In the USA today a large population are Muslims. After Christianity and Judaism, Islam is the third largest population in the U.S.A. A study estimated that 3.5 million people are Muslims, which is 1.1 percent of the total U.S population.
According to historians, Muslims first arrived in America, which is now Arizona and New Mexico in the early 16th century. After the migration, many people were forcibly converted to Christianity. Around the mid-17th century, Many European migrants came to America along with the Ottoman Muslims also immigrated. From 1878 to 1924 Immigration enormously increased when Muslims came from the Balkans and Syria settled in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, and Dakotas.
Many things are still not known to many people about the contribution of Muslims to American History and culture. We can say that coming future, the Muslim religion will be the Second largest religion in the U.S.
Recently Arizona State University launched a new center “Center of Muslim Experience in the United States” which will focus on the Muslim culture and Muslim contribution to American Culture and Society. This will be a great step to acknowledge people with Muslim Culture in a way.
Chad Haines and Yasmin Saiki are Co-directors of CME-US.
In the early years, Haines and Yasmin Saiki will work on developing programs under faculty and students and make a report on “Global Phoenix and Muslim Lives and Contribution”. The study will provide documentation on the History of Muslims in the Valley and their opulently diverse culture and their contribution to making Phoenix a Global City.
There are also plans to conduct Seminars with faculty, students, and journalists to work together on writing about Muslims from new and different perspectives. These seminars will eventually help in making a digital Virtual Museum on Muslim Experiences in the United States named “Muslim Illumination”.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Haines and Dr. Saiki Center of Muslim Experience in the United States will change the narrative both locally and nationally, to ensure that the Muslim experience in the U.S receives the attention it deserves,” says Jeffrey Cohen, Dean of Humanities.
Arizona States University has a Muslim population of around 8000 which includes faculty, students, and staff.
This will be a great opportunity for Muslim students as they will get to know more about their culture, religion, and history, but also it will benefit the non-Muslim students as they will get to know more about different religions’ culture and their contributions.
CME-US will also organize events and performances to highlight American Muslim’s diverse culture and contributions.
Chad Haines and Yasmin Saiki have co-edited three books “people’s Peace”, “Women and Peace in the Islamic World” and “On Othering”.