When Muslim slaves were brought into the United States in the seventeenth century from West African shores one of their stops was Pennsylvania. In the early years of the twentieth century, as African Americans migrated from the South to industrial centers in the North, a number of Muslim immigrants and African Americans found common ground in their shared faith, Islam. They convened near Broad Street. Many decades later Pennsylvania has become home to a sizeable Muslim population. Through waves of immigration and conversion Islam has become part of the religious landscape of the Keystone State. With metropolitan areas in Pennsylvania housing one of the most dense Muslim populations, Islam and Muslims are vital parts of the state’s socio-cultural fabric. These communities provide insightful accounts of urban and local history.
This panel will bring together Muslim American community members who have witnessed the state’s changing landscape. Panelists will share their experiences and recount focal incidents that shaped their congregations and Muslim life in Pennsylvania. A musical performance by Muslim jazz artists will expand the panel’s focus to Pennsylvania’s soundscapes and Muslim influence on music.