American Jihad: Islam After Malcolm X

American Jihad: Islam After Malcolm X

by Steven Barboza

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American Jihad is the only popular book  available about the religious experience of Muslims,  both black and white, in America. With over one  billion faithful worldwide, and over six rnillion in  the United States alone, Islam is the world's  fastest-growing religion. In fact, the population…  See more details below


American Jihad is the only popular book  available about the religious experience of Muslims,  both black and white, in America. With over one  billion faithful worldwide, and over six rnillion in  the United States alone, Islam is the world's  fastest-growing religion. In fact, the population of  American Muslims surpasses the membership of many  mainline Protestant denominations. However, the  media's depiction of Muslims in America often stops  short of any real examination and opts instead to  cover only the sensational, puzzling charisma of  Louis Farrakhan, who leads the Nation of Islam, or  the violence of some of the more extremist  Muslims. American Jihad dispels these  prominent but dangerously deceptive stereotypes  and is the first book to take a serious and  inclusive approach to exploring how the Muslim faith is  embraced and practiced in America. Like many  African-Americans of his generation, author Steven  Barboza was affected profoundly by Malcolm X and  converted from Catholicism after reading the  Autobiography. In American Jihad, he  features a myriad of faithful Muslims who come from  many different walks of life from a foreign policy  advisor of Richard M. Nixon's, to a blond Sufi, to  an AIDS activist, and so on. In  American Jihad, you'll hear from some of the  most famous American Muslims after Malcolm X,  including Louis Farrakhan, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Attallah  Shabazz (Malcolm X's daughter), and the former H.  Rap Brown. In American Jihad,  Steven Barboza does for Islam what Studs Terkel has  recently done for race relations.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Barboza, a black American journalist who converted to orthodox Islam after being inspired by Malcolm X, taps the rich diversity of the American Islamic experience in this collection of more than 50 brief interviews. While the interviews are not too deep, they do correct certain tabloid stereotypes of this rapidly growing religion. Some interviewees are famous: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about how his conversion gave him credibility but not marketability, while Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (the former H. Rap Brown) observes how Islam has enabled him to control his anger. A section on the separatist Nation of Islam fills out interesting history, but an interview with Louis Farrakhan doesn't challenge his inflammatory statements. Talking about prayer, family and pilgrimage, others interviewed remain intriguing: a McDonald's manager discusses how the company adapts to Islamic countries; a female college student recounts fighting sexism from fellow South Asians; a Muslim Marine tells of battling prejudice in the military. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Barboza, who converted to orthodox Islam in 1975, introduces 50 members of the growing American Muslim population. With gentle proselytizing, the narratives and interviews relate conversion memories, immigrant tales, and other anecdotes about the U.S. Islamic experiences. The era of El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) and the Nation of Islam are instant images of American Muslims. Barboza interviews many from that era, including the famous (Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and the unknown (prison converts and others influenced by Malcolm X), as well as some foreign-born and pre-Malcolm Muslims. Barboza conveys the impact of Malcolm X on Islam's rapid growth and the American Muslims' struggle for acceptance while trying to cultivate our understanding of the religion through conversations with diverse practitioners. Grouped in themes addressing a particular aspect of jihad (an effort or strife), the interviews are engaging reading for all audiences.-Kathleen E. Bethel, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, Ill.
Joe Collins
"Jihad" means "struggle," and American Muslims are facing constant struggles against the odds, against their heritage, and often against each other. Barboza, himself a Muslim, interviewed dozens of Muslims and tackles all the important issues in this Studs Terkel-like collection. His interviews run the gamut from older people to teenagers, from professional people to working-class folks, from African American to Latino and even Native American Muslims, and, most significantly, from descendants of Elijah Muhammad to such athletes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the always fascinating Muhammad Ali. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan discusses the split between followers of Warith D. Muhammad and those of his own mosque, which he considers the rightful successor to Elijah Muhammad. Barboza doesn't see Muslims through rose-colored glasses, delving into Elijah Muhammad's polygamy with a number of women. This account will make a lasting impression among both Muslims and non-Muslims.

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Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Random House
File size:
5 MB

Meet the Author

Steve Barboza, a practicing Muslim, is a professional journalist who has written for many magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today. He lives with his wife in New York City.

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