Being Muslim in America has become a complex topic.
“Who Is Muslim”, presented by the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS), is a panel led by NYU Chaplain Imam Khalid Latif on Wednesday, June 28, joined by Muslim men and women living in America who challenge stereotypes, highlight alternative narratives and share their hopes for America’s evolution.
BHS welcomes Bim Adewunmi, senior culture writer for Buzzfeed News; Moustafa Bayoumi, author of critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America; Ramzi Kassem, director of the Immigrant & Non-Citizen Rights Clinic at CUNY School of Law and consultant to Homeland Season 6; and Nzinga Knight, award-winning designer of high end, modest clothing.
With immigration from Muslim-majority countries dominating U.S. news, the narrative of who is Muslim in America has become increasingly complicated – and fraught. Yet, for well over a century, Muslims have lived, worked and prayed in Brooklyn, making it a major center of Muslim life for New York City and the nation. As such, the borough’s local Muslim histories hold great resonance for national conversations on religious diversity and pluralism.
Brooklyn Historical Society is dedicated to connecting the past to the present and making the vibrant history of Brooklyn tangible, relevant and meaningful for today’s diverse communities, and for generations to come.
In early 2017, BHS and oral historian Zaheer Ali launched Muslims in Brooklyn, a two-year, multi-faceted public history project, designed to amplify the stories of Brooklyn’s Muslim communities and to contextualize those stories in the borough’s broader history. Through oral history interviews with members from throughout Brooklyn’s diverse Muslim communities, this wide-ranging public history project aims to provide learning opportunities, challenge assumptions and promote tolerance and understanding about Brooklyn’s rich ethnic and religious heritage.