Islam in America and Western
|This course considers the historical and current realities of Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic institutions and forms of leadership, Muslim worship and devotional life, Islamic education and the range of issues involved in living as Muslims in western society.
Day, Time and Dates:
Wednesdays 4:30-6:50 p.m. beginning January 26
| Jane I.
Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
Islam is said to be the fastest growing religion in America, and
is second to Christianity in all the countries of Western Europe.
This course considers the historical and current realities of
Muslims in the West, including the rise and development of Islamic
institutions and forms of leadership, Muslim worship and
devotional life, Islamic education and the range of issues
involved in living as Muslims in a western society. Attention will
be given to the immigrant experience in America and to the growth
of American-born (including African American) Islam.
to be purchased in Seminary bookstore:
Garbi. Islam in Urban America. Sunni Muslims in Chicago.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004.
Carole L. Daughters of Another Path:
Experiences of American Women Choosing Islam. Lee’s
Summit, MO: Yawna Publications, 1996.
Ramadan, To be a European Muslim. The Islamic
essays available on reserve in the library for reading or
of Class Sessions:
One (January 26): Introduction
(February 2): Overview of Islam in America[i]
Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 1-2
Karen Leonard, Muslims in the United States (2003),
Smith, Jane, Islam in America (1999), chapters 1-2 [NOTE:
read only if
you know nothing about Islam]
9): First, second and third generation immigrant (or: American-born)
Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapter 3, M.A.
Muqtedar Khan, “Living on Borderlines. Islam beyond the clash
of civilizations,” in Zahid Bukhari and Sulayman Nyang, Eds.,
Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square (2004), pp.
Haddad, “The Dynamics of Islamic Identity in North America,”
Yvonne Haddad and John Esposito, eds, Muslims on the
Americanization Path (2000), pp. 19-46.
Week Four (February 16): African American Muslims
Smith, Islam in America, chapter 4, Sherman
Jackson, “Preliminary Reflections on Islam and Black Religion,” in pp.
201-221, Robert Dannen, “The Greatest Migration?” in Yvonne Haddad and Jane,
eds., Muslim Minorities in the West (2002), pp. 3-24.
Week Five (February 23): Becoming Muslim
Anway, Daughters of Another Path, entire
Week Six (March 2): American Shi‘i and Sufi
Liyakat Takim, “Foreign Influences on American Shi‘ism,” in
Muslim World (Fall
2000), pp. 459-477, Garbi
Schmidt, Islam in Urban America, chapters 4-5.
Week Seven (March 9): What is American
Aminah Beverly McCloud, “Conceptual Discourse. Living
as Muslims In a Pluralistic Society,” in Bukhari and Nyang, pp.
Hamid Lotfi, “Spreading the Word: Communicating Islam in America,” in Muslim Minorities, pp. 3-24,
Zohara-Simmons, “Are we up to the challenge: The need for A
radical re-ordering of the Islamic discourse on women,” in Omid Safi, ed., Progressive Muslims 2003), pp.
Week Eight (week of March 16): catch-up
Week Nine (March 23):
Week Ten (March 30): Overview of Islam in Western
Grace Davie, Religion in Modern Europe, pp. 5-23,
Ramadan, To Be a European
Muslim, Part II
(read for next 4 weeks),
Week Eleven (April 6): Islam in Northern Europe
(Britain and Scandanavia)
Nielsen, “Transnational Islam and the integration of Islam in Europe”
in Stefano Allievi and Jorgen Nielsen, Muslim Networks and
Transnational Communities in and across Europe (Brill,
2003), pp. 28-51
second 5-page essay
Week Twelve (April 13): Islam in Middle Europe I
(France, Belgium and Switzerland)
Ramadan, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, pp.
Week Thirteen (April 20): Islam in Middle Europe II
(Germany and Netherlands)
Schirin Amir-Moazami and Armando Salvatore, “Gender,
Generation, And the Reform of Tradition: From Muslim Majority
Societies to Western Europe, in Allievi and Nielsen, pp. 52-77
27): Islam in Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal)
Tariq Ramadan, To Be a European Muslim, Part II
and class discussion of assigned texts and articles. Each
student will be responsible for leading discussion of one of
the texts, guided by a brief list of questions distributed
beforehand. As many people as possible are expected to
participate in the discussion.
5-page written reviews of assigned readings.
individual or group presentation to the class about Islam in
one country or area of Western Europe. Some basic research
materials will be on library reserve; students are also
expected to do research on-line if possible. Presentations
should include a description of the general situation,
problems and possible solutions, and (if possible)
suggestions of how circumstances for Muslims in Europe
compare in general with those of Muslims in America.
Individual presentations should be accompanied by a one-page
hand-out for the class.
5-page essay summarizing one’s own class presentation.
Professor Cynthia Woolever
 Guest President Heidi Hadsell