Islam arrived in America long before the founding of the thirteen colonies, but Muslims have never played a recognizable part in the development of its society. African Americans are attracted to Islam and have one of the highest acceptance (reversion) rates in the world. The Muslim community has yet to present to the American public a form of Islam that is not only reflective o ft he original teachings of freedom, equality and the emancipation of the poor and the oppressed, but also relevant to the present social, economic and political turmoil of the American people. African American Sunni Muslims have the onerous task of trying to understand Islam from its authentic source with little genuine help from “Eastern Muslims” and establishing a viable alternative for their families ad neighbours in the African American diaspora.
The real challenge is to be “Mecca-centric” yet in touch with the African world, to be an authentic Muslim yet still in touch with African American spirituality, to be a moral person yet to develop Islam in America without getting lost in the crises of the Muslim world. The twenty-first century should be quite challenging to this growing yet largely invisible society.
Dr. Abdullah Hakeem Quick, Deeper Roots (Muslims in the Americas and the Caribbean From Before Columbus to the Present), 3rd Ed. 2007, Digital Printers & Booksellers, Cape Town, South Africa