Editorial: Adopting Islam to Life in America

August 4, 2003

Source: Christian Science Monitor


On August 4, 2003 the Christian Science Monitor printed an editorial by Ahmed Nassef stating that a "gulf between the highly conservative nature of most Muslim American institutions and the liberal views of many Muslims born and raised in America is reflected in issues such as the role of women and literalist readings of religious texts. It has sown the seeds for a progressive Muslim movement that is reinterpreting much of what the faith means and how it is reflected in daily life... What Muslim Americans are going through is no different from the experiences of other faith communities that preceded them here. The success of the Conservative and Reform movements in the US as alternatives to Orthodox Judaism, for example, has transformed the meaning of the faith for millions of Jewish Americans... Similarly, the increasing number of native-born Americans who are adopting the faith (constituting about one- third of the total Muslim American population) and Muslim Americans from recent immigrant backgrounds - so many of whom are far removed from their parents' and grandparents' immigrant experiences, with their particular cultural interpretations of Islam - are looking for an Islam that reflects their lives in America."