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What has been the strong appeal of Islam to African Americans? What are the major periods of African American Islam? What are its major streams today? What does the Muslim community of Southern California look like today? What is its history? What have been its concerns? When and from what parts of the world have Muslim immigrants come to the U. What concerns have shaped the American Muslim community through the decades?

In what ways have Muslims encountered stereotypes about Islam?

from “The Melting Pot and Beyond,” by David Biale | Alas, a Blog

How do Muslims understand their role as engaged participants in a pluralist society? What are some of the forms of Muslim political and civic participation today? To what extent is "religion" a category of analysis in their work? How has the "interfaith" movement developed the United States? What are the public, private, and theological implications of the burgeoning of interfaith activities?

Many sections. Participation in a weekly discussion section, having explored the questions posed for each week. Four critical reflection papers, one of which should be on one of the religious centers you have visited; the other three on questions to be posed from the materials in the CD-ROM. A final term paper of approximately 20 pages, due January 14, the first day of the examination period. You should frame a topic that is of vital interest to you. It could involve library research, internet research, fieldwork, or a combination of the three. No matter what specific topic you select, your paper should investigate one or more religious traditions and the specifically American context.

It could be an historical paper, for example, on the World's Parliament of Religions, on various "church-state" issues, or on the history and development of one of the religious traditions in the U. It could be a more theoretical paper, addressing some of the literature on pluralism, multiculturalism, and the issues of "identity" in the U.

Alexandria: A Cultural and Religious Melting Pot

It could be a fieldwork paper on a temple, mosque, interfaith council, or organization. In other words, you have a great deal of latitude, but also a great deal of responsibility in posing the questions that will guide your research.

Hawaii: America's True Melting Pot

There is an extensive bibliography in On Common Ground. The Pluralism Project office in Vanserg has extensive files on temples, mosques, gurdwaras, etc. Please call to arrange a visit the Pluralism Project early in the semester to acquaint yourself with what is there. The phone number is ; the Project Manager is Elinor J. Eck and published by Columbia University Press, This is the primary required reading for the course. I don't remember the first time I heard the word.

Would you remember the first time you heard "the" or "because"? It's always been around in my life.


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I've been trained from birth to know a reffy person when I see one. One of the telltale signs I noticed a lot in high school was any person wearing what at first glance appeared to be a Tommy Hilfiger shirt, with the big red, white, and blue logo and Hilfiger's signature writ large across the chest, but closer inspection revealed that the signature actually read "Key West, Florida.

High school usually isn't a breeding ground for insightful comedy. Ref can be used derogatorily, as seen above, but since so many of us were once immigrants, refugees, or first-generation Americans, it can also be a prize. After making it through the hardships of assimilation, you are rewarded with being able to make fun of people who are going through those struggles for the first time.

That's because in retrospect, those struggles could be funny -- like laughing at a picture of your horrible high school haircut and fashion sense, but instead it's a real human standing in front of you in the grocery store. Sometimes it's funny to watch people suffer through stuff you know all too well. That's the fundamental idea behind every sitcom ever made. Still, it's a complicated word. I've seen children call their parents refs, and after its meaning was explained to them, the parents exploded with pride for having retained some of who they once were against the onslaught of American culture.

America As A Melting Pot

I've also seen kids struggling to assimilate brought to tears when it was weaponized to cause maximum emotional damage. It means something a little bit different to everyone, with how "American" you've let yourself become. I've said things in Spanish to people that I'm certain have left them wondering if I've ever been repeatedly kicked in the head by a roving street gang of horses.

Centuries of relatives cry out in utter horror when I butcher their language ordering a guava and cheese pastry at a Cuban bakery. I took Spanish for Spanish Speakers through all of elementary school, because they assumed that just because I'm Cuban on both sides, was raised in a Spanish-speaking home with grandparents who spoke little English, and grew up in a predominantly Latin American neighborhood, I had learned to speak a single competent sentence of the language of my people. I used to think I was the only one. I've since met others but not many who could never wrap their heads around their family's native language.

I think of them whenever I visit an immigrant neighborhood in an American city. I know somewhere in that cluster of streets is a kid having a panic attack because they don't know how to order a Big Mac in Korean. I've found this most common in first-generation Americans.

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We don't have nearly as deep a connection to our heritage as our parents. For some, that translates to, say, not having a firm grasp on their family's personal history. For others, it feels like being a dog among aliens. You'll have some frame of reference for hand gestures and certain emphatically pronounced curse words, but for the most part, you have an easier time understanding the flailing gibberish spoken by Sims than you do your own aunts and uncles.

The trade-off of experiencing the beauty of another nation or race's culture in your own backyard is that sometimes you have to drive over dead chickens that've been stuffed into garbage bags and thrown by train tracks. With diverse populations come their religious beliefs, as well as a test of your tolerance of their rituals. In Miami, that means Santeria and all of its gory idiosyncrasies. I've only ever known one practitioner. When Mormons would knock on his door to spread the good word, he'd speak in tongues wearing all of his Santeria paraphernalia to scare them off. This cartoonish display of a religion amounts to exactly half of everything I know about Santeria.


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The other half is stuff like dead chickens by train tracks, which I think are meant as an offering to some kind of transportation deity. Or maybe I'm wrong and it's just a hardcore way to tenderize chicken. I also know this gross part of it pretty well:. America is known as the melting pot of the world, where different races live in unity and peace. Is this true or is this what we are taught to believe.

It is essential to understand ourselves to understand others. It lets the person know how the right of judgment they have of themselves, and that 's what they reflect. Judging an individual by their skin color or race instead of their character can dehumanize a person, and it can have a significant effect on their lives. Discrimination still exists. Metaphor of the Melting Pot Peggy Ruth Geren The melting pot has been used metaphorically to describe the dynamics of American social life. In addition to its descriptive uses, it has also been used to describe what should or should not take place in American social life.

How did the term originate? How was it used originally? How is it used in contemporary society? What are some problems with the idea of the melting pot? How is public education connected to the idea of the melting pot?