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updated: 8/2/2014 10:25 AM

Muslim movement accepts once-taboo causes

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  • American Muslim Omar Akersim, 26, poses for a photo on his prayer rug  at his home in Los Angeles Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Nearly 40 percent of the estimated 2.75 million Muslims in the U.S. are American-born and the number is growing, with the Muslim population skewing younger than the U.S. population at large, according to a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center.

      American Muslim Omar Akersim, 26, poses for a photo on his prayer rug at his home in Los Angeles Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Nearly 40 percent of the estimated 2.75 million Muslims in the U.S. are American-born and the number is growing, with the Muslim population skewing younger than the U.S. population at large, according to a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- A small but growing number of American Muslims are challenging the long-standing interpretations of Islam that defined their parents' world.

These Muslims believe one can be gay and Muslim, that the sexes can pray shoulder-to-shoulder, that females can preach and that Muslim women can marry non-Muslims.

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They point to Quran passages to back them up and say the stricter version of Islam found in many immigrant mosques isn't representative of their faith.

Nearly 40 percent of the estimated 2.75 million Muslims in the U.S. are American-born and the number is growing.

According to a 2011 survey by the Pew Research Center, the Muslim American population also skews younger than the general U.S. population.

The organization Muslims for Progressive Values is among those groups pushing for a more inclusive American Islam.

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