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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Scope and Contents

The Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories include interviews with narrators with roots in a number of Muslim communities in Brooklyn. These narrators reflect the diversity that is characteristic both of Brooklyn's population in general and of Muslim Brooklynites in particular: they include immigrants and their immediate descendents from different regions across all five continents as well as African Americans; represent a wide variety of approaches to their faith within several different traditions of Islam, including Sunni, Shi'i, Sufi, Nation of Islam, W. D. Mohammed community, Five Percent, Dar ul Islam, and Ansaarullah; and span in age from 24 to 74.

These narrators discuss their overall experiences in neighborhoods across Brooklyn as well as their involvement in nearly a dozen of the city's religious institutions from the mid-1960s until 2018. Collectively, many of them also emphasize their personal relationships with their Muslim faith, including the degree and approach of their observance over time; the teachings and philosophies that speak most strongly to them; the intersection between religion and cultural traditions; cultural norms and education specific to their community's tradition; and building relationships with people of other faiths. There is also significant emphasis on their encounters with Islamophobia, particularly following the September 11 Terrorist Attacks in 2001 and the United States' 2016 presidential election, as well as the social and political activism it inspired from several narrators in the collection as well as from many Muslim Americans across the country.


This collection was organized chronologically by interview date.