious group whose teachings were neither orthodox Christianity nor orthodox Islam. In the American imagination of the fifties and sixties, these "Black Muslims," as C. Eric Lincoln called them in his classic study, was an American invention. Both Lincoln and his Nigerian counterpart, Essen Udom, described the Nation of Islam as a Black Nationalist Movement with a theology that centers on some form of Black racism. However, since 25 February 1975, the date of death of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the American Muslim community has witnessed a major increase in its numbers. Not only has Imam W. D. Mohammed brought hundreds of thousands of his father's followers into the fold of Sunni Islam, but many other groups, independent of Nation of Islam, have also surfaced and developed within the African-American community. Movements such as the Darul Islam, the Islamic Party of North America, the Islamic Brotherhood, Inc., and the Hanafi and Sufi groups that have taken hold in certain segments of the Black community in America, are now taken into account by scholars and journalists when they talk about Islam in Afro-America. The numbers of Muslims thus increasing within the Black communities of America, the American Muslims in general and the immigrant Muslims in particular are challenged to address simultaneously the two issues of race and class. In order for the emerging Muslim community to remain united and cohesive, both its leaders and followers must identify and understand the pitfalls of interracial and interethnic strife within the American Muslim community. At the elite level, certain measures have been taken to address the problem. It is, however, too early to predict whether these efforts will prove effective or not. One recent development that may hold a key to the future is the reorganization of the top leadership of the American Muslim Council (AMC). This development has implications for both immigrant-native-born American relations and Jewish-Muslim relations. Some recent changes at the AMC have implications for the relationship between the two main branches of the American Muslim community. One of them has to do with the selection of two prominent American Blacks to serve as the Council's president and executive director. Their appointment has created goodwill among African-American Muslims. Only time will tell whether such developments will lead to greater cooperation and collaboration between the two main branches of the American Muslim community. But, even without looking into a crystal ball, we can say that the future of race relations within the Muslim community and outside it will be decided by the closeness not only of inter-Muslim relations but also of the Muslim interaction with the larger society and by the demonstration effect of American Muslim life in the United States. Until and unless immigrant Muslims abandon the myth of return and participate increasingly in the political and other spheres of life, the obstacles to greater Muslim visibility and greater Muslim impact on the moral structures of American life will remain. The leaders of one organization or another may create a healthy and favorable climate for mutual understanding and cooperation among Muslim elites, but as long as the Muslim members of the American underclass remain isolated and uncared for, the American Muslims will not be in any different position than that of the other religious groups in the country. The principal challenge for the American Muslims in the new century will be whether the teachings of Islam will influence the moral sensitivities of the American people.
Related to, but different from, the issue of inter-Muslim relations and the impact of the compound problem of race and class on Muslim community life in America, is that of Jewish-Muslim relations, seen in light of the phenomenon of growing Black leadership in the Muslim community. As stated above, the rise of new Black leadership in the American Muslim Council has implications for the Jewish community. As known to observers of the American religious scene, the Jewish community is engaged in some form of interreligious dialogue with a small number of Muslim groups and communities around the United. The American Muslim Council tries to build bridges to the Christian and Jewish communities from the vantage point of political activism on Capitol Hill. This has led to several conflicts between the old leadership of the AMC and some Jewish leaders operating out of Washington, D.C. What muddied the waters was a Wall Street Journal article written by Steve Emerson. This American Jewish writer some time ago charged that the Clinton administration was in bed with Hamas sympathizers who were working from within the AMC. His allegations were directed against the old AMC leadership, especially the former Executive Director of the AMC, Abdulrahman al-Amoudi. Although few Americans give credence to such accusations penned by Steve Emerson, the allegations in question did considerable damage to any existing bridges of cooperation between the AMC and the Jewish community.
The appointment of an African-American as the new executive director of the American Muslim Council and the election of another to the presidency of the organization could open up new opportunities for Jewish-Muslim relations and Black-Jewish relations. Since, for many Black Americans, Black-Jewish relations are Jewish-Muslim relations in another form, it is imperative that Black American Muslims are present at the table whenever Jews and Blacks are engaged in any serious dialogue. Events over the last twenty years point to some progress made in this arena of human relations between certain African-American Muslims and the local Jewish communities across the country. The chief promoter of Black-Jewish and Jewish-Muslim dialogue has been Imam W. D. Mohammed. Many conferences and meetings between this Muslim leader and members of Jewish communities have taken place since he assumed leadership of the large Black community after his father's death. His example has been followed by several local leaders, and the Muslim Journal and its predecessor publications have all documented his attempts to build bridges between Jews and African-American Muslims.
In light of the above, it is evident that some progress has indeed been made in the area of Jewish-Muslim relations, even though many rough edges still exist. But while noting the gains made in intercommunal relations, we must not forget the divisive potential of certain issues. For example, whereas Imam W. D. Mohammed is perceived in many Jewish circles as the voice of moderation and cooperation among the successors of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his rival and former associate, Minister Louis Farrakhan, has become the b�te noire of the Jewish community. The animosity between the Farrakhan supporters and the members of the Jewish community is widely known. Suggestions of dialogue between Jews and Muslims are often rejected by two types of Muslims-those whom I have described elsewhere as "oysters," and those who are politically sensitive to the Arab-Israeli problem in the Middle East. The first group dismisses any call for dialogue because it holds conservative views about Jews and about their role as custodians of divine scriptures. The second group subscribes to the ideological perspective that no Jewish-Muslim dialogue can take place because the Palestinians are suffering under Israeli occupation. Minister Louis Farrakhan appeals to some of these elements. For this and related reasons, the American Jewish community has continued to view and treat him with suspicion.
C. American Muslims and the Sectarian Divide
All religious groups in history have suffered from the slings and arrows of sectarianism. Sectarianism has deep roots in the human psyche. Sociologists of religion have written treatises, trying to demonstrate how and why human motivations have, since ancient times, played themselves out in the context of religious schism. Here we will not engage in any detailed philosophical and sociological discussion of the psychological causes of the phenomenon among the American Muslims. Rather, we are interested in the impact of sectarianism on the adjustment and assimilation of Muslims in the United States. When we look at Muslim communities across America, we find that the divisions carried over from the Old World are replicated in the communities through human intrigue and machination. The old Shi'ite-Sunnite division has accompanied the South Asians, Iranians, and Arabs inhabiting both the East Coast and the West Coast. It is true that the intensity of sectarianism in the Old World has diminished considerably in the United States-and there are several reasons for that. First, the sense of individualism in America has instilled, in both the American Sunnite and the American Shi'ite, a greater sense of self-importance. While living in Iran or Pakistan, Shi'ite or Sunnite Muslims may have the feeling of belonging to the dominant group, but, living in the United States, both of them find themselves to be among the minorities. Another reason lies in the impact of secular culture on American society. As Stephen Carter points out in his Culture of Disbelief, Americans generally tend to take religion as a hobby. In a culture like the American, then, it is impolitic and provocative to insist on making one's sectarian preferences known. The doctrine of the separation of church and state, which has gained acceptance at all levels in society, has also made it difficult for sectarian Muslims to succeed in any war of words against their rivals within the Muslim community.
If sectarianism in America has not reached a level of intensity that it has in the Old World, then this does not mean that it does not exist, or that its presence is not felt anywhere in the American religious landscape. The sectarian divide among the American Muslims became manifest after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Before this explosion in the Pahlevi kingdom, most Iranian Muslims were secular. Most of the Iranian students on American campuses, for example, did not show any striking signs of religiosity. Although some of them had deeply religious backgrounds, the "Passing of Traditional Society" approach to modernization-as described in the writings of Daniel Lerner and his colleagues in the sixties-was gaining ground among most. When the Muslim Student Association (MSA) was formed in 1963, most of the Iranians who joined the bandwagon were religiously inclined students. A significant portion of this student body came from the followers of Ayatollah Khoui of Najaf in Iraq. The first leaders of the MSA included several Iranian Shi'ites. The MSA, it can be stated categorically, was not a sectarian organization, nor did those who were the moving spirit in the MSA see themselves as members of a sectarian organization. However, the unity that marked the organization in the first fifteen years of its life was shattered with the eruption of the Iranian Revolution. The coming to power of Imam Khomeini greatly boosted Shi'ite self-confidence, and many a Shi'ite Muslim student who had joined the MSA without showing any sign of sectarian consciousness now became assertively sectarian. Such acts of self-assertion soon led to conflicts and confrontations between the Sunnites and the Shi'ites. It is against this background that the MSA split into two; most of its Sunnite members regrouped under the MSA logo, while a much smaller number of students formed a new organization called the Muslim Student Association (Persian-Speaking Group). This division has not healed, even though the Iranian government has mended its fences with neighboring Islamic countries.
Besides the classical Sunnite-Shi'ite split among the Muslims, there are also the splits based on tariqa affiliation. The divisions within Sufism-the mystical dimension of Islam-and other, more conservative and legalistic divisions have also been imported into America from the Muslim world. Thus, there are today many Sufi orders in America, and they include the Naqshbandiyyah, the Qadiriyyah, the Jerrahiyyah, the Muridiyyah, the Tijaniyyah, the Chistiyyah, the Suhrawardiyyah, and countless others. What is the basis of disagreement between the Sufis and their opponents? The Sufis are Muslim mystics who strongly believe that their approach to the worship of the Creator is not only based on the noble example of the Prophet, but is also grounded in the purification of the soul through an elaborate exercise of dhikr (remembrance of the Names of Allah). The Sufis are usually derided by the more legalistic groups of Muslims, whose Islam is built around the explicit commandments of the Shari'ah and on a rejection of the veneration of saints or leaders of the religious community. It is because of this conflict that American Muslims now come across propaganda tracts from Wahhabi and Salafi groups, which lambaste Sufis around the country. Although the Sufi groups have not been as aggressive in the war of words as their rivals, there is reason to believe that their growing visibility is going to increase the tension between them and their rivals. This assumption is based on the fact of the struggle for leadership within both camps. Still, while this potential source of tension between the Sufis and their detractors exists, the majority of the American Muslims are not likely to be swayed one way or the other. The average American's sense of individual freedom is too strong to allow any single religious group to take over the majority of American Muslims. Furthermore, there a growing realization among Muslims on both side of the sectarian fence that the greatest threat to their common faith of orthodox Islam is the political Islam of the extreme right and the left-leaning New Age Islam of the Popcorn Sufi. Like the American Jews and Christians, the American Muslims will increasingly come to appreciate the benefits of the American civil society and the dangers of religious sectarianism. Sectarianism will continue to serve as a great divider among the believers, but, having made its transatlantic journey to America, it will eventually lose its sting.
In concluding this chapter a number of points come to mind. First, this study has shown that a major challenge facing the Muslim community in the United States is the myth of return. In order for the American Muslim community to take its rightful place in the American experiment, its leaders and members must begin to address this issue. Because of the differences between the Jewish and Muslim experiences, the two communities have evolved differently in American society. The Jews, when they came to America, had no intention of returning to the pogrom-sponsoring Russia or genocidal Nazi Germany; they arrived in America in order to settle here permanently. The American Muslims may not have had experiences similar to the Jewish, but they must remember the Qur'anic verse that says that the whole world is home to the human race.
The second conclusion is that the American Muslims cannot be perceived as a role model and a success story unless they solve the emerging race-class divide within their ranks. It is only by living up to the original teachings of Islam about social justice and the equality of the human race that the American Muslims can stake any claim to moral leadership at the table of American decision-making.
The third conclusion is that sectarianism is an old problem. Neither Christianity nor Judaism, two Abrahamic sister religions that preceded Islam in history, could escape the sting of sectarianism. One should add, though, that sectarianism among American Muslims is unlikely to become a serious problem. The sense of personal freedom, and the growing realization that sectarianism does not pay, will eventually make sectarianism "unprofitable"-and hence unacceptable. The American Muslims are among the most recent arrivals on the country's religious scene. Their future status and their social impact on the larger American society are going to depend heavily on how they deal with sectarianism.
* Professor Sulayman S. Nyang teaches in the African Studies Department at Howard University. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Jewish-Muslim Relations conference held at the University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, in November 1997.
 Migration is as old as the human experience itself. Groups and individuals have migrated from one part of the world to another. A unique feature of American society is its quest for community and the linkage between this idea with the sense of having been chosen to carry out a mission. For some details on this idea in American thought and history, which suggests a rendezvous with destiny for the immigrants or their descendants, see Robert Nisbet, "American Culture and the Idea of Community," in George N. Atiyeh, ed., Arab and American Cultures (Washington, D.C: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1969), 93-105.
 M. Anwar, The Myth of Return: Pakistanis in Britain (London: Heinemann, 1979).
 Alixa Naff, Becoming American: The Early Arab Immigrant Experience (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1985); Sameer Y. Abraham and Nabeel Abraham, eds., Arabs in the New World: Studies on Arab-American Communities (Detroit: Wayne State University, Center for Urban Studies, 1983); Sameer Y. Abraham and Nabeel Abraham, eds., The Arab World and Arab Americans: Understanding a Neglected Minority (Detroit: Wayne State University, Center for Urban Studies, 1981); Baha Abu-Laban and Faith Zeady, eds., Arabs in America: Myths and Realities (Wilmette, IL: Medina University Press International, 1975); Barbara C. Aswad, ed., Arab-Speaking Communities in American Cities (New York: Center for Migration Studies of New York, and Association of Arab-American University Graduates, 1974); Elaine C. Hagopian and Ann Paden, eds., The Arab Americans: Studies in Assimilation (Wilmette, IL: Medina University International Press, 1969); Michael W. Suleiman and Baha Abu-Laban, eds., Arab-Americans: Continuity and Change (Belmont, MA: Association of Arab-American Graduates, Inc., 1989).
 This lecture was first delivered at a banquet organized at the Muslim Community Center of Montgomery County, Maryland, in 1993.
For details on the Jewish migration to the United States of America, see the following works: Abraham J. Karp, Golden Door to America . The Jewish Immigrant Experience (New York: Penguin Books, 1977); Lenni Brenner, Jews in America Today (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1986); Marshall Sklare, American Jews (New York: Random House, 1971); Max I. Dimont, The Jews in America: The Roots, History, and Destiny of American Jews (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978); Marshall Sklare, ed., The Jewish Community in America (New York: Behrman House, Inc., 1974); Cecil Roth, A History of the Jews From Earliest Times Through the Six Day War, rev. ed. (New York: Schocken Books, 1977), 355-367; Max L. Margolis and Alexander Marx, A History of the Jewish People (New York: Atheneum, 1974); Leonard Fein, Where Are We? The Inner Life of America's Jews (New York: Harper & Row, 1988); Nathan Glazer, American Judaism (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957).
 For some reflections on Muslim political activism in the United States, see Steve Johnson, "Political Activity of Muslims in America," in Yvonne Y. Haddad, ed., The Muslims of America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 111-124.
 For some discussion on this phenomenon, see Abdo A. Elkholy, The Arab Moslems in the United States: Religion and Assimilation (New Haven, CT: College & University Press Services, 1966).
 See my "Seeking the Religious Roots of Pluralism in the United States of America: An American Muslim Perspective," Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 34 (1997), 3: 402-417.
 See my Islam in the United States of America (Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1999).
For an account of this phenomenon among the German immigrants in America, see Jay P. Dolan, "Philadelphia and the German Catholic Community," in Randall M. Miller and Thomas D. Marzik, ed., Immigrants and Religion in Urban America (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1977), Chapter 4.
 For details on Webb, see Emory H. Tunison, "Mohammed Webb: First American Muslim," The Arab World 1 (1945), 3:13-18.
 See my editorial in the inaugural issue of The American Journal of Islamic Studies (now renamed The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences) 1 (1984), 1.
 The literature on race and racism in the United States is extensive. For some sample analyses and syntheses, see the following works: Joel Kovel, White Racism: A Psychohistory (New York: Vintage Books, 1970); C. Van Woodward, The Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York: Oxford University Press, 1955); Bernard M. Magubane, The Ties That Bind: African-American Consciousness of Africa (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1987); Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates, eds., The Slave's Narratives (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985); Kenneth Stamp, The Peculiar Institution: Negro Slavery in the American South (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode Ltd., 1964); Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made (New York: Pantheon Books, 1975); Cornel West, Prophetic Reflections: Notes on Race and Power in America (Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1993), especially Part 3.
 See my "Convergence and Divergence in an Emergent Community: A Study of Challenges Facing U.S. Muslims," in Yvonnne Y. Haddad, The Muslims of America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 236-249.
 See the recent cover story on "Muslim Tribalism," published in the March 1996 issue of The Message International.
 The first major scholarly treatments of the Nation of Islam were doctoral dissertation that were later published as books. See C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Muslims in America (New York: Beacon Press, 1961); Essien Udosen Essien-Udom, Black Nationalism: A Search for Identity in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). For a recent addition to this series of quality scholarly works, see Richard Brent Turner, Islam in the African-American Experience (Bloomington, IN: Indian University Press, 1997).
For some discussion on these African American groups, see Aminah McCloud, African American Islam (New York: Routledge, 1995), Chapter 2; C. E. Marsh, The World Community of Islam in the West: From Black Muslim to Muslim (1931-1977) (Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1984), Chapters 1 and 2; Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Competing Visions of Islam in the United States: A Study of Los Angeles (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997), 142-182.
 The racialization of American religion has received scholarly attention. For some opinions on the matter, see C. Eric Lincoln, Race, Religion, and the Continuing American Dilemma (New York: Hill & Wang, 1984); Adib Rashad, Islam, Black Nationalism and Slavery: A Detailed History (Beltsville, Maryland: Writers' Inc., 1995).
 For some reflections on Jewish-Muslim relations, see Marilyn Robinson Waldman, ed., Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Jews: A Common Past, A Hopeful Future (Columbus, Ohio: The Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio in association with the Catholic Diocese of Columbus and Congregation Tifereth Israel, 1992); Gary M. Bretton-Granatoor and Andrea L. Weiss, eds., Shalom/Salaam. A Resource for Jewish-Muslim Dialogue (New York: UAHC Press, 1993).
 Steve Emerson became a persona non grata among American Muslims after he produced a television video entitled "Jihad in America." Muslim organizations and their allies in several interfaith groups around the United States protested against the broadcast. The charge against the Clintons came several months after the showing of this video.
 For some American and foreign scholarly assessments of Minister Louis Farrakhan, see the following: Gilles Kepel, Allah in the West: Islamic Movements in America and Europe (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997), Chapter 3; Richard Brent Turner, Chapter 6; Lawrence H. Mamiya, "Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Final Call: Schism in the Muslim Movement," in Earle H. Waugh, Baha Abu Laban, and Regula B. Qureshi, eds., The Muslim Community in North America (Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 1983), 234-258.
 See my "Seeking the Religious Roots of Pluralism."
 Stephen Carter, Culture of Disbelief (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).
 See my "Islam in the United States of America: A Review of the Sources," in Micheal A. Koszegi and J. Gordon Melton, eds., Islam in America. A Source Book (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1992), 3-24.
 The publication of a glossy and impressive magazine by the Naqshbandiyyah order has given it high profile among a good cross section of the American Muslim communities.
 I coined the term "Popcorn Sufi" sometime in 1980 when a friend of mine told me that her sister was a Sufi but was not practicing Islam. In response to the report that members of her group form circles and sing "Allah, Allah. . . ," I told my friend that her sister was what I would call a "Popcorn Sufi."