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If there were a prototype for an American-style imam, Adeel Zeb might be it.
In Koran study groups, the 28-year-old volunteer chaplain at American University weaves in references to U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and comedian Dave Chappelle (both Muslim), TMZ.com, frat life and President Obama.
He preaches tolerance and civic idealism and sports a pinstriped suit, a GQ-ish trimmed beard and an animated delivery he learned from the Baptist college where he minored in communications. He’d like to become part of the first generation of American-born imams, but it’s a career path that is proving much more difficult than he expected…
He received a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies after studying on weekends and became a spokesman for the local branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He did Muslim outreach for two Texas members of Congress and helped navigate civil rights discussions with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security. (More)