America as the Crucible for Islam

May 18, 2003

Source: The Kansas City Star

On May 18, 2003 The Kansas City Star reported that "'America has become the crucible for Islam,' says Johari Abdul-Malik, an imam (leader) at this mosque. 'The crucible is a thing into which you put some elements and then you place it in the fire so you remove all of the impurities, leaving just the pure essence...' When Pakistani, Saudi, Egyptian or Indonesian Muslims come to America, Abdul-Malik says, they bring with them habits and practices -- such as dress, food and family dynamics -- that are cultural but not necessarily Islamic. In the United States, as Muslims from some 80 countries literally rub shoulders at daily prayer, many of those cultural add-ons get discarded... 'If people are looking for the Islamic reformation,' Abdul-Malik says, 'it's happening in America, but we're missing it because we're living through it' and are too involved to see the big picture... That is the fascinating context in which American Muslims find themselves as they become the subject of growing interest -- and, in some cases, worry -- to non-Muslim citizens after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."