How Muslims Shaped the Americas
Journalist Omar Mouallem uncovers the surprising history of Muslim communities thriving in the west, challenging assumptions about belonging and identity, in this beautifully written, award-winning book.
Omar Mouallem grew up in a Muslim household, but always questioned the role of Islam in his life. As an adult, he used his voice to criticize what he saw as the harms of organized religion. But none of that changed the way others saw him. Now, as a father, he fears the challenges his children will no doubt face as Western nations become increasingly nativist and hostile toward their heritage.
In How Muslims Shaped the Americas, Mouallem explores the unknown history of Islam across the Americas, traveling to thirteen unique mosques in search of an answer to how this religion has survived and thrived so far from the place of its origin. From California to Quebec, and from Brazil to Canada’s icy north, he meets the members of fascinating communities, all of whom provide different perspectives on what it means to be Muslim. Along this journey he comes to understand that Islam has played a fascinating role in how the Americas were shaped—from industrialization to the changing winds of politics. And he also discovers that there may be a place for Islam in his own life, even if he will never be a true believer.
Original, insightful, and beautifully told, How Muslims Shaped the Americas reveals a secret history of home and the struggle for belonging taking place in towns and cities across the Americas, and points to a better, more inclusive future for everyone.
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