New Wave of American Imams Bridge Gap Between Islamic Traditions and Second Generation

August 7, 2005

Source: The Sacramento Bee

On August 7, 2005 The Sacramento Bee reported, "There's a new imam in town who criticizes forced arranged marriages, insists Muslim nations need to become democracies and says it's OK to drink an ice-cold martini - if you're dying of thirst in the desert. And he uses the Qur'an to back him up. He's Mohammed Abdul Azeez of SALAM Islamic Center, and he's tall, hip and handsome... As terrorism in the name of radical Islam continues to scar the world, American Muslims increasingly are seeking to reform mosques that often have been ethnic enclaves led by foreign-born imams out of synch with their Americanized members. Some have hired new-wave imams such as Azeez to bridge the gap between Muslim immigrants and their American-born children - and to inoculate the younger generation against extremists seeking new recruits via the Internet or from the fringes of American Muslim society."