About American Muslims

The dome of the Library of Congress reading room in Washington, D.C., that depicts important influences on civilization, including America, Egypt, Judea, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, Italy, Germany, Spain, England, France and Islam.

The dome of the
Library of Congress reading room in Washington, D.C., depicts important influences on civilization, including America, Egypt, Judea, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, Italy, Germany, Spain, England, France and Islam.

Here are some resources and perspectives on American Muslim communities


HISTORY OF ISLAM IN AMERICA (a timeline by The Pluralism Project, Harvard University, from 1178-present)


THE MUSLIM AMERICANS (PBS) explores the diversity of Muslims in America today, focusing on communities’ experience after 9/11, and contrasting life for Muslims here in the United States compared to Muslims in Britain and Europe.

US State Department 2014 Report on American Muslims logoAMERICAN MUSLIMS (by Samier Mansur, for U.S. Department of State, 2014)
EXCERPT: “A few years ago I was doing research in the main reading room of the Library of Congress in Washington, when I took a short break to stretch my neck. As I stared up at the ornately painted dome 160 feet above me, the muscles in my neck loosened—and my eyes widened in surprise at what they saw. Painted on the library’s central dome were 12 winged men and women representing the epochs and influences that contributed to the advancement of civilization. Seated among these luminaries of history was a bronze-toned figure, depicted with a scientific instrument in a pose of deep thought. Next to him a plaque heralded the influence he represented: Islam. The fact that the world’s largest library, just steps from the U.S. Capitol, pays homage to the intellectual achievements of Muslims—alongside those of other groups—affirms a central tenet of American identity: The United States is not only a nation born of diversity, but one that thrives because of diversity. And this is not by accident, but by design.”

This publication features photos and profiles of everyday American Muslims as well as prominent figures in the community — Rep. Keith Ellison, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tayyibah Taylor, Linda Sarsour, Imam Khalid Latif, and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf — and explores the history of Muslims and Islam in America as well as current trends.

Islam for JournalistsISLAM FOR JOURNALISTS: A PRIMER ON COVERING MUSLIM COMMUNITIES IN THE U.S. Available for download. The e-guide is produced by The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University, and funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Social Science Research Council. Click above for more details and to download.


A new pamphlet, What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers, is available for download.

This new resource is an attempt to provide accurate information about American Muslims; clear up misconceptions; delve into the law of religious freedom; explain the history of American Muslims in the United States, and explain misunderstood terms and practices, including Jihad and Shariah.

The pamphlet was written by Dr. Charles Haynes (First Amendment Center), Dr. Hussein Rashid (Hofstra University) , and playwright Wajahat Ali, with suggestions, input, edits and revisions by several scholars, experts and faith leaders. It was organized and produced by the Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center.

Excerpt from the Introduction

By seeking to provide accurate information about religious freedom and American Muslims, this publication does not ignore or minimize the significant threat posed by extremists who promote and commit acts of violence in the name of Islam. We fully recognize the challenge to peace and justice posed by small factions within Islam who lift up extremist theology and pervert their faith to support their violence. All of the world’s major religions have faced similar challenges. But acts of violence
by radical individuals and groups must not be used to condemn Islam itself – or to paint all Muslims with the brush of extremism.

In addition to the Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project, the endorsing organizations include: African American Ministers Leadership Council, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Islamic Networks Group, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, People for the American Way Foundation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Queens Federation of Churches, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Secular Coalition for America, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, Sojourners, Southern Poverty Law Center, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society. For More Information about the Online Booklet Contact: agingold@interfaithalliance.org


The U.S.-based Muslim Public Affairs Council has created a series of three-minute videos with Dr. Maher Hathout, a long-time leader in the American Muslim community, answering questions about some of Islam’s most controversial subjects, including women’s rights, homosexuality & ideological violence. The conversations between Dr. Hathout and a diverse array of young Americans were filmed at 89.3 KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum.

Click Here to Watch


*We will be adding to this list, check back for more. Also visit our Duke Islamic Studies Center YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/DukeDisc for more videos

Duke University’s Muslim Chaplain Abdullah Antepli and Associate Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at Duke talk about mainstream Islam and Muslims, and perceptions of Muslims around the world, during  Google Hangout with students of Schanzer’s Coursera course, “9/11 And Its Aftermath” (September 2013) 

Videos from April 2013 Panel Discussion at Duke on Muslims in North Carolina, with WRAL TV News Anchor David Crabtree moderating the discussion. 



**Also see Surveys tab on top header of ISLAMiCommentary

Islamophobia: A Threat to All (Interactive ISPU Project, Publications)

Resources to Combat Anti-Muslim Propaganda (one scholar’s recommendations)

The Super Survey: Two Decades of Americans’ Views on Islam and Muslims (via Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative)