Review—Muslims in America: Examining the Facts by Craig Considine

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Engaging enough to be read cover-to-cover, but organized as a work of reference, this book of questions and answers combines the evidence-based rigor of a monograph with accessible prose to make this the perfect reference volume for academics, activists, and religious leaders.

Published as a part of ABC-CLIO’s Contemporary Debates series, Muslims in America is comprised of thirty-one questions grouped into five chapters: the history of Muslims on American soil, demographics and diversity, politics, Islamophobia, and American national identity. Each question is answered in three parts. “The answer” is the short answer to the question. “The facts” contains the detailed answer, including names, dates, and fascinating mini–history lessons. “Further reading” is a list of references related to the answer.

The questions are as straightforward as “Is Islamophobia on the rise in the United States?” and as nuanced as “Does Islamophobia help ISIS and its sympathizers legitimize the ‘radical Islamic agenda’?”

Published as a reference work, Muslims in America is a little pricey for the average reader ($63), but it is a must-have for the shelves of Islamic organizations, anyone involved in interfaith work, and anyone who speaks or writes on topics related to Islam in America. Khaled Beydoun, author of American Islamophobia, said that this book will be “a go-to resource for many years to come.” Here are some examples of how this book might be used outside of academia. . .

  • While preparing a talk for an interfaith event, you want to know where the first mosques in America were established (page 67). 
  • While writing an article, you need numbers and sources to support the fact that right-wing white extremists are responsible for more terrorism on American soil than Muslims are (ten studies on pages 83–6).
  • You’re curious about the history of the White House’s annual iftar (page 79). (Fun fact: Thomas Jefferson was the first president to host an iftar when he accommodated a visiting Muslim diplomat in 1806.)

Muslims in America: Examining the Facts comes out on July 31. You can see it on the publisher’s website here and preorder it on Amazon here.

Thank you to the author for providing a review copy.

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