Brooklyn Historical Society's Muslims in Brooklyn

Muslims in Brooklyn

     Muslims in Brooklyn
“Muslim Woman in Brooklyn making her Salat (prayer), 2007.” © Chester Higgins Jr./chesterhiggins.com

In 2017, Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) launched Muslims in Brooklyn, a two-year, multi-faceted public history project designed to amplify the stories of Brooklyn’s 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 part of American life since before the nation's founding, and established Muslim communities have been in Brooklyn for well 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.

Stories will be collected through oral history interviews with members from throughout Brooklyn's diverse Muslim communities. The oral histories will serve as a foundation for this wide-ranging public history project, which will provide learning opportunities, challenge assumptions, and promote tolerance and understanding about Brooklyn's rich ethnic and religious heritage. The project will consist of the followeing:

Project components


Muslims in Brooklyn is made possible through the generous support of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, the Ford Foundation, The New York Community Trust, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Nissan Foundation, the Pillars Fund, and the Office of New York City Councilmember Brad Lander, and the Office of New York City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy.

Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art Ford Foundation The New York Community Trust New York City Department of Cultural Affairs
Nissan Foundation Pillars Fund Office of NYC Councilmember Brad Lander Office of New York City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy

For more information on Muslims in Brooklyn, contact Zaheer Ali at oralhistory@brooklynhistory.org. For information on becoming a supporter or sponsor, contact Heather Malin, Director of Development, at hmalin@brooklynhistory.org.