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When Muslim immigrant groups first started arriving in the '60s, says Professor Haddad, "they looked at each other and said, 'I have nothing to do with you.'" Today all that has changed. C.A.I.R.'s Mosque in America project reports that only 7% of the 12,000 mosques surveyed serve a single ethnic group. Almost 90% play host to a mix of African Americans, South Asian Americans and Arab Americans.
Think about that: the Arabic word for all those who affirm Islam is ummah. It implies a sense of oneness and community. Around the world and over the centuries, as Islamic empires have collided, it has often been difficult to discern. But here in America, the country where Sunday is the most segregated day of the week, it flourishes. Balbir Singh Sodhi's killer would probably not have appreciated that. But Sodhi would have, despite not being a Muslim. And maybe there is something here for all Americans to learn, if we can only catch our breath.
--With reporting by Nadia Mustafa/New York, Mitch Frank/Jersey City, David E. Thigpen/Chicago, Cathy Booth Thomas/Arlington and David Schwartz/Mesa