With the aim of understanding the condition of Muslims in Western countries, and also providing those who want to travel or migrate to these countries with required information about Muslim’s condition and communities, this project has been launched. Helping the Migrants to understand history, culture and public space of the country of destination, and integrating better with these societies are among our other objectives. This can decrease the sense of alienation among Muslim Migrants. To achieve the aforementioned objectives, Islamic Research and Information Center, has chosen some more migrant targeted countries and invited a group of scholars to work on this project. United States of America is one of the countries of our focus. We have divided the study of Muslims’ conditions and communities in America into different parts.
The first part is about the history of America. In this part we have briefly reviewed the history of United States of America from the very first time that first Europeans entered this continent up to now. Focusing on the history of America, we aim at introducing target people with public space of USA. This part contains useful maps of the continent as well. Among other topics that have been discussed on are the languages and customs of Americans in different regions with different social levels. Racial combinations in America, human geography of United States, political and governmental system, most famous Medias in USA, disaggregated statistics on religious affiliation and ethnicity are among other topics that has been focused on in this part.
Second part of the project is about the history of Islam in America. To describe the history of Islam in America we have used credible evidences and documents. This part of our project contains useful information about the presence, social status and integrity of Muslims in American society from distant past to the present time.
In the third part of the project we have done research on the figure of Muslim’s population in USA. We faced serious problem while doing research in this part, because the exact number of Muslims in United States is a disputable issue. However the number of those who Migrate to America is recorded, the immigrants won’t be questioned about their religion. More over based on the constitution, government is not allowed to ask about people’s religion while doing census or stats. Many of the Masques or Islamic organizations do not follow the membership policy, so one cannot determine the exact number of their members. Considering all deficiencies mentioned above, we have tried to provide relatively accurate statistics about the number of Muslims and their distribution through collecting data from credible and reliable resources.
Forth part of our project is about the Islamic groups and communities in United States. In this part we will describe different Islamic sects that exist in United States. One of these sects is Shia school of taught. We have discussed about different branches of Shia, which countries these people came from, why they have migrated to USA, what kind of jobs they have, etc. We also introduce some Shia Isna Ashari institutes. Among the other religious groups that we have done research on are Sunni and Sufi Muslims. Following the survey of religious groups, we have studied ethnic groups (related to Muslims) in USA. Among this groups are Young People”s Moorish National League, Moorish American Science Temple, Nation Of Islam , Muslim Brotherhood of America , Salafi and Baha’i groups, etc. After introducing these groups we have provided information about cultural, educational, religious buildings of Muslims as well as mosques. We have also introduced Muslim Students Associations.
In the fifth phase of our project we have done research on the social presence of Muslims in America and their political and economic status. In this part we have provided useful statistics and data about the educational condition of Muslims, Muslims income and job conditions, and their social and political activities. In this part we have continued our research by studying and monitoring the condition of Muslims in different areas after September 11.
In the next phase of our work we have done a research to find out the Muslim Medias in America and their conditions. Among these Medias we can refer to publication centers, newspapers, Islamic Publication centers, radio stations, websites and weblogs, etc.
The seventh part of our work is about popular Muslim characters in different fields from Islamic scholars, famous businessmen, athletes and the actors who live in USA. Among these famous characters that we find out are Hussein Nasr, Fazlur Rahman, and Maryam Jameelah.
Eighth and final part of the book is about the social, economic and political limitations and problems Muslims face in USA. One of the limitations that we have focused on is about gender issue and the role of Muslim men and women in society and home. Discussing on the above issue we will describe the role and status of women, women’s clothing style in Islam and United states, men and women relations, abortion, marriage, divorce and custody. Another limitation that we will discuss on is food limitations, drinking alcohol, economic limitations, Problems at work, etc. In the end we have listed the name, address and all necessary information of Shia, Sunni, and other faith mosques, Islamic Institutes, and centers.
Most important references that we have used in our work are:
• Encyclopedia of Islam: It is an encyclopedia about the Islamic world, not a Muslim or an Islamic encyclopedia. Topics mostly deal with the pre-modern period, but some entries are contemporary. The first edition was published in 1913-1938, the second in 1954-2005, the third was begun in 2007.
• Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Movements in North America. Y.Haddad, 1993: Based in large part on community documents and on interviews and correspondence with community members. This study is the first look at these sectarian movements in the hundred-year history of Muslim religious development in the United States.
• The North American Muslim Resource Guide: Muslim Community Life in the United States and Canada, Mohamed Nimer, 2002: This useful resource provides basic information about Islamic life in the United States. Coverage includes population statistics and analysis, as well as immigration information that tracks the settlement of Islamic people in the America.
• The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, John L. Esposito, 1995: This is a comprehensive encyclopedia dedicated to the institutions, religion, politics, and culture in Muslim societies throughout the world.