Iqbal Unus delayed the start of his open house by an hour, hoping more candidates would show up to hear about the country's first accredited training program for Muslim clergy. But by 7:30 p.m., just three new people were picking at plates of chicken and rice in the library of the International Institute of Islamic Thought in Northern Virginia.
If Unus, 67, was discouraged, he didn't show it. Instead, he launched into his sales pitch for replacing imported imams with American-trained spiritual leaders.
"We must be able to put Islam into an American context," he declared.
It's a noble sentiment, but one that not all Americans accept at face value.