identity. Also considering challenges facing Muslims in the United States, Sulayman Nyang posits four specific needs: to maintain an Islamic identity, to defend
Islamic institutions, to build Islamic economic structures, and to find ways to
participate in American political life. Although clear differences exist among
Muslims, he says, rituals and values hold them together. Nyang also distinguishes
between what he calls the assimilationist and the simulationist Muslim, the first
setting Islamic identity over against identity as an American and the second
finding ways to reconcile both affiliations.
It is clear that these studies are the beginning of what must be an even more
farreaching effort. Much work remains to be done on such topics as Islamic
society in relation to American social and diplomatic history, the ways in
which a new community is formed by individuals from a variety of national
and social backgrounds, the role(s) of the mosque, the development of Islamic
leadership, attempts to create an Islamic economic system, the establishment
of Islamic businesses to meet specific Islamic needs as well as ethnic preferences, the integration of black Americans into an Islamic system, and the integration of Muslims into the American black culture.
The present volume is the first of what must be ongoing efforts to organize
and present the research of a wide range of scholars dedicated to an examination of Islam in the American context.
For a list of available material, see Yvonne Haddad, "Muslims in America: A
Select Bibliography," The Muslim World 76 ( 1986): 93-122.
The producers of two television programs are seeking national outlets for their
products. These include " The Arabic Hour," which is produced in Boston and telecast
in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and a new weekly series on Islam
produced in Los Angeles. There are other groups with local access, including a youth
group in Virginia.
The most widely heard radio personality is Warith Deen Muhammad, the leader
of what used to be called the American Muslim Mission, whose weekly broadcasts are
carried by over thirty stations. Other local programs are heard in New York City and Houston.
Stories have recently appeared in The Atlanta Constitution and Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer , the New York Times, the Orange County Register, the San
Francisco Examiner, the Washington Times, and the Chicago Sun.
Radio Canada of Quebec and WNBC have carried stories about Muslims in the New York area, as have " CBS Morning News," Monitor TV, CNN, and WCBS. Issues
have been discussed by Morton Downey and Phil Donahue, and on " 60 Minutes."
There are an estimated 3 million to 4 million Muslims in America, more than the
total membership of the Episcopal Church or of the United Church of Christ. The number
of Muslims in the world is estimated at eight hundred fifty million to one billion.
For example, there were twenty-eight thousand Iranian students studying in the United States in 1978.
Such persons are estimated at about one million.