Some of the terminology regarding Muslim-Western relations has been widely misused or misunderstood, confusing key issues and clouding constructive opportunities. In an attempt to improve ongoing communication, we have developed the following Terminology in Muslim-Western Relations guide. A downloadable PDF version is also available.
Defines people by their religion rather than nationality, which goes against both
the American ethos and the concept of nation-state
Propagates the idea that allegiance of Muslims in the US is to entities/countries
outside the US. This distinction is particularly important to indigenous Muslims
in the United States e.g. African Americans.
Note: when comparing Muslims from different places, for example, the above is
not always an issue: e.g. British Muslims as compared with American Muslims
is a legitimate and innocuous use of the term.
Muslim American (like African American, Chinese American, Arab
American, Native American, etc)