Many people have contributed directly or indirectly to this author's Ph.D. research on Muslims' perception, practice, and transmission of the Islamic belief system
in the context of the Western secular societies of North America, of which this chapter is
only a part. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the late Isma'il R. al Faruqi of Temple
University, an ad hoc member of my Graduate Committee, and Robert L. Bruce of Cornell University, my academic adviser, both of whom have contributed significantly
to shaping ideas, stating concepts, and reporting results. Special thanks are also due to Sid Doan, who helped me prepare the manuscript.
See, for example, A. A. Elkholy, The Arab Moslems in the United States:
Religion and Assimilation ( New Haven: College and University Press Publishers, 1966); E. A. Waugh,
B. Abu-Laban, and
R. B. Qureshi, eds., The Muslim Community in
North America ( Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1983); and Y. Y. Haddad and A. T. Lummis, Islamic Values in the United States: A Comparative Study ( New York:
Oxford University Press, 1987).
Islam is viewed here as a belief system that constitutes a philosophical foundation of thought and action, incorporating religion (in the narrow sense, and as understood by the secular view) as a system of faith and worship only. (See Webster's Seventh
New Collegiate Dictionary, 1972).
The definitions of "secular" and "secularism" are derived from the Random
House Dictionary ( 1968).
F. Rahman, Islam and Modernity: Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition
( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, No. 15, 1982), p. 132.
Though the Canadian Constitution does not explicitly state the separation of
church and state, the general practice of government and institutions indicates that
authority rests with the legislatures.
See M. Arkoun, "The Islamic Consciousness: A Cultural Profile," Cultures 4
( 1977) 66-93, in which he adds that in the early twentieth century the human heart
transformed the "God of Worth" into the "growth of mind" as the goal and the "social
worth" as the criterion.
Empiricists from Hume to twentieth-century logical positivists have cast considerable doubt on the possibility of doing metaphysics. On the other hand, empiricism
has had much of the flavor of a worldview, generating not just views of knowledge and
science, but of psychology, ethics, and politics as well. See Kenneth A. Strike
George J. Posner, "Types of Synthesis and Their Criteria," in
Spencer A. Ward and Linda J. Reed, eds., Knowledge Structure and Use: Implications for Synthesis and
Interpretation ( Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1983), pp. 344-62.
9. Represented in the opening Sura (chapter) 1:1-7. 10.
"Fitrat Allah allati fatar al-nas alayha": According to the pattern that Allah has
made mankind (S.30:30).