#MyJihad: Chicago Muslim Outreach Campaign Spreads Across Country
Chicago is emerging as the city on the cutting edge of Muslim outreach in America. The Inner-City Muslim Action network (IMAN) is one Muslim institution that is offering a free medical clinic in a poor neighborhood. IMAN has existed for 15 years. Other Muslim organizations that are promoting outreach are CAMP, the Council for the advancement of Muslim Professionals, Chicago’s Muslim federation, and the Webb Foundation.
#MyJihad, a campaign that posts ads on buses and in transit stations which depict American Muslims speak about their faith, got its start in Chicago before migrating to San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
There are 400,000 Muslims in Chicago, and 15 new mosques have been built there in the last ten years. Jane I. Smith, a former dean at Harvard Divinity School, said, “There are good things happening in many places, but Chicago seems to me to kind of have it all. It’s got all different backgrounds represented, and different ways of approaching Islam.”
More than 500 mosques have been built in the U.S. in the last ten years, and organizations like IMAN, which offers help to other Muslim organizations trying to launch around the country in cities like Detroit, Atlanta, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are getting more and more funding.