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USA attractive for Muslim immigrants

Reader comment on item: Faces of American Islam[: Muslim Immigrants]

Submitted by Paul Hudson (United Arab Emirates), Aug 17, 2002 at 08:00

Excellent article.

I have taught at colleges in Arabia for 8 years now (Kuwait, Saudi & the UAE) so have experienced life in a strict Islamic environment. Having seen the life that the young people have here, I can see what a shock the USA must be to new Muslim immigrants, especially those with teenage children.

As an English immigrant to the USA from 1990-1994 I was also shocked, not by the "decadant excess" of American society but by the depth of religious conviction held in the USA. So many Americans I met were strong believers, something that is frowned upon and seen as a bit embarrassing in England. As a country with such a strong religious faith, I can see the USA as a much more attractive place for Muslim immigrants than jaded, cynical Europe. Just as the various Christian and Jewish sects have grown and prospered in the New World, so, with increased numbers, will the Muslim groups.

Is there school for training Imams in the USA? Your figure that 80% of mosques are controlled by Islamists suggests that communities still need to recruit imams from overseas. Perhaps locals giving sermons on Fridays could serve the needs of the community better than imported foreigners with their own political agendas.

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