In a nutshell: greater economic opportunity, upward mobility (compared to France), and an Americanization, and concomitant moderation of Islam, and America's respect for visible religiosity in the public square (again, compared to Western Europe).
There's nothing predetermined about the contours of an emerging, public American Muslim identity. But, to the great credit and for the mutual benefit of both American Muslims and the United States itself, there exist powerful structural forces, rooted deeply in both U.S. and Islamic history, that portend well. In the wake of the London bombings and the French riots, a great irony of the post-September 11 world is that one of the most urgent requirements of European stability is the emulation of the United States: a place where liberalism and religiosity support a viable and beneficial Western Muslim identity. And perhaps the greatest post- September 11 irony of all is that the comfort many American Muslims feel American life provides for them is best embodied by none other than the hated George W. Bush, for whom basic comfort with deeply held religious beliefs is perhaps the most reliable guide to a person's character. With these ironies in the background, Abdul Rauf promises, "An American Muslim identity is going to happen. No doubt." To which American Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists should say: inshallah.Worth a read! (Article free, registration required.)