02 Apr

Patrick D. Bowen, “U.S. Latina/o Muslims Since 1920” (2013)

Brown provides an overview of the development of the U.S. Latina/o Muslim community since 1920. U.S. Latina/o Muslim have been converting to Islam since the 1920s. Converts joined African-American Muslims communities like the Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and Sunni Muslim groups. Racial inequalities in the United States brought Latina/os and African-American Muslims together. U.S. Latina/o Muslims also joined immigrant Muslim communities. In the 1970s, a small group of U.S. Latina/o Muslims started the Alianza Islamica, an organization to promote the Latina/o identity of Muslims. This created tensions among some African-American and U.S. Latina/o Muslim because the latter invoked the term “Moor” to connect to their Latina/o Muslim heritage. Since the 1920s, the term had been used by African-American Muslims to evoke their African Muslim heritage. U.S. Latina/o Muslims continue to foster a Latina/o Muslim culture and heritage today. This article supports the notion that Islam in America cannot be studied without studying American history. American Muslims, like other religious Americans, are shaped by their social, cultural, historical, and geographic locations.

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