Even when Americans began to travel to Muslim lands, from the start they displayed a more diverse response to Islam and its mosques, which over the course of a century graduated from the crude to the reverent.
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By the end of the 19th century, mosques became lyrical, escapist, and hallucinogenic motifs for writers who had never even set sight on them.
For the last three centuries, it's been an aesthetic and cultural conversion that keeps the secular minds of the West returning to the sacred architecture of Islam.
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