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Akbar Ahmed’s “Journey into America”

An upcoming Inside Islam radio show on November 2nd will focus on Akbar Ahmed’s book Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, in which the author talks about his visits to over 100 mosques in over 75 U.S. cities. Ahmed points out that the mosque is the most representative symbol of Islam, yet most people do not know what goes on inside them.

Ahmed and his team asked the following questions in their study: How can a Muslim become accepted fully as an “American,” and what does that mean? How do American Muslims of Arab descent differ from those of other origins? Why are so many white woman converting to Islam? This study offers insight into these questions and others that some may have about mosques. Continue reading

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Latin America

Islam in Brazil

Maria Moreira, Islam For Today

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. However, in Latin America, and specifically in Brazil, this is not the case. Why? Maria Moreira, a Brazilian convert who teaches at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, examined the history and current state of the Muslim community in Latin America’s largest country. She found two main reasons for the low conversion rate.

The first is the lack of trust and understanding by Brazil’s Arab-Muslim community. The new converts were treated more as “intruders” to the community. They “have to fight alone against the criticism of his/her family, friends, the Brazilian society and worst: fight against the criticism of their own fellow Muslim brothers and sisters. The feeling of isolation leads some to abandon Islam after a while.” The second reason is the shortage of good books and other resources about Islam in the Portuguese language. “The other Latin people are Spanish speakers and can depend on good works translated to Spanish. However, Brazilians are the only Portuguese speakers among Latinos and this fact increases their difficulties.” Continue reading