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USA Mosque Attendence Swells

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  • ummyakoub
    MUSLIMS FIND REVIVAL IN US AMID HOSTILITY Geneive Abdo, Boston Globe, 5/26/2003 http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/146/nation/Muslims_find_revival_in_U
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2003
      MUSLIMS FIND REVIVAL IN US AMID HOSTILITY
      Geneive Abdo, Boston Globe, 5/26/2003
      http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/146/nation/Muslims_find_revival_in_U
      S_amid_hostility+.shtml

      BALTIMORE -- For Muzzaffar Sheikh, a technology consultant who was
      born in Pakistan, the mosque used to be a place he visited on
      occasion as he went about building his life as a new immigrant. But
      since the hostility toward Muslims began escalating nearly two years
      ago, the Baltimore Islamic Society has become a refuge for him more
      often.

      "More people are coming to the mosques more than ever," said Sheikh,
      dressed in a traditional tunic on the grounds of the Al Rahmah
      mosque. "Even if they were progressive Muslims in their own countries
      and not so observant, now they are sending their kids to Islamic
      schools."

      Islamic organizations and Muslim leaders say a revival has increased
      attendance at the 1,300 mosques and at the 300 to 400 Islamic schools
      in the country. This renewal is also accelerating demands for
      political power to defend the community's interests. There are said
      to be more than 2 million Muslims in the United States, and possibly
      as many as 7 million.

      The number of Friday prayer services has increased to accommodate the
      influx of worshipers, plans are underway to build more Islamic
      schools, and some Islamic societies have secured permission for
      students to pray on Fridays in public schools. Magazines and
      newspapers for Muslims are also flourishing. Participation at US
      mosques increased greatly during the 1990s, a 2001 survey suggests,
      but Islamic leaders report that an upturn in attendance has occurred
      since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the war against
      Iraq…

      In addition to religious centers, civic organizations are emerging
      throughout the country, from urban neighborhoods to rural
      communities.

      Part of the drive for a more defined Islamic identity stems from the
      anxiety some Muslims feel. The FBI has reported a surge in hate
      crimes against Muslims and Arab-Americans.

      According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, FBI raids on
      the homes of suspected Islamic militants continue, as does what
      critics call the profiling of Muslims. The Washington, D.C., civil
      rights group also noted that the number of Muslims fired from their
      jobs or harassed for religious reasons is on the rise.

      The backgrounds of the new Islamic immigrants have also played a role
      in the revival in America. From 1991 to 1997, the greatest number of
      Muslim immigrants came from the Indian subcontinent, with those from
      Arab countries ranking second, according to statistics compiled by
      the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In both regions, Islamic
      revivalism has been on the rise since the 1970s.

      For many Muslims, the mosque and Islamic center, generally built as
      one complex, are not only places of worship but also centers of
      social life, as they are in much of the Islamic world…

      At the Adams Center, a mosque and community center in Herndon, Va.,
      Imam Mohammad Magid counseled a steady stream of worshipers one
      recent Friday in his second-floor office. He held up a photograph of
      himself standing next to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. "You
      see, Muslims get mixed messages," Magid said. "We are told by US
      officials that America believes Islam is a peaceful religion. But
      then we realize by their actions that pictures like this are just
      photo opportunities which have little meaning."

      Many American Muslims oppose US policies in the Middle East, from the
      wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to what they see as the US government's
      unconditional support for Israel.

      Many American Muslims hope that through religious and social unity
      they can gain more political power and begin to steer US foreign
      policy toward the Middle East and the Islamic world…


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