14 September 2014

Islamic, yet integrated

Islamic, yet integrated (The Economist, 6 September 2014)

Excerpts:
The State Department estimates that up to 100 American jihadists are fighting in Iraq and Syria. A video appearing to show a second American journalist being beheaded by the Islamic State is circulating. You might think this would be a difficult time to hold the annual conference of America’s largest Muslim organisation.

Yet the Islamic Society of North America’s gathering, which took place in Detroit over the Labour Day weekend, served as a reminder of how well America is assimilating a religious minority that has often struggled to feel at home in Europe. The conference hall was filled with Muslims of different races wearing clothes that identified them with different traditions. The Islamic Boy Scouts had a stand, as did a Muslim liberal-arts college from California. People discussed how to erect mosques without infringing America’s arcane building regulations, or swapped business cards in the food court. The star turn was a Southern Baptist, Jimmy Carter (whose grandson is in the news, too: see page 42). The only overt hostility to Israel came from two Hasidic Jews in fur shtreimel hats, who had come from Brooklyn to announce their solidarity with the people of Gaza.

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