in the United States
Gutbi Mahdi Ahmed
Much research has already been done on Muslim organizations in America. The changing pattern of organizations in the Muslim community, however, necessitates a fresh look at the subject. I therefore pick up the discussion where other reviewers have left off to offer some insights into the recent changes in the pattern of Muslim organizations in the United States. 1
Early Muslim immigrants started arriving in small numbers around the turn of the century and continued in relatively increasing waves throughout the first half of the century. These immigrants were often characterized as adventurers attracted to the New World for its economic opportunities. Unlike many of their contemporary European counterparts, they did not come to make America their home. Their intention was to make as much money as possible quickly and then return to their homeland. Many, however, failed to realize their dreams and eventually returned, disenchanted, to their home countries. Those who were more successful and were able to adjust to the American way of life generally found in their kin relationships and trade partnerships forms of association that made any other kind of organization unnecessary. 2
Tempted by their success in business and their ability to adjust, some decided to stay permanently and send for their families to join them. Stories of their success attracted their relatives and others from their villages to emigrate to the United States. A more visible community started to crystallize at this stage, composed of extended families from the same place and living in the same city. Among the best known of these families were the Ajrams who settled in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, founding one of the first mosques there, the Barakats and Alwans who helped build the Toledo mosque, the Khalids who settled in Detroit where, with others, they built the Detroit mosque, and the Jizainis who built a mosque in Michigan City, Indiana. There were also the
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Publication information: Book title: The Muslims of America. Contributors: Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 11.
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