The Long History of Arabs and Muslims in America

I recently came across a short documentary by Al Jazeera on the history of the largest Arab community in the US, located in Dearborn, Michigan:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ScLURRxuGI

The viewer gets a glimpse of what life was like for Arab immigrants during the Industrial Revolution, and what life is like now for present-day Arab Americans.  One thought that came to mind after watching the video was how odd it is that our media focuses so much attention on all the issues Europe is facing with Arab and Muslim immigrants while completely ignoring the large communities of immigrant Arabs and Muslims here in the US that have been living fully integrated and peacefully here alongside the rest of us for generations.  But of course, this huge oversight shouldn’t surprise anyone; after all, it’s only the shocking and horrific news that rakes in viewership and optimum profit.  And of course, good news about Muslims and Arabs certainly doesn’t fit the imperialistic agenda of our government’s foreign policy.

Muslims have also been in the US since the country’s inception.  An interesting journey undertaken by two Muslims during this Ramadhan (visiting mosques all across America) revealed the rich history of many of the mosques and Muslim communities all over the US.  Read their story here: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/10/ramadan.roadtrip.folo/index.html?hpt=C2.

As the Muslim duo discovered, Muslim Americans are deeply rooted in their country and communities, and are proud, integral components of American society –  a society built by immigrants with big dreams and hopes for a better life and a better future.

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