Skip navigation

Professor Naim makes an excellent point in his article:

It is important to acknowledge publicly, not just now but always … that Islam has been in these United States for a long time, not just among the immigrants from the Middle East and South Asia but among the African-Americans.

via | A "Browning" Of Islam In America?.

If I may, I would like to generalise that insight one step further. It is easy to forget that Islam is a diverse faith, with its adherents spread across all casts, creeds and cultures.

It is tempting to ‘arabise’ and ‘asianise’ the faith, so that only the Islam of the Middle East and the Asian sub-continent is legitimate. Within these traditions, it is tempting to focus on the visible Islam, that receives media attention  (i.e. relatively modern Saudi wahabi values distilled by purist Taliban ideologues – Asians putting into action an Arab idea).

Broad, tolerant and diverse perspectives, like the syncretic integrated Islam of an Indonesia or America have becomes details lost from sight in such a narrow world view. They are the inconvenient texture, that prevent the framing of a black and white narrative.