Community Stories


The story in Morgantown can be seen as a microcosm of a larger clash between tradition and modernity.  In this case the forces of modernity took the form of a drive to adapt cultural practices to the reality of American life.  The same phenomenon is at play in countless other faith communities, Muslim and non-Muslim.

As noted in my Director’s Statement, I see modernity and tradition as forces of nature. They operate on a continuum, with most people embodying a bit of both.  Modernity moves the conversation forward while tradition keeps us in touch with who we are.  But people have different ideas of the proper proportion of each, and conflict is inevitable.  Sometimes tradition is confused with truth, and sometimes progress is held as the highest end.  People disagree on how best to bring change in their communities.  The human urge to power and control all too often adds poison to the pot, making resolution difficult.

In these original essays, a wide collection of scholars and ordinary people share their own stories of community conflict, resolution and change — in broad sweep and in local detail.  Too often we forget that we are alike not only in the good sides of our communities, but sometimes also in the bad sides.  The hope is that in sharing common experiences, we can all learn a bit from one another.

— Brittany Huckabee, director

Contribute your own essay!

Chris Morrow: A Muslim American Focus Group

Screenwriter based in Texas
I sat down with a group of high school and college aged Muslims and their parents to discuss the issues in the film and gauge its relevance to their lives. When asked if the film was positive for the Muslim community, everyone raised their hand.

Brittany Huckabee: Evil Among Us

Director, The Mosque in Morgantown
I wondered, were the Muslims in Morgantown really any more exotic — or dangerous — than the Oklahoma cattle rancher who wanted to control my childhood church?

Shahed Amanullah: Pushing the Envelope Without Breaking It

Confrontational action can sometimes be useful in jarring the conscience of a community. But it can also shut down dialogue and cooperation if improperly applied.

Mark LeVine: Bringing Out the Best in Our Communities

University of California-Irvine professor of Islamic studies
Rarely can groups or communities move forward enough unless some members, like Asra Nomani, are willing to go too far.




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