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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In the Muslim world, mosques function as places of worship rather than “congregations” or community centers. Muslims pray in any mosque that is convenient, since they are not considered members of a particular mosque but of the ummah (global community of Muslims). In America, however, Muslims attached to specific mosques have always followed congregational patterns. They transform mosques into community centers aimed at serving the needs of Muslims and use them as the primary vehicle for the collective expression of Islam in the American Muslim community. This chapter provides a historical overview of mosques in America. It also looks at the conversion of African Americans into mainstream Islam starting in the 1960s, the transformation of the Nation of Islam into a mainstream Muslim group, and the growth of mosques in America. In addition, it describes mosque participants, mosque activities, mosque structures, and mosque finances as well as the American mosque’s embrace of civic engagement and the role of women in the American mosque. Finally, the chapter examines the mosque leaders’ approach to Islam.

Keywords: mosques, Muslims, America, community centers, Islam, African Americans, Nation of Islam, civic engagement, women

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