America's Mosques - A Story Of Integration [world Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01America's Mosques: Old Mosques - Heart and Soul2016031120160313 (WS)

What role have mosques had in American history?

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

America’s ‘Mother Mosque’, the oldest purpose-built Mosque in the US, is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tharik Hussain joins the congregation - most of them second or third generation Syrian and Lebanese Muslims - as well as newer arrivals, for prayer and meets members of the ‘Sunday schools’ and weekday classes.

Unknown to many Americans, there is an older Mosque. Hussain seeks it out on the streets of New York City and joins a tea dance specially put on for him. Many of its members are descendants of the Lithuanian Tartar Society that founded it, and their affection for the building is as much about this ancestry as anything else. Quintessential ‘Brooklyners', they express some fear of being ‘discovered’ even while wanting recognition as part of New York and America’s religious heritage.

Image: the minaret of the Brooklyn Baltic Mosque. Credit:Tharik Hussain

01Heart And Soul20160313

What role have mosques had in American history?

America’s ‘Mother Mosque’, the oldest purpose-built Mosque in the US, is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Tharik Hussain joins the congregation - most of them second or third generation Syrian and Lebanese Muslims - as well as newer arrivals, for prayer and meets members of the ‘Sunday schools’ and weekday classes.

Unknown to many Americans, there is an older Mosque. Hussain seeks it out on the streets of New York City and joins a tea dance specially put on for him. Many of its members are descendants of the Lithuanian Tartar Society that founded it, and their affection for the building is as much about this ancestry as anything else. Quintessential ‘Brooklyners', they express some fear of being ‘discovered’ even while wanting recognition as part of New York and America’s religious heritage.

Image: the minaret of the Brooklyn Baltic Mosque. Credit:Tharik Hussain

02America's Mosques: New Mosques - Heart and Soul2016031820160320 (WS)

What roles have mosques had in American history and how have Muslim communities changed?

Personal approaches to spirituality from around the world.

Tharik Hussain continues his journey across America to find out what role mosques are playing in the country today. In Washington DC he visits The Nation's Mosque, which was once an exclusively black "Muslim Temple" for the Nation of Islam before becoming an inclusive Muslim Mosque for mainstream Islam.

In the DC area he also visits an community which is moving from rented accommodation to a permanent home. It is part of a new movement led by a younger generation going against the usual narrative of elder members of the community founding local mosques.

In New York Tharik goes in search of America's largest Bangladeshi community, comparing it with his own British Bangladeshi Muslim heritage. He discovers that in spite of the differences between British and American cultures, they share many challenges and benefits.

He also joins a Sufi community at the Dergah al-Farah Mosque in New York, which is adopting an unusually inclusive approach, welcoming “seekers and students of all religious and non-religious paths into our gatherings”.

(Photo: Ameena Meer and Rabia at the Dergah Al Farah Mosque, New York. Credit: Tharik Hussain)

02Heart And Soul20160320

What roles have mosques had in American history and how have Muslim communities changed?

Tharik Hussain continues his journey across America to find out what role mosques are playing in the country today. In Washington DC he visits The Nation's Mosque, which was once an exclusively black "Muslim Temple" for the Nation of Islam before becoming an inclusive Muslim Mosque for mainstream Islam.

In the DC area he also visits an community which is moving from rented accommodation to a permanent home. It is part of a new movement led by a younger generation going against the usual narrative of elder members of the community founding local mosques.

In New York Tharik goes in search of America's largest Bangladeshi community, comparing it with his own British Bangladeshi Muslim heritage. He discovers that in spite of the differences between British and American cultures, they share many challenges and benefits.

He also joins a Sufi community at the Dergah al-Farah Mosque in New York, which is adopting an unusually inclusive approach, welcoming “seekers and students of all religious and non-religious paths into our gatherings?

(Photo: Ameena Meer and Rabia at the Dergah Al Farah Mosque, New York. Credit: Tharik Hussain)