A dominant theme that is evident in most testimonies of new Muslims entails the recognition of personal tragedies that are usually caused by sexual disorders or conflicts within their families. As Nur Ali points out, a family begins with two individuals unrelated by blood who come together to accomplish things that they could not perform as individuals, and from this basic element we can build villages, nations, and worlds. African-American Muslims are believed to have a mission concerned with advocating attempts to resolve social disorder and providing a new way of life grounded on certain Islamic values about sexuality and marriage. This chapter illustrates, through an ethnohistorical view, some common patriarchal practices practiced by Muslims and how these entail concepts that are not unfamiliar to contemporary American society.
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