Four years ago, when Paul Barrett first began planning an ambitious book on Muslims in America, who would have thought that the topic would still be of such urgent interest by the time it was published in 2007? But, if anything, intervening events have made Barrett's sensitive, in-depth exploration--adapted in the current issue--more timely and important than ever. With the U.S. even more deeply embroiled in warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, with sectarian conflict exploding within the Muslim world, with tensions high among Muslim populations in Europe, and with relations strained between some leaders of the Christian and Islamic religions, readers need as much information as they can get about Islam and its adherents.
In the adaptation from his book, American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion, Barrett notes that despite being targets of suspicion in the wake of the attacks of September 11, Muslims in the U.S., as a group, offer a textbook illustration of old-fashioned American assimilation. Overall they are prosperous, well-educated, politically active, and successful in business and the professions. They are, in short, not just a suitable topic for a BusinessWeek profile, but surprisingly similar to the demographic profile of our readership. This is a fast-growing segment of American consumers and businesspeople you need to know more about. Stephen J. Adler, Editor-in-Chief