Despite distorting narratives about extremism, specific individuals and communities of Muslims in America ground themselves in wholesome relationships among people and in the places where they find home. Between 2001 and 2009, Taqwa Eco-food Cooperative designed eco-halal food education and distribution for Chicago Muslims, promoting ethical praxis with local animals, lands, waters, farmers, farm workers, and fellow consumers. Founded and funded by an interfaith non-profit organization, Taqwa generated pluralistic community with an internally diverse Muslim community, local farmers, and interfaith partners. Amidst popular contempt for terrorism, Taqwa leaders reasserted wholesome Muslim identity by re-territorializing religiosity, enhancing care-based relations in local foodscapes. Concurring with religious studies scholarship on ecology, lived religion, and pluralism, Taqwa grounded religious meaning in materially significant, personal relationships in their local community of life. Responding to lived religious meaning nested in an ecologically holistic sense of place, Taqwa leaders crafted a purity-oriented project, inscribing identity through its beneficial relations with land and home, despite instances of migratory displacement, diasporic considerations, and externally produced problematic distortions of what it means to be Muslim in America.
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