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Muslims In U.S. Face Challenges Erecting Mosques

Muslims In U.S. Face Challenges Erecting Mosques

NPR Interview with CSID Board Member Akbar Ahmed
All Things Considered – July 15, 2010
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Muslims all across the country have run into local opposition when they’ve tried to build new houses of worship. Robert Siegel speaks with Akbar Ahmed, a professor of Islamic studies at American University and author of Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam, about the experiences of Muslims in the U.S.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:  It turns out that the story of a Muslim community hoping to build a mosque and running into opposition is hardly limited to Ground Zero. All across the country, there are congregations that turned old storefronts into mosques. The congregations have grown. They want to build new houses of worship. And the zoning process often attracts local opposition.
SIEGEL: Have I described a fairly common experience for American Muslims?

Prof. AHMED: You have, Robert. I have traveled with my research assistants for about a year in America, until last year. We visited a hundred mosques and what we found was that the attacks – and Im not saying that they’re attacks in terms of physical attacks, they may be just some pressure, they may be some phone calls, they may be some swastika kind of graffiti painted on mosques. These are, A, widespread, and B, increasing in frequency.

Akbar Ahmed is a professor of Islamic studies at American University. His book is called “Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.”

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