Some scholars believe that the influence of Islam in the United States can be traced back to Thomas Jefferson. Today, Islam and American Muslim populations are growing in importance in this country, and demand for information about them is high, especially in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This A-to-Z encyclopedia will help students and other readers get a fast grip on pertinent holidays, terms, beliefs, practices, notables, and sects of the Islamic faith and Muslim practitioners in the United States. The accompanying primary documents volume provides 93 crucial articles, speeches, essays, poems, songs, and more to flesh out the encyclopedia entries.
This encyclopedia and primary documents set, the first on the topic and for the general reader, is a must-have for every library. The primary focus is contemporary but the entries are historically contextualized, so the fuller picture of origins outside the country and practice now in the United States is clear. Further reading suggestions accompany each entry. The primary documents volume enhances the encyclopedic entries with annotated selections such as an article from an entry on a leading Muslim American magazine or an essay by a Muslim American scholar to illuminate an entry on her. This will be a boon for students doing reports on Islam and for non-Muslims looking to learn about Muslims in an objective, broad way. It is clearly and authoritatively written and compiled by a host of scholars, primarily from Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. An introduction, chronology, selected bibliography, set index, and photos round out the set. Sample entries: African Americans; Bush, George W.; Calendar; Dietary Rules; Dress; Gulf War; Hate Crimes; Iranian Hostage Crisis; Media Coverage; The Message International Magazine; Mosques; Music; Muslim Students Association; Nation of Islam; Native Americans; New York City; Poetry; Prisons; Shi'a Communities; Sufism; World Trade Center; Young Professionals. Sample documents: Salah Al-Sawy, The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America Fatwa Against the Danish Media and Government over the Cartoon Crisis, from The Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America; Michael Wolfe, Michael Wolfe, United States, 1990, from One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing about the Muslim Pilgrimage; Waris and Wajid Syed, Top 10 Muslim Hip-Hop Lyrics, from Warbux Records, beliefnet.com
"This set is reliable, up-to-date, wide-ranging, and accessible."
"This is a timely, welcome addition to reference works on Islam in the US. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."
"Scholarly entries and more than 400 pages of primary-source documents describe personal experiences, foreign policy, and contemporary news items, surpassing the scope of exisiting resources for upper-level students."
"This two-volume encyclopedia manages a challenging task. It addresses the experience of Muslim Americans within two contexts: first, their religious beliefs; and second, the politics, society and culture of the United States. The task is all the more ambitious because both Muslim Americans and the country in which they live are complex and constantly evolving. To meet its goal, Volume 1 offers A-to-Z entries that run the gamut--from hadith to hip-hop to human rights; from imam to internet to the Islamic Society of America; from prayer to politics to public intellectuals. Volume 2 provides a wide array of primary sources that address key themes, including religious life; the challenges of citizenship; terrorism and 9/11; gender, race, and Islam; and Muslim artistic and cultural expression. Taken together, the two volumes provide a comprehensive reference tool that would be a useful addition to public, school, and university libraries."
"This new two-volume work is a major step forward, providing important, wide-ranging material in a more accessible way then has hitherto been the case. Useful as both a quick reference for researchers and a more basic source of information for those less familiar with the subject, it belongs in every mainstream university and college, many public and high school libraries, and certainly the offices of domestic and foreign policymakers....The editor (whose introduction makes a compelling case for the need for such an inclusive, balanced, and interdisciplinary reference work), the advisory board, and Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies are to be commended for producing this highly useful work."
"This timely, ambitious encyclopedia set from Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies is the first of its kind: an effort to provide an unbiased and accurate resource for information on the fastest growing religion in the United States. The editor and contributors do an excellent job in attempting to fairly capture the varied cultural, political, religious, and social aspects of Islamic history and life in the U.S. Both volumes are well organized and easy-to-use....Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States is that unique resource: accessible enough for the general reader while providing enough depth for the scholar. It's also a fascinating read. It should be carried in every academic and large public library."
"The Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States takes a refreshing look at Islam and Muslims from a uniquely Muslim American perspective. Hence, it is a valuable reference both to Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
"The content of this pertinent and useful two-volume reference is made up of a wide variety of first-hand sources and primary documents. American Muslims tell their own stories in many of the selections, through autobiographical interviews or accounts, and through statements from Muslim-American organizations. Many selections present accounts and analysis of political and global events, including the opinions and statements of US presidents, and a wealth of polls, interviews, and studies. Terrorism and 9/11, gender and Islam, the challenges of citizenship, race, and religion are the subject of separate sections, each containing a selection of readings. Readers curious to know what American Muslims think and why and what their lives are like in the US will find this a valuable reference to enrich their knowledge."
"The quarto two-volume format is convenient for both intensive study and quick reference. Entries are clearly displayed in a single column of text, some black and white illustrations are provide, further readings follow each entry and cross-referencing is clear and logical. This is a worthwhile addition to any school, college, university, and specialized or seminary library where low to middle level research takes place, and where higher level work needs to confirm specifics quickly. Some 80 or so contributors, mainly U.S. academics, have worked together on this impressive and useful reference book."
"This reference source provides the historic context to understand present-day practices of this complex topic. The second volume includes primary documents complementing the set by including articles, speeches, and essays for additional background information. The entries offer an objective insight for all audiences, from the general reader to the college student, and should be in all library reference collections throughout the United States."