Imam puts an American stamp on Islam

“Imam preaches Islam with a distinct US style” © 2011 The Los Angeles Times. Reprinted with permission. June 4, 2011.

At the pulpit of an inner-city Chicago mosque, the tall blond imam begins preaching in his customary fashion, touching on the Los Angeles Lakers victory the night before, his own gang involvement as a teenager, a TV soap opera, and then the Day of Judgment. . . .

The sermon is typical of [Imam Suhaib] Webb, a charismatic Oklahoma-born convert to Islam with a growing following among American Muslims, especially the young. He sprinkles his public addresses with as many pop culture references as Quranic verses and sayings from the prophet. He says it helps him connect with his mainly US-born flock.

“Are we going to reach them with an Arab message or with a Pakistani message? Or are we going to reach them with an American message?” asks Webb, 38, of Santa Clara. He is a resident scholar and educator with the Bay Area chapter of the nonprofit Muslim American Society but reaches others in lectures and through his popular website, which he calls a “virtual mosque.”

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Items of Interest
Boomers and theological schools: a match made in heaven
August 8, 2011

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.