It is almost 1 p.m., time for noon prayers, and Abdul Malik Mujahid, 55, is in his office on the second floor of Chicago's Downtown Islamic Center, preparing for his sermon. On his desk are a Koran, a pad of paper and a Blackberry. A telephone rings in the next room as people hurry through the corridors.There is now a Muslim member in Congress (aside: one startling number leaped out in the breakdown given of members of Congress in the article: There are 153 Catholics. The largest single group. Really? Would one know otherwise?), a deputy mayor of Los Angeles is Muslim, a councilman from Houston. If there is any real chance for a moderate Islam to develop and grow, I suspect it's in the US.
Soon Mujahid takes the elevator to the fourth floor, carrying the text of his sermon under his arm. The 200 men waiting for him in the prayer room are dressed in jeans and in suits. They have slipped away from their offices for lunch, removed their shoes and staked out their spots on the carpet. Now they want to hear Mujahid's Friday sermon.
He nods to the congregation. Mujahid is a short, elegant man. His gray beard is carefully trimmed and he has a smooth voice. He turns toward Mecca and recites the Fatiha, the opening Sura in the Koran. Then he quickly gets to his point: "My brothers, we can all contribute to reducing our energy consumption," he says. "That must be your very own jihad, your fight against global warming."
Thursday, September 13, 2007
A fifth column? Hardly
America's Muslims six years after 9/11. An analysis by Der Spiegel. American exceptionalism again.