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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Inspired by their faith, recent Muslim immigrants have evolved in their practice of and approach to volunteerism. While the “return” mindset of the 1960s and 1970s limited the scope and reach of their service primarily to that which was inward-looking, the achievements with regard to community and organizational development were nonetheless remarkable. The spirits of service and sacrifice internalized by Muslims of that era have not been witnessed since. During the 1980s, there was a shift in the mindset as the immigrants began settling down in the United States and their mostly American-born children came of age. A more outward-looking approach to volunteerism emerged, one that emphasized both individual and organizational efforts aimed at serving Muslims and society at large. Today ad hoc approaches to volunteerism are giving way to more formal, institutionalized approaches to address complex social issues in the United States and abroad. The meaningful and sustained incorporation of women and youth along with an emerging culture of volunteerism present challenges for contemporary American Muslims.

Keywords: Islam, Muslims, volunteerism, immigrants, service

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