From Arcade Publishing

This enthralling story of the making of an American is also a timely meditation on being Muslim in America today.


Threading My Prayer Rug is a richly textured reflection on what it is to be a Muslim in America today. It is also the luminous story of many journeys: from Pakistan to the United States in an arranged marriage that becomes a love match lasting forty years; from secular Muslim in an Islamic society to devout Muslim in a society ignorant of Islam, and from liberal to conservative to American Muslim; from master’s candidate to bride and mother; and from an immigrant intending to stay two years to an American citizen, business executive, grandmother, and tireless advocate for interfaith understanding.

Beginning with a sweetly funny, moving account of her arranged marriage, the author undercuts stereotypes and offers the refreshing view of an American life through Muslim eyes. In chapters leavened with humor, hope, and insight, she recounts an immigrant’s daily struggles balancing assimilation with preserving heritage, overcoming religious barriers from within and distortions of Islam from without, and confronting issues of raising her children as Muslims—while they lobby for a Christmas tree! Sabeeha Rehman was doing interfaith work for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the driving force behind the Muslim community center near Ground Zero, when the backlash began. She discusses what that experience revealed about American society.

In Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim (Arcade Publishing; July 2016; 978-1-62872-663-3) Rehman balances the joy of making small discoveries about American culture and life-changing epiphanies about who she is with an immigrant’s isolation and struggle adapting to a new society. Whether she’s trying to figure out why a dime is smaller than a nickel while paying at the Post Office for the first time or leading a dialogue to generate understanding amid Islamophobia in New York City, Rehman maintains a light touch. She uses anecdotes from her own life to reveal American culture from a Muslim and immigrant perspective. As fear of ISIS and Islamic extremism shades our perception of Islam, her voice is a clear, radiant contribution to the national conversation. She provides insight into raising a family in Islam in America and reflects on how the United States can better weave new citizens into its multi-colored tapestry of heritage—a nation of every race, ethnicity, and religion.

Arcade Publishing,
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