The course Muslims in America: Communities and Institutions traces Islam’s journey in America, beginning with an examination pre-Columbus contacts, then moving toward the first exclusionary acts in the new colonies directed at Muslims of West and North African descent, early arrivals in the 16th century, and a look at narratives and documents relative to African Muslim slaves. Building on this early history, we deal with the emergence of identifiable Muslim communities throughout the US and focus on patterns of migration, the ethnic makeup of such communities, gender dynamics, political identity, and cases of conversion to Islam.
We spend considerable time on the African American, Indo-Pakistani, and Arab American Muslim communities, since they constitute the largest groupings. Also, the course examines in depth the emergence of national, regional, and local Muslim institutions, patterns of development pursued by a number of them, and levels of cooperation or antagonism.
The course seeks an examination of gender relations and dynamics across the various Muslim grouping and the internal and external factors that contribute to real and imagined crisis.
The course likewise seeks to conduct and document the growth and expansion of mosques, schools, and community centers in the greater SF Bay Area. Finally, no class on Islam in America would be complete without a critical examination of the impacts of 9/11 on Muslim communities, the erosion of civil rights, and the on-going war on terrorism.
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Islamic inspired architecture in America