Richard Brent Turner, PhD

 Dr. Turner is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois.

 Articles by this Author

Mainstream Islam has deep roots in the African-American experience, roots that reach back to the history of slavery and early 20th-century black Sunni communities in the United States.  How has the issue of race in the United States affected the practices and the community experiences of black Sunni Muslims who traditionally see Islam as a color and race-blind religion?

Malcolm X’s Hajj in 1964 and Warith Deen Mohammed’s [picture] transformation of the Nation of Islam into an orthodox community in 1975 are two of the more recent visible signs of the importance of mainstream Islam in the African-American experience.  African Americans comprise about 42% of the Muslim population in the United States, which conservatively is somewhere between four to six million; and Sunni African-American Muslims are the predominant community in the United States today.  Yet, the involvement of black Americans with mainstream Islam is not a recent phenomenon.

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