This book brings together studies on the religion of Islam as it is experienced in a variety of contexts in North America, in recognition of its expanding minority status in the United States and Canada. The papers collected in this volume were first presented at a conference devoted to the "Muslims of America," held in April 1989 on the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts, which was jointly sponsored by the Department of History, the Near East Area Studies Program, and the Arabic Club of the university. The project was supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Department of Education, the Arabian American Oil Company, Five College Incorporated, and Mobiloil Corporation. Resources at the University of Massachusetts were also provided by the Arabic Club, the Office of the Chancellor, the Department of History, the Faculty of Humanities and Fine Arts, the International Programs Office, the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Near East Area Studies Program. The viewpoints and beliefs expressed in these papers are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the sponsoring organizations.
The organizing committee of the conference wishes to express particular thanks to the following individuals: Joseph Duffey, chancellor of the University of Massachusetts; Murray Schwartz, dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Fine Arts; Glenn Gordon, dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Barbara Burn, director of the International Programs Office. Special acknowledgment is made of the contributions of Elizabeth Brewer, assistant dean for Area Studies and codirector of the conference, who was involved in all aspects of the undertaking since its inception. Robert Engle, conference coordinator, and Alice Izer and Kathleen Moore oversaw all local arrangements in connection with the conference.
Gratitude is expressed to the chairs and respondents of the many panels conducted in the course of the conference. The chairs and respondents from the University of Massachusetts include Roland Sarti, chair of the Department of History; Elizabeth Brewer, assistant dean for Area Studies; Anna Tsing, professor of anthropology; Walter Denny, chair of the department of art history; W. Barnett Pearce, professor of communication; Adnan Haydar, director of the Near East Area Studies Program; Anwar Syed, professor of political science; Robert Griffith, professor of history. Other chairs and respondents include John A. Petropulos, Amherst College; Jonathan Lippman, Mount Holyoke College; Willem Bijlefeld and David Kerr, Hartford Seminary; Robert Haddad, Smith College; Allan D. Austin, Springfield College; and Barbara Aswad, Wayne State University.