American Islam

In Asharq al-Awsat, Amir Taheri reviews Paul Barrett’s American Islam:

One of the nightmares of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the mullah who ruled Iran with an iron fist for a decade, was ha he called “the Americanization of Islam.”

Khomeini feared that the infiltration of such an American ideas as the rule of law, democracy, the rights of the individual, alternative life-styles and, above all, the separation of religion and state, into Muslim communities would undermine commitment to the faith. For the old curmudgeon, the slogan “Death to America!” was as important as any testimony of faith.

Paul M. Barrett, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal, however, shows that millions of Muslims live in the United States, the homeland of “The Great Satan”, without abandoning their faith. In a sense, Muslims enjoy far ore religious freedom in the United States than they do in the Islamic Republic built by Khomeini. (In the US, all versions of Islam are free to practice and propagate. In the Islamic Republic in Iran, however, only the Khomeinist version has full freedom.)