Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



This Honors Project is a comparative study of mosques in the Midwestern United States and two cities in Western Europe. My research was based on observations I made and interviews I conducted at three mosques in Dearborn, Michigan, one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two in London, England, and two in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Relying on the theories of French sociologist of religion Olivier Roy, I developed a framework to measure the level of acculturation or exculturation in each mosque. By looking at three signs of deculturation: language, the presence of women, and the retention of cultural traditions, I was able to map out the process of acculturation. In my comparison of Muslim populations in the U.S. and Europe, I conclude that the acculturation process happens quicker and easier in the U.S. than in Europe because there are more ethnically diverse congregations, more positive motivations for immigration, and a more openly religious society.

Level of Honors

cum laude


Religious Studies


Martyn Smith