Side by Side

Islam in America


Documents & Photographs:


Islam in America

Eid stamp"When we think of Islam, we think of a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. Billions of people find comfort and solace and peace. And that's made brothers and sisters out of every race - out of every race.
"America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country. Muslims are doctors, lawyers, law professors, members of the military, entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, moms and dads. And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect.
"This is a great country. It's a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They're outraged, they're sad. They love America just as much as I do."

President Bush at the Islamic Center in Washington, DC. September 17, 2001. Fulltext

"Warm greetings to Muslims across the United States as you celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday and join in spirit with the millions gathered in Mecca to uphold the traditions of one of your most sacred feasts.
"America was built on a strong spiritual foundation, and the celebration of faith is central to our lives. As you celebrate the annual Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, your honor the great sacrifice and devotion of Abraham as recognized by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. By educating others about your religious traditions, you enrich the lives of others in your local communities.
"The variety of nations and cultures represented by those who travel to Mecca each year, and the varied ways in which Muslims contribute to American life across the United States, are powerful reminders that ethnic and racial differences need not divide us when we share common values and purposes. By building strong foundations of mutual respect, we can achieve peace and reconciliation in our world."
President Bush, Greetings on Eid al-Adha, 2001.


"I don't view myself through separate identities. The yardstick I measure by is my faith; everything else falls into place. My identity is an American Palestinian who is a Muslim."
Dr. Laila al-Marayati, Member U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

"I feel not only proud to be an American - to carry an American passport and travel worldwide - I feel that I can be myself, a fully practicing Muslim, particularly in America. This means I wake up in the morning without fear and come home at the end of the day without fear."
Imam Yahay Hendi, Chaplain at Georgetown University.

"The American flag symbolizes all of our Islamic values: freedom, civil liberties, and respect for human life."
Shaher Elsayed, Secretary General of the Muslim Society.

"The U.S. Constitution describes the perfect Islamic state. It protects life, liberty and property."
Muhammed Muqtader Khan, American politics teacher.

"Muslims all over the world are looking with high expectations toward the ummah community in the United States and Canada. Its dynamism, fresh approach, enlightened scholarship and sheer growth is their hope for an Islamic renaissance worldwide."
Murad Wilfried Hofmann, retired German diplomat and Muslim jurist.

"Mosques today are not only centers for spirituality, they are also bases for political and social mobilization, focal points for Muslim life in a way they may not have been in more traditional Islamic societies. Muslims believe that by involvement with the larger society, they can do service to America."
Nihad Awad , executive director of the Council on American-Islamic relations.

"Increasingly, they [Muslims] are going to be claiming a place in the public square. They still see themselves as an 'out' group rather than a 'core' group in American life right now, but that is going to change as they move into positions where they can assert their heritage.... It's a red-white-and-blue pattern in American history as each immigrant group has developed a congregational, organizational life different from their home countries. Their houses of worship are more than just houses of prayer, but centers for a whole range of fellowship and community programs just as the German Lutherans, the Irish and Italian Catholics and the Dutch Reform did in centuries before."
David Roozen , Hartford Seminary.


Photo: "Eid mubarak," or "May your religious holiday be blessed," is the message on the Eid stamp, honoring the two important Muslim festivals - Eid al-Adha marking the end of the hajj, the annual period designated for Muslims to make their pilgrimage to Mecca; and Eid al-Fitr celebrating the end of the Ramadan fast.

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