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Gods in AmericaReligious Pluralism in the United States$
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Charles L. Cohen and Ronald L. Numbers

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931903.001.0001

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Muslims and American Religious Pluralism

Muslims and American Religious Pluralism

(p.167) Chapter 7 Muslims and American Religious Pluralism
Gods in America

Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

Oxford University Press

The presentation of Islam as moderate, tolerant, and pluralistic has a venerable place in the Islamic heritage, though that tradition has had to overcome the past few centuries of global history. Muslim resistance to Western imperialism produced a defensive polemic that labeled pluralism as a recasting of perennial Western efforts to undermine Islam. In the first decades after Muslim numbers in America began to swell, advocacy for pluralistic interpretations of Islam and engagement with non-Muslims was eclipsed by more conservative perspectives heavily, influenced from abroad, which warned against “assimilation.” That stance began to change in the 1990s as Muslim intellectuals became more independent of foreign influences and sought to participate in the public square. Currently, a new generation of American-born Muslims call on Muslim youth alienated from their parents’ imported rigid culture to engage in dialogue with the West while maintaining their commitment to traditional Islamic teachings.

Keywords:   colonialism, religious pluralism in Islam, Islamists, Progressive Islam

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