Muslim Leader: Put Islam Into U.S. Context


WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (UPI) — If Islam is to be understood in the United States, it must be put “into an “American context,” Muslim leader Iqbal Unus said in Washington.

Unus, whose home and workplace were raided by federal agents in the months after the terrorist attacks on the United States Sept. 11, 2001, said one place to start is by replacing imported imams with American-trained imams.

“We must be able to put Islam into an American context,” Unus told The Washington Post.

Unus, director of administration at the Herndon, Va.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought, recently held an open house to tell about a training program for Muslim clergy. Not many people showed up but Unus, 67, didn’t appear disappointed, the Post said.

U.S. Muslim organizations don’t want to subvert American institutions, said Unus, who moved to the United States from Pakistan about 40 years ago.

“I don’t think any Muslim leader has any hope of the United States being anything but a democratic system,” Unus said.

Unus said many Muslims around the world want to enjoy an American-style democracy.

“That’s what this Arab Spring is all about,” Unus said.

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