A Golden Opportunity: Religious Pluralism and American Muslims Strategies of Integration in the US after 9/11, 2001

Hajer ben Hadj Salem


In the course of the founding history of America, the American Sacred Ground has been a contested territory where people who do not share a single history or a single religious tradition have engaged in the common tasks of civil society to broaden the contours of religious pluralism in the US. This paper studies the post 9/11 phase of the public debate on America’s religious identity as the Muslim moment in the long-standing pilgrimage in American religious history towards participatory pluralism. It underscores the challenges that both Americans and American Muslims have had to face to help one another make sense of the startling religious diversity incurred by the 1965 immigration reforms. My contention is that, compared to the Jewish and Catholic experiences, it is only since 9/11 that American Muslims have carried through the traditional role of religious outsiders, abiding by the principles of the American Sacred Ground.


Religious Pluralism, American Muslim, religious identity, the American Sacred Ground, responses to diversity, Jewish and Catholic contributions

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