American Muslim Identity


In the film, mosque members struggle to forge a uniquely American Muslim identity out of the community’s diverse mix of cultures — but they have different ideas on what that identity should be, and they face resistance from other Muslims who prefer to maintain traditional practices from their home countries.

Some Muslims argue that the American experience offers an unprecedented opportunity to forge a truly universal Islamic culture.  Others are concerned that Americanization may change the religion itself rather than merely adapt its cultural practices to a new context. Many Muslims — from America and overseas — have cited the woman-led prayer Asra Nomani helped to organize in May 2005 as an example of this danger.

In this collection of original essays, leaders and thinkers from across the U.S. and Canada reflect on what it means to be Muslim in North America.

Contribute your own essay!

Jenan Mohajir:  Building Muslim American Identity

Outreach Education and Training Associate, Interfaith Youth Core
While our mosques have expanded to include Islamic schools, community centers, youth groups, health clinics and more, Muslim American culture has grown alongside those expansions. Despite our differences of where women pray, Muslim women have shouldered equal parts of creativity and responsibility in constructing our community.

Ali S. Asani:  Response to The Mosque in Morgantown

Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Harvard University
Just as American forms of Catholicism and American forms of Judaism have had an enormous impact on their traditions globally, it is very likely that American forms of Islam will, in the future, be at the vanguard of dialogue on diversity in the greater Muslim world.

MORE ESSAYS COMING SOON — check back for updates.





Outreach support for THE MOSQUE IN MORGANTOWN and THE FORUM provided by


Please wait