In a "stock-taking of how American Muslims have fared thus far and what the future holds for them," Haque and his twenty-six authors of varied backgrounds cover an impressively wide selection of topics, from the potential of the halal food business to sketching out a possible Muslim curriculum in the high schools. The range of these subjects – and the qualified authors to write about them – points to the many advances in Muslim activities in recent years.
Two authors highlight what turns out to be a foremost debate: how the Muslims are faring in the public square. M.A. Muqtedar Khan contrasts the considerable achievements of Muslims in the private sphere (e.g., building mosques) with "the failure of American Muslims to garner political influence." Funds for the former are relatively plentiful, he suggests, because this unarguably brings Muslims together and propagates what they have in common – their faith. Funding for public organizations languishes because of deep disagreements and too much attachment to the home-country causes. In contrast, Louay M. Safi holds that Islamic organizations have made "remarkable inroads in a relatively short time into the mainstream" of American life.But even he acknowledges that their impact on the general public is "hardly noticeable." If there is disagreement on how far the Muslims have come, there is near-total agreement that it is but a fraction of the distance they have yet to go.
Perhaps the most surprising argument is that presented by Shamim A. Siddiqi in which he deems the United States a more successful country than any Muslim-majority one; but also that it lacks a guiding ideology and so is in decay. He suggests that bringing together the finest country and "a superb ideology" would be an ideal solution. Joining these two winners can produce wonderful results; indeed, Siddiqi sees circumstances in America as "better and more conducive" for Islamism than anywhere else. This places a huge burden on American Muslims, for the "success of the Muslim world now depends on how soon the Muslims of America are able to build up their own indigenous movement."