05 September 2010

Muslim Americans Find Their Voice Amid The Shouts

Muslim Americans Find Their Voice Amid The Shouts (NPR All Things Considered, 5 September 2010)

Excerpt:

Curtis points out that it's only relatively recently that the face of Islam in America has been associated with Middle Easterners or South Asians. The first Muslims in America were actually slaves from West Africa, and African-Americans are still the largest group of Muslims in the nation, even today.

Through much of that history, Islam was associated mostly with civil rights and black subversive movements, he says. Considering the rhetoric of those eras, today's expressions of anti-Muslim sentiment aren't quite so singular.

"It's really hard to compete with Cotton Mather and some of the Protestant evangelicals of the 1820s and '30s," says Curtis. "In terms of that viciousness, I don't think that it's gotten any worse since then."

"But," he says, "I would say that until there was a significant population of Muslims here ... that kind of prejudice didn't lead into discrimination and hate crimes until really pretty recently."

Link: Muslim Americans Find Their Voice Amid The Shouts


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