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Speaking for Ourselves : The American Muslim Identity

Speaking for Ourselves : The American Muslim Identity

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ISBN: 1881504565
Author: Aslam Abdullah, Gasser Hathout
Publisher: Multimedia Vera International (2003)
Pages: 189 Binding: Paperback

Description from the publisher:

In the aftermath of the tragedy of September 11th, it has become vitally important to know about Islam and Muslims. This unique book is authored by two American Muslim activists, for an American readership, to fulfill this need.Thus far, Islam is defined to the American public by non-Muslim pundits, public officials, and talk show hosts. Alternatively, it is defined by a small group of foreign Muslim extremists, whose actions and rhetoric are taken to represent the teachings of Islam. It is now time for American Muslims to speak for themselves -- and they have two main messages.

First, Islam is not an "alien" or hostile religion. It is an indigenous part of the American pluralism, with long historical roots in the United States. In Part I of this book, the American Muslim identity is defined. The basic tenets of Islam on the issues of human rights and democracy are thoroughly explored, and juxtaposed against the founding principles of the United States. The authors demonstrate why the ideals of Islam are conducive to a strong sense of patriotism.

Second, patriotism to American Muslims does not mean automatically supporting the policies of whatever administration is in power. Rather, the political obligation of American Muslims is to provide an honest, ethically based critique of our nation's policies. The chapters in Part II address this theme and explore the grievances of the American Muslim community. These include American support of dictatorial regimes in the Muslim nations, foreign policy issues such as Kashmir and uncritical U.S. support for Israel as well as domestic issues like the threat to civil liberties inherent in the Patriot Acts.

The reader of this book will come away with a much deeper understanding of who American Muslims really are and what they really think.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: History of Muslims in America

Chapter Three: Islam and Democracy


Chapter Four: Muslim Nations: Human Rights Conditions

Chapter Five: Kashmir and the Nuclear Threat

Chapter Six: Israel and U.S. Interests

Chapter Seven: Civil Liberties and Patriot Acts



Professor Akbar S. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, D.C. is author of Islam Under Siege: Living Dangerously in a Post-Honor World, Polity Press (2003)."This is an important contribution to the debate about Islam in America after September 11, 2001."

The Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector, All Saints Church (Episcopal and Anglican), Pasadena, California"For anyone who wants to understand the post-9-11 world... this book is a stimulating read."


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