Some, like the Jew with the white beard and the long black overcoat in the title story who steps off the gangplank, are entering a world that is no longer theirs. Old World characters enter a New World where they are not used to the language or the sun or "the frustration of not being able to explain. Rawet's characters eloquently embody exile, alienation, and displacement. His is a prophetic, solitary Brazilian-Jewish voice that Vieira has made available at last to English-speaking audiences. Writing in the s and s, Rawet knew first-hand that we all can be others and strangers, even in our own land.
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The son of Elijah Muhammad, the prominent Nation of Islam leader, Mohammed abandoned a black separatist narrative and is credited with bringing a more traditional practice to Black Muslims. The first wave of Muslim immigrants in modern history began in the late s; mostly from the Levant, they sought economic opportunities and settled largely in the Midwest. The first mosque was in North Dakota.
Iowa is home to the oldest surviving place of worship built for Muslims, the Mother Mosque of America. But the door all but closed for Muslims in , with an immigration act that barred people from Asia. In the next wave began, when new legislation reopened the U. That immigration continues today.
The largest Muslim immigrant group hails from South Asia. There are now more than 2, mosques across the country.
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But for some, having a mosque of their own is still elusive, like the Muslim families in rural Santa Clara County, south of San Jose, California. The area is a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and sheep farms. The community pooled its money, bought a piece of land, and drew up plans for the Cordoba Center.
But the project quickly became a lightning rod. The Pakistani American is the project manager. They associate all of us with that. The president of the Patriots says its opposition was never about Islam but about the environment. We want to protect that land. Civil rights advocates say using environmental concerns is a tactic commonly employed by anti-Muslim groups to block mosques or Muslim cemeteries.
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Similar arguments have been used to block, or try to block, projects in Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Texas. In the first land-use meeting before the county planning commission in , Akhter and others in the Muslim community were shouted down and told to go back to their countries.
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There have been incidents that shocked her. It was so sudden. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, who founded MuslimGirl. Despite the troubles, Bakri Musa, a Malaysian-American surgeon in the community, says he prefers a lawsuit to the alternative. The Palestinian American, a lieutenant on the force, sees himself as a little bit of an ambassador for his faith.
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Here, he says, he can choose to be the kind of person, the kind of American, the kind of Muslim he wants to be. He points to his shelves at his rustic home on a sheep farm. The day after we talked, the mosque rents out the community center to host an interfaith dinner with Jewish and Christian leaders, as well as guests. Musa and his wife, Karen, a Canadian American, sit next to a Jewish couple and explain the different South Asian foods being served.
Many young Muslim Americans are tired of constantly having to explain themselves or speak for all Muslims. He stops traffic as he runs from the clinic and offices on one side of the street to the Mexican restaurant turned prayer room, cafeteria, and extra office space on the other. The year-old community activist founded this place to use Islam to serve the underserved.
Nashashibi was born to nonreligious Arab parents and found his way to the faith, like many American converts, through hip-hop and the social justice movement. Islam as a source of mercy, a source of reconciliation. Today Nashashibi and the staff at IMAN work with corner-store owners to bring fresh food and a more inviting environment—things like no bars on the windows—to food deserts in low-income neighborhoods.
They get residents involved in community organizing, provide free medical services, and run a reentry program for former inmates who leave prison with a few dollars and often no family support. Vendors hawk cold-pressed juices, bean pies, and colorful jewelry. The guests are from the neighborhood: community organizers, politicians, faith leaders, and friends. Nashashibi addresses the crowd. Sadia Nawab, the year-old arts-and-culture manager for IMAN, sits on the ground outside the store with a pair of teens painting trash cans to beautify the place.
Her hair is covered in a stylish multicolored head wrap knotted at the top, her nose pierced. Nawab grew up culturally confused. She found her way back to her faith. IMAN is a way to make Islam relevant to American Muslims, Nashashibi says, especially those searching for a purpose and a connection to a faith so often portrayed as a foreign threat on American television. And America, he says, is the best place to be a Muslim today. Read Caption.
Led by Imam Jihad Saafir, the center works to promote community, education, and social and economic empowerment. By Leila Fadel. Photographs by Lynsey Addario. This story appears in the May issue of National Geographic magazine. This story is part of Diversity in America, a National Geographic series covering racial, ethnic, and religious groups and examining their changing roles in 21st-century life.
Tell us your story with IDefineMe. Imam Fazal Hassan and Amjad Shaik survey damage to their mosque in Bellevue, Washington, after it was set on fire last year. A mentally ill man who had earlier assaulted a member of the mosque pleaded guilty but was not charged with a hate crime. Percent Muslim by county estimate.
No data. Top 10 Cities with the Highest Number of Mosques. Size indicates Muslim population. Number of mosques.
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New York. San Francisco. Dallas—Fort Worth. Los Angeles. Muslim adults. Not U. Targeting mosques Incidents of anti-Muslim vandalism, arson, harassment, and violence at mosques surged in Arson or bombing attack against a mosque in Bellevue January 14, Boston, Mass. Detroit— Dearborn. Mother Mosque of America. Baltimore, Md. San Jose.
Washington, D. Virginia Beach—Norfolk. San Diego. San Antonio. Victoria January 28, Other, including Hispanic of any race. Graduate degree. College degree. Some college. United States.
High school diploma. No answer. Less than high school.
Related The Prophet and Other Stories (Jewish Latin America series)
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