Part 2: Muslims in America: unpacking background and identity.
Part two begins by asking the rhetorical question “How have all these Muslims gotten to America?” The question is asked rhetorically because it draws on the fact that many current day teachers from the mainstream and dominant culture are not likely to have grown up with the impression that America, or the current city they are teaching in, was a place populated by a significant amount of Muslims. Many people are found to have not been aware of or even heard of Muslims and Islam prior to September 11th, 2001. The presentational material in this part both challenges such notions as well as provides an explanation for their apparentness. This part also offers a framework for understanding different demographics of Muslim groups in North America, immigration patterns, variations amongst socio-economic class and educational levels of families, and their implications for educators’ understanding of their students.
Specifically, this part reviews the deep history of Muslims in America. This begins with a summary of interactions with west African empires and the transatlantic slave trade (Bradley, 1992; Kambiz, 2010) and African American identitarian movements and Islam in the 20th century and the present day’s resulting manifestation of African American Muslim communities. Keeping with historical chronology, it then reviews upper class immigration patterns for professional and education purposes in the era subsequent to the 1965 immigration act. Part two finishes with a review of refugee resettlement in the late 20th century till today.