Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tension between Sunnis, Shiites emerging in USA

By Cathy Lynn Grossman from USA Today

Shiite mosques and businesses in the Detroit area were vandalized in January, and a Shiite restaurant owner said he'd received a threatening call mentioning his sect. Meanwhile, a small Sunni group known as the Islamic Thinkers Society has gone online to urge its followers to "avoid" contact with a range of Islamic studies scholars and theologians, several at U.S. colleges. Muslim Student Associations on a few campuses, such as Rutgers University and the University of Michigan at Dearborn, have disagreed so vehemently over which sect could lead prayers that students sometimes have refused to pray together ... Muslim sociologist Eboo Patel does note assimilation is happening. "The bulk of the American Muslim community is overwhelmingly young, under age 40. And they are experiencing a huge momentum toward 'big-tent Islam.' " Salim Al-Marayati, executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, is a Shiite who married to a Sunni who calls himself "Sushi." Once a glib nickname for children of intermarried couples, it has become popular shorthand for Muslims who blur sectarian lines.

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