Mission to America
Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America
By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad and Jane Idleman Smith
University Press of Florida
Islam in the United States has developed a fascinating and diverse range of interpretations. Based in large part on community documents and on interviews and correspondence with community members, this study is the first look at these sectarian movements in the hundred-year history of Muslim religious development in the United States.
Mainline Sunni and Shi’i response to each of the five groups examined has varied from wariness to condemnation. Of the groups–the Druze, the Ahmadiyya Community of North America, the Moorish Science Temple of America, the Ansar Allah Community, and the United Submitters International–two have sprung up among African-Americans, two are immigrant communities that have transplanted their faith to the United States, and one, whose Egyptian leader has proclaimed himself a Messenger of God, is a genuine North American Islamic interpretation.
This groundbreaking book provides important insights into religion in North America and into contemporary Muslim issues of interest to students and scholars. Not only does it raise fundamental religious questions (Who is a true believer? Who can rightfully interpret the faith? Who decides such issues?), it also documents events from the lives of members of sectarian groups and the concerns they face in U.S. communities.
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