Diversity in the United States extends along many dimensions, including religion. American Muslims are estimated to number between six and seven million. Within that population are individuals of all races and ethnic backgrounds, reflecting the tremendous diversity of the followers of Islam.
Islam, like Judaism and Christianity, varies in belief, style, and practice from one nation or region to another and among subgroups within nation and regions. Yet the majority of U.S. citizens have a simplistic, one-dimensional view of Islam and its followers.
In this lesson, students explore some of the religious and cultural variations within Islam, as well as the relation of Muslims to members of other religious groups. There are five videos for this lesson. A segment on the influx of Somali Muslims into a town in Maine highlights the tensions that can occur when a group of Muslim immigrants settles in a community unfamiliar with Islam. Other videos look at the relation of African-American Muslims to Muslims who immigrate from Asia and Africa; and similarities between Islamic Halal and Jewish Kosher traditions.