Developments in the American Muslim community over the last thirty years reveal a notable shift from individualist responses towards the exigencies of survival in a hostile foreign environment to a more community-based attempt to build a viable and lively Islamic environment in the United States. This shift was made possible by three factors including the expansion of Westem Islam through immigration and conversion in recent years, changing American popular attitudes towards Muslims, and developments abroad-particularly in the native countries of immigrant communities. Although responses to changing conditions vary both geographically and situationally, most Muslim communities have responded with some form of planned community building supplemented by a pluralistically guided approach to acculturation and recourse to communal defense structures.



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