Muslims of the Midwest

The United States Midwest has been home to Muslims for well over a century. Aside from African American Muslim slaves or former slaves who may have at some point settled in the Midwest, Muslims have immigrated to the region from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe from the late 19th century to the present. African American Muslim movements, such as the Moorish Science Temple of America and the Nation of Islam, developed in the 20th century primarily in the Midwestern cities of Chicago and Detroit. Today, Illinois is the state with the largest Muslim population, and Dearborn, Michigan is the city with the largest concentration of Muslims in the US. Furthermore, the first purpose-built mosque in the US was erected in Highland Park, Michigan in 1921, and the “Mother Mosque” of the US was built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1934. Today, Illinois and Michigan are among the states with the largest number of mosques in the US, and Plainfield, Indiana is home to the largest North American Muslim organization, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). To be sure, many important Muslim figures are linked to the Midwest, from Malcolm X, who was raised in the Greater Lansing area to Fazlur Khan, the structural engineer who designed the Sears Tower.