April 14, 2016, Los Angeles, CA. — Pacifica Institute in Los Angeles hosted a discussion titled “Islam and the Building of America” The lecture was given by Amir Hussain, Professor of Theological Studies at Loyola Marymount University.
Dr. Hussain opened the discussion on the history of African American Muslims, and the challenges they faced during the slave era in the United States.. He also highlighted Muslims as ‘newcomers’ to America, most of whom were immigrants. He also mentioned great muslim heroes such as Mohammed Ali, Ahmet Ertegun, a Turkish-American Muslim who co-founded Atlantic records and the African American influence on Jazz music in the 1950’s. According to Dr. Hussain, “Muslim influences on American music are evident just like many other aspects of the American culture”.
Dr. Hussain teaches courses on Islam and specializes in the study of contemporary Muslim societies in North America. He is also the author and editor of 5 books and over 50 scholarly articles and book chapters. He is currently finishing a book on how American Muslims have woven themselves into the fabric of American life, titled, “Muslims and the Making of America.” From 2011 to 2015 he was the editor of the Journal of American Academy of Religion.