In 2017, Brooklyn Historical Society launched Muslims in Brooklyn, a multi-year, public arts and history project to amplify stories of Brooklyn’s diverse Muslim communities.
For well over a century, Muslims have lived, worked, and prayed in Brooklyn, making it a major center of Muslim life for New York City and the nation. As such, the histories and experiences of Brooklyn’s Muslim communities hold great resonance for national conversations on religious diversity and pluralism.
Muslims in Brooklyn centers on the following three premises:
- Muslims in Brooklyn have a long history. Muslim communities have been a part of American life since before the nation’s founding; and established Muslim communities have been in Brooklyn for over a century.
- Muslims in Brooklyn are a diverse people. The lives and work of Muslims in Brooklyn span many ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities.
- Muslims in Brooklyn are Brooklynites. Muslims have both shaped and been shaped by life in Brooklyn.
At the core of the project are the stories of Muslim Brooklynites, whose oral histories will serve as the basis of:
- A collection of oral histories and primary source records
- A web-based educational curriculum
- Educational programs
- Audience-centered art experiences
- Dynamic public programming
- Dedicated segments in BHS’s Flatbush + Main podcast series
- A publication
Together, these elements will provide learning experiences, challenge assumptions, and promote understanding about Brooklyn’s rich ethnic and religious heritage.
Muslims in Brooklyn is made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program, the Ford Foundation; the New York Community Trust; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Nissan Foundation; Pillars Fund; Pop Culture Collaborative, a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and New York City Councilmembers Brad Lander, Robert E. Cornegy, and Rafael Espinal.