Amnesty International

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The Securitisation of Islam in Europe

Jocelyne Cesari
This paper summarises the main hypotheses and results of the research on the securitisation of Islam. It posits that the securitisation of Islam is not only a speech act but also a policymaking process that affects the making of immigration laws, multicultural policies, antidiscrimination measures and security policies. The paper deconstructs and analyses the premises of such policies as well as their consequences on the civic and political participation of Muslims. The behaviour of Muslims was studied through 50 focus groups conducted in Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam over the year 2007-08. The results show a great discrepancy between the assumptions of policy-makers and the political and social reality of Muslims across Europe. The paper presents recommendations to facilitate the greater inclusion of Muslims within European public spheres. Continue reading


Pour une critique politique du terrorisme

Bernard Ravenel

La condamnation du terrorisme ne naît pas seulement de considérations politiques contingentes ou changeantes. Le point de départ est la conviction que la fin ne justifie pas les moyens, qu’il y a des moyens inacceptables en toute circonstance. Telle est la limite qu’il faut imposer à la barbarie de ceux qui croient que des objectifs politiques acceptables peuvent nous faire accepter des gestes inacceptables. Le terrorisme islamique est inacceptable quand il frappe des innocents sans distinction parce qu’il pratique l’homicide comme une politique. Il est brutal, inhumain, sans circonstance atténuante. La terreur exercée par l’armée israélienne n’est pas qualitativement différente mais avec une énorme disproportion de forces : une bien étrange démocratie qui se permet une politique d’exécutions sommaires tandis que trois millions de Palestiniens sont réduits à l’état de prisonniers par un terrorisme d’Etat arbitraire qui les soumet à une répression monstrueuse. Chaque soldat est libre d’humilier, frapper ou tuer quiconque. Personne ne le condamne dans l’Etat de droit le plus démocratique du Moyen-Orient. Qu’ils soient des civils palestiniens ou israéliens, les morts ont la même sacralité. Continue reading


The New Middle East

Marina Ottaway, Nathan J. Brown, Amr Hamzawy, Karim Sadjadpour,  Paul Salem

Carnegie Endowment

After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration launched an ambitious policy to forge a new Middle East, with intervention in Iraq as the driver of the transformation. “The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution,” declared President Bush on November 7, 2003. In speech after speech, Bush administration officials made it abundantly clear that they would not pursue a policy directed at managing and containing existing crises, intending instead to leapfrog over them by creating a new region of democracy and peace in which old disputes would become irrelevant. Continue reading


Conceptualizing the sunni-shi’i Encounter in the modern period

Dr. Neguin Yavari

The separation of church and state in Islam, or rather the lack of it, appears as an axiomatic truth in current political discourse. It is part and parcel of the frequently posed question: What is wrong with Islam? The formulation and the diagnosis are not just facile, but also disingenuous. Much of the discourse on the separation of church and state confuses description with prescription in attempting to account for the political in religious thought and to find ways to explain it. The notion itself is not an enlightenment value that, meteorlike, abruptly fell to Earth in Europe in the 18th century. It has its roots in almost 1,500 years of Christian political writing. The separation of church and state is also not the only way one can account for political thought endemic to religions. The biblical narrative of Exodus, for instance, has determined to a very large extent the general framework of contractual governance in European political thought from the 17th century onwards. It would be hard to find a separation of church and state in that account… Continue reading


Nietzsche and Islam: Embracing the religious and secular worlds

In this book, Roy Jackson sets out to determine:

* Why did Nietzsche feel inclined to be so generous towards the Islamic tradition yet so critical of Western Christianity?
* How important was religion for Nietzsche’s views on such matters as moral and political philosophy and how does this help us to understand the Islamic response to modernity?
* How does Nietzsche’s distinctive outlook and methodology help us to understand such key Islamic paradigms as the Qurâan, the Prophet, and the “Rightly-Guideded” Caliphs?

Nietzsche and Islam provides an original and fresh insight into Nietzsche’s views on religion and shows that his philosophy can make an important contribution to what is considered to be Islam’s key paradigms. As such it will be of interest to a diverse readership and will provide useful material for researchers when thinking about religion, Islam and the future.

Here is a review of the book:

Continue reading


الإسلام الأوروبي في العلوم الإجتماعية

د. هشام القروي  (باريس) 

ما هو في مجال العلوم الاجتماعية الخطاب حول الإسلام الأوروبي؟ هل الحالة الراهنة لمعارفنا ، تتيح لنا التوصل إلى استنتاجات خاصة بالقواعد العامة التي تتحكم بالمجتمع المسلم وبالأقلية المسلمة؟[1]

بحوث العلوم الاجتماعية المتعلقة بالإسلام الأوروبي حديثة العهد نسبيا. في بداياتها الخجولة والمترددة،  طرحت بعض الإشكاليات بشأن كيفية التصدي لهذا الواقع الجديد. في فرنسا مثلا، نجد علماء الاجتماع المتخصصين بقضايا الهجرة، يهملون أحيانا كثيرة التعرض للبعد الديني في وجود المسلمين. أما علماء الاجتماع المتخصصين بالدين، إذا ما استثنينا عددا قليلا منهم، فقد كان جل اهتمامهم منصبا بالخصوص على تحليل الدين المسيحي. بقي المستشرقون. فهم فقط الذين شعروا، بحكم التدريب الذي تلقوه،  بأنهم مدعوون إلى توضيح بعض الأشياء لجمهور لا يعرف حتى الآن الكثير عن كلمات مثل “الشيعة” و “السنة” ، “الجهاد” ، و”الأمة ” ، الخ . لكن من الناحية المنهجية، فإن المستشرقين والباحثين المتخصصين بالدراسات الإسلامية، لم تتوفر لديهم المناهج والمفاهيم من أجل التحليل التجريبي (ألمخبري) للإسلام. لقد اقتصرت خبرتهم على الإسلام “النظري”،  أي النصي.. وأما علماء السياسة والحقوقيون، فإنهم شعروا، بصفتهم شهود عيان على هذا الواقع الجديد المتحرك على الساحة الأوروبية، بالحاجة إلى إدراجه في الفضاء المعرفي للدولة.  غير أن اهتمامهم كان ينصب أساسا على استراتيجيات الجماعات والقادة ، وهذا ما يقلص الإسلام الى دائرة السياسي والإيديولوجي.

لا شك أن هذه المقاربات مهمة. ولكن تجربة  مسلمي أوروبا ليست نظرية مجردة و/أو سياسية. فهي كذلك اقتصادية واجتماعية وثقافية.. وهي تهم الفرد كما تهم المجموعة والأسرة. و هي تنتج هويات محلية ، ومسارات حياتية، وتجارب اندماج ناجحة ، و إخفاقات،  وردود أفعال، وتفاعلات ، الخ. Continue reading


A Guide to Shariah Law and Islamist Ideology in Western Europe 2007-2009


2009 – Dr Irfan Al-Alawi * Stephen Suleyman Schwartz *Kamal Hasani * Veli Sirin * Daut Dauti * Qanta Ahmed, MD

Prefatory Note ii
Five Principles For Study of Shariah in Western Europe iii
Glossary of Main Organisations and Acronyms v
1. CIP and its Role Investigating Shariah in the West 1
2. Methodology 2
3. Shariah Defined 5
4. Case Study: Britain 23
Appendix: Islamist Ideology at the British Bedside 56 Continue reading



An Historical Survey

by Stephen Suleyman Schwartz (Published in the USA in 2009 by the Center for Islamic Pluralism)

The present study is mainly concerned with relations between international Communism and the Islamic umma, or global community, rather than Moscow’s policies toward Soviet Muslims. The former topic has been neglected by historians and experts, while the latter has been treated in considerable detail. As in Christianity and Judaism, communistic, millenarian, radical-political, and revolutionary socialist movements have a notable presence in the

history of Islam. Typical examples of each phenomenon may be cited. The legacy of pre-Islamic Iranian religious communism – the movement known as Mazdakism, a variant of Manichæism which briefly flourished in the 6th
century C.E. – is reflected in aspects of Iranian Shi’ism. Mazdakism adopted social collectivism and principles of public welfare.

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September 2008 Center for Islamic Pluralism Washington, DC – London

Black America, Prisons and Radical Islam is a scholarly work of great merit by the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), highlighting a national security need which deserves urgent attention. The disproportional number of African American young, discontented, and often repeated offenders in the U.S. correctional system provides a captive audience for the Wahhabi ideology of radical Islam, with its alleged universal appeal and sense of brotherhood. Continue reading


Memory for Forgetfulness

Memory for Forgetfulness darwish

August, Beirut, 1982

Mahmoud Darwish Translated, with an Introduction by Ibrahim Muhawi

Berkeley · Los Angeles · London ( 1995 The Regents of the University of California)

In the Arab world Mahmoud Darwish is acknowledged as one of the greatest living poets. He has been awarded a number of international literary prizes, and has read his poetry to audiences in many countries around the world. When he gives a reading in any Arab country today, his audience runs into the thousands, with many people turned away for lack of space. He has so far published fourteen volumes of poetry, the first of which, Olive Leaves, appeared in 1964, and the latest, Eleven Planets, in 1993. Continue reading


The Diwan of Abu’l-Ala

by Henry Baerlein [1909]

“There is no God save Allah!”—that is true,
Nor is there any prophet save the mind
Of man who wanders through the dark to find
The Paradise that is in me and you.–LXXXI

Abu al-‘Alā Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūkhī al-Ma’arri (b. 973, d. 1057) was a blind poet and philosopher. Born in Syria, he lost his sight at an early age due to smallpox. Although he spent most of his life in Syria in his hometown of Ma’arrat al-Numan, he also taught in Baghdad.

He was a skeptic and a rationalist, a keen observer of the human condition, and an advocate for the poor and lowly. Modern doctrinaire Muslims may not find this kind of critical thinking to their taste. But Abu’l-Ala stands out as one of the best thinkers of medieval Islam, and deserves to be better known. This work is composed of selections from his two collections of poetry, The Tinder Spark, and Unnecessary Necessity. Continue reading



Middle East Report N°89

Executive Summary

Benjamin Netanyahu is in a bind. Israel is facing arguably unprecedented pressure to halt all settlement activity, led by a new and surprisingly determined U.S. administration. But the prime minister also heads a distinctly right-wing coalition and faces intense domestic pressure from settlers and their allies. However important, what will emerge from current discussions between Washington and Jerusalem will only be step one in a long process designed to achieve a settlement freeze, settlement evacuation and a genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians. Understanding how Israel might deal with these challenges requires understanding a key yet often ignored constituency – its growing and increasingly powerful religious right.

The effort to settle in the occupied territories once was led by secular Zionists. No more. Today, the settlement issue is being quickly transformed by the shifting dynamics of the religious right. Tens of thousands of national-religious Jews populate the settlements; they enjoy political, logistical and other forms of support from hundreds of thousands inside Israel proper. In addition, an equal if not larger number of ultra-orthodox who initially shared little of the national-religious outlook, gradually have been gravitating toward their view; many among them are now settlers. Together, the national-religious and ultra-orthodox carry weight far in excess of their numbers. They occupy key positions in the military, the government and the education and legal sectors, as well as various layers of the bureaucracy. They help shape decision-making and provide a support base for religious militants, thereby strengthening the struggle against future territorial withdrawals from both within and without state institutions.

The religious right believes it has time on its side. Its two principal camps – the national-religious and ultra-orthodox – boast the country’s highest birth rates. They have doubled their population in West Bank settlements in a decade. They are rising up military ranks. Their political parties traditionally play important roles within ruling government coalitions. Many – in the leadership and among the grassroots – are preparing the ground for the next battle over settlements and territorial withdrawal, animated by a deeply rooted conviction in the rightness of their cause. Treating every confrontation – however insignificant the apparent stake – as a test of wills, religious militants have responded to the demolition of plyboard huts with revenge strikes on Palestinians, stoning their cars, burning their crops, cutting their trees and occasionally opening fire. Mainstream religious leaders for the most part appear powerless to condemn, let alone tamp down the violence.

In the run-up to the 2005 Gaza withdrawal, some analysts and even a few decision-makers predicted violent clashes and hard fought evacuations. They were mistaken. Disengagement proceeded remarkably peacefully and smoothly. But it would be wrong to veer to the other extreme and assume that what happened in Gaza will be replicated in the West Bank. There are differences in numbers, background and militancy of the respective settler populations. Plus, Gaza taught lessons to all sides, the government but also the militants. Since then, the latter have been preparing for the next round. They are banking on their support within state institutions to discourage the government from taking action and on their own rank and file to ensure that every attempt to evict an outpost or destroy a structure comes at a heavy price. For that reason, some security officials worry that unrest could spread, with violence not only between Israeli Jews and Palestinians but also among Jews; they also fear discord in military ranks that could complicate action.

Some steps are long overdue. Having long given succour to the settlement enterprise, the state needs to rein it in; while it at times has acted against the excesses of individual religious militants, it too often has shown excessive lenience toward anti-Palestinian violence or hateful incitement, especially with a religious content. Rabbis who call on soldiers to defy army orders to remove settlements or who justify violence in many cases continue to receive state salaries; religious colleges with a record of militancy continue to operate without oversight or regulation; inflammatory material finds its way on to army bases. All this should stop. Judicial and law enforcement agencies need to investigate and prosecute cases of anti-Palestinian violence and hate crimes. The army should show the same determination in protecting non-Jewish as it does Jewish civilians in the West Bank.

But Israel’s religious right has deep roots, and even its most militant expression cannot be dealt with exclusively through confrontation, however effective U.S. pressure might be. Along with necessary firmness, there are other ways to defuse the problem:

q The government could help pass an early evacuation compensation law, providing for advantageous financial terms to those settlers who agree to move, thereby isolating their more hardline members.

q Unlike what happened with the Gaza disengagement, the government could start early planning for settler relocation by building alternative homes inside Israel proper.

q While some settlers will be determined no matter what to remain on what they consider their Biblical land, here, too, ideas are worth exploring. In negotiations with Palestinians, Israel could examine whether and how settlers choosing to remain might live under Palestinian rule.

q Israel’s religious parties should be made to feel part of the diplomatic process, rather than as its mere spectators or even its targets; in this spirit, third parties such as the U.S. should be reaching out to them.

The current mix of neither strict law enforcement nor effective outreach is a recipe for greater difficulties ahead. To ignore the reality and weight of Israel’s religious right would hamper an already uncertain path to an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and, should an agreement be reached, toward a lasting and sustainable peace.

Jerusalem/Brussels, 20 July 2009

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هوية فرنسا: الاستثمار الانتخابي لليمين

د.برهان غليون
تبنت الحكومة الفرنسية، بطلب من رئيس الجمهورية ومبادرة من وزير الهجرة، طرح خطة لنقاش مسألة الهوية الوطنية تهدف، كما قال الوزير، إلى تقريب آراء الفرنسيين، بصرف النظر عن أصولهم وميولهم السياسية، في موضوع الهوية الفرنسية، وإلى بلورة برنامج عمل “يرسخ” هذه الهوية و”القيم الجمهورية”، ويعزز افتخار الفرنسيين بانتمائهم للأمة الفرنسية. ويدور النقاش عبر اجتماعات على مستوى محافظات فرنسا الـ96 ودوائرها الـ342، إضافة إلى “محافظات ومقاطعات ما وراء البحار” في منطقتي المحيط الهادي والكاريبي، ويشارك فيها منتخبون ومسؤولون تنفيذيون، وفرنسيون من أصول أجنبية، وقادة جمعيات وتنظيمات نقابية وشركاء قطاع التعليم، وممثلو الديانات وغيرها، بالإضافة إلى الناس العاديين الذين خُصص لهم موقع لوضع تعليقاتهم فيه. ويفترض أن تستمر هذه الحملة التي بدأت في 2 نوفمبر 2009 حتى 31 يناير 2010، وذلك لإتاحة الفرصة لمشاركة أكبر عدد ممكن من الفرنسيين.
وكانت جريدة “لوباريزيان” قد نشرت في بدايات الحملة نتائج استطلاع للرأي تقول إن المبادرة تحظى بـ60 في المئة من أصوات الفرنسيين، و50 في المئة من أنصار اليسار و72 في المئة من أنصار اليمين، ولا يرفضها سوى 35 في المئة من المستجوبين.
ولم ينكر المحللون السياسيون أن إثارة هذه الحملة ترتبط بالاستراتيجية التقليدية لليمين الحاكم الذي اعتاد الضرب على وتر التخويف من المهاجرين لكسب أصوات أقصى اليمين على عتبة الانتخابات المحلية في مارس القادم. من هذه الزاوية لا يختلف هدف الحديث عن الهوية الوطنية الفرنسية اليوم عن هدف الحديث الذي دار سابقاً حول الحجاب في فرنسا ذاتها، أو حالياً حول المآذن في سويسرا. لكن من الواضح أن موضوع الهوية يرفع التوتر إلى مستويات أعلى لأنه يضع المهاجرين أمام معادلة صعبة؛ فمثلا ما هو المطلوب من المسلمين حاملي الجنسية الفرنسية حتى يكونوا فرنسيين؟ وهل هناك درجات في المواطنة الفرنسية بحسب مستوى وقوة التماهي مع الثقافة الفرنسية وقيم الجمهورية؟ هل المطلوب أن يتجرد المتجنسون من أصول أجنبية من شخصيتهم الثقافية، المعنوية والمظهرية، وينحوا نحو الفرنسيين الأصلاء في اعتقاداتهم وتصرفاتهم ولباسهم وأكلهم وشربهم، حتى يحظوا بحماية الدولة وممارسة حقوقهم الأساسية؟ وما هي وضعية أولئك الفرنسيين الذين تركوا المسيحية ليعتنقوا الإسلام، وهم فرنسيون بالأصل؟
ليست هناك هوية خاصة من دون ثقافة خاصة، مهما كان وضع هذه الثقافة. وإذا تم ربط الهوية الفرنسية كليا بالثقافة الفرنسية الأصلية التي هي ثقافة الأغلبية، أو إذا كان شرط المواطنية الفرنسية تطابق الهوية الثقافية لجميع الأفراد مع الثقافة الفرنسية الموروثة… فمن المؤكد أن العرب والأفارقة لن يكونوا فرنسيين، ولن يصبحوا فرنسيين. فهم ظلوا يحملون على مدى ثلاثة أجيال أو أكثر، ثقافتهم العربية والأفريقية، من حيث القيم والأذواق والمشاعر والاعتقادات الدينية. وربما سيستمرون لفترة طويلة غير راغبين في تقمص شخصية الفرنسيين وقيمهم الخاصة. في هذه الحالة يطرح سؤال أساسي: لماذا لم يضع القانون اعتناق الهوية الثقافية الفرنسية كشرط للحصول على الجنسية؟
نقدنا لهذه الحملة ليس دفاعاً عن وضع البرقع أو عن انغلاق بعض المهاجرين على هوياتهم الخاصة، واختيارهم التهميش الذاتي أحيانا، كرد فعل على إنكار وجودهم أو عدم إعارتهم أي اهتمام من قبل الأغلبية الفرنسية… إن هؤلاء يشاركون العنصريين الفرنسيين في حمل المسؤولية عن تهميش جماعاتهم، ويغذون إرادة عزلهم وإخراجهم من الدائرة الوطنية، بوعي أو بدون وعي. ولا شك أن وجود هؤلاء يطرح مشكلة موضوعية على المجتمعات الأوروبية بقدر ما يساهم في تقويض المعايير والقيم التي يستند إليها أي اجتماع سياسي. إن ما نرمي إلى توضيحه هو، أولا أن التشهير بسلوك هؤلاء والخلط المتعمد أو غير المقصود بينهم، وهم أقلية صغيرة، وبين بقية المهاجرين العرب والمسلمين، لا يحل المشكلة بل يفاقمها بمقدار ما يعمل على تحطيم ثقة الجميع بإمكانية الاندماج في المجتمعات الأوروبية. وثانيا أن الهوية لا تُملى على الأفراد والجماعات، ولا يمكن فرضها بأوامر سياسية أو عسكرية أو إدارية، وليست حتى مسألة إقناع فكري أو استنارة عقلية، كما أنها ليست معطاة مرة واحدة وإلى الأبد، بل هي مسارات تاريخية متحولة ومتنامية باستمرار. وبقدر ما يشعر المهاجرون أنهم في وطنهم بالفعل، يتشربون القيم والمبادئ والمعايير التي ترتبط به وبثقافة الأغلبية فيه.
باختصار، يشكل المهاجرون أقلية ثقافية ودينية حقيقية في فرنسا وأوروبا عموما. ولا تساعد سياسات الضغط والإكراه والتشهير على اندماج الأقليات ولا تقريبها من قيم الأغلبية التي تمارس هذه السياسة، بل تدفعها إلى الابتعاد عنها أكثر والوقوف ضدها وربما تحديها ومعارضتها.
وفي أوروبا وغيرها، لا علاج لانعزال الأقليات سوى تطمينها على حقوقها ووجودها، واحترام شخصيتها واعتقاداتها، ومساعدتها على الاندماج في الحياة الوطنية، بما يعنيه ذلك من فرص مفتوحة لارتقاء أفرادها في السلم الاجتماعي ومن مشاركة متزايدة في المسؤوليات العمومية.
ومن المؤكد أن التوتر سيستمر بين الأغلبية والأقلية المهاجرة في جميع الدول الأوروبية، طالما بقيت الفجوة واسعة بين الثقافة الأوروبية القديمة والثقافات الإسلامية والأفريقية الوافدة. لكن لن تضيق هذه الفجوة، لصالح نشوء تسوية بين الثقافتين، إلا عندما يتحقق دمج الوافدين وتمكينهم من المواطنية الفعلية. ففي هذه الحالة وحدها يحصل فرز طبيعي عند الأقليات الوافدة بين ثقافتها الخاصة وثقافتها العامة التي تلتقي مع ثقافة الأغلبية، وتتحول خصوصيتها إلى خصوصية ثقافية غير حاملة لأي مطالب سياسية خاصة. لكن حتى في هذه الحالة لا ينبغي انتظار مطابقة كلية بين ثقافة الأقليات وثقافة الأغلبية لأن مثل هذه المطابقة تعني فعليا محو الشخصية الجماعية، أي محو الأقلية كأقلية دينية أو إثنية.
وهذا الأخير ما تهدف إليه الحملة الفرنسية الراهنة باسم الهوية الوطنية، لذلك فبدل أن تقصر فترة التوتر وتسرّع الاندماج، فهي تهدد بتفجير نزاعات لا ضرورة لها. إنها تهيج مشاعر اليمين المتطرف الذي يحلم بإرجاع التاريخ إلى الوراء، وتصفية الأقليات وطردها، وهذا هو مغزى تساؤل رئيس بلدية فرنسية: لماذا نأوي عشرة ملايين شخص لا يفيدون في شيء؟
ولن يقدم شحن مشاعر الكراهية وتعميق روح العنصرية أي فرصة لتوحيد الأمة الفرنسية ولا لترسيخ هويتها الوطنية، بقدر ما يقوض أخلاقيات شعوب أوروبية هي صاحبة الفضل الأول في نشر أفكار الحرية وحكم القانون والمساواة السياسية والأخلاقية والقانونية بين جميع المواطنين. إن هوية فرنسا الوطنية، كبقية الأمم والشعوب، ليست محفورة في جينات الفرنسيين، لكنها ما يصنعه التاريخ ويحوره عبر التفاعلات الكثيرة، على مستوى انتقال البشر والأفكار والأذواق والسلع والخدمات.
وفي عصر الانفتاح العالمي، تخسر أوروبا كثيرا إذا اعتقدت أن الحل لـ”غزو” الثقافات الأخرى لها، هو في الانغلاق على نفسها والتقوقع حول قيمها وثقافتها الموروثة. وهذا صالح أيضا للعرب والمسلمين أنفسهم، المهاجرين والأنصار على حد سواء. فالهويات جميعا، سواء أردنا ذلك أم لا، مسارات مفتوحة على التاريخ، قابلة للتحول والتنوع والتعدد لأنها صيرورة حية، وتــأويلات رمزية، لا ماهيات ثابتة ولا خصائص أبدية. والهوية الفرنسية اليوم، تنحو إلى أن تكون أكثر فأكثر توليفية، تغتني بالروافد والمساهمات، وتقطع مع التصورات الإثنية البدائية. والذين يريدون بقاءها جامدة، يحكمون على فرنسا بالموت وبخيانة قيمها الجمهورية التي يعلنون الدفاع عنها.
 ديسمبر 2009

History of American Muslims (2)

The 1800’s

compiled by Amir Muhammad. CSAM 

In 1803, Bilali (Ben Ali) Muhammad and his family arrived in Georgia on Sapelo Island. Bilali Muhammad was a Fula from Timbo Futa-Jallon in present day Guinea-Conakry. By 1806 he became the plantation manager for Thomas Spalding, a prominent Georgian master. Bilali and his wife Phoebe had 12 sons and 7 daughters. One of his sons is reported as being Aaron of Joel Chandler Harris’ work, author of Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit stories. His daughters” names were Margaret, Hester, Charlotte, Fatima, Yoruba, Medina, and Bint. All his daughters but Bint could speak English, French, Fula, Gullah, and Arabic. Bilali was well educated in Islamic law. While enslaved Bilali became the community leader and Imam of at least 80 men. During the War of 1812 Bilali told his slave master that he had 80 men of the true faith to help defend the land against the British.

Bilali was known for regularly wearing his fez, a long coat, praying five times a day facing the east, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and celebrating the two holidays when they came. Bilali was buried with his Qur’an and prayer rug. In 1829 Bilali wrote a 13 page hand written Arabic text book called a “Risala”about some of the laws of Islam and Islamic living. The book is known as Ben Alis”Diary, housed today at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Bilali “Ben Ali” was the leader of one of America’s earliest known Muslim communities. It’s documented that in 1812 there were at least eighty Muslims living on a plantation controlled by Ben Ali from 1806 to the late 1830s.

In 1803, Salih Bilali (Old Tom) came from a powerful family of Massina in the Temourah district in West Africa. He was captured around 1782, sold in the Bahamas at first and then in the US around 1803. He lived from 1770-1846. He was sold to John Couper in the Bahamas and brought to St. Simon Island, Ga. From 1816-1840 Salih Bilali was the trusted head slave manager of more than 450 slaves of John and Hamilton Couper. It was reported by his master’s son, that while Salih was on his death bed that his last words were “Allah is God and Mohammed his Prophet.”

One of Salih’s descendants was Robert Abbott, founder of the “Chicago Defender, “one of the nation’s first black newspapers. Another one of Salih’s descendants was named after him Bilali Sullivan who was known as (Ben Sullivan). Bilali (Ben) Sullivan purchased some of the original property from the plantation in 1914. He was interviewed about his life in the 1930s.

There are two well known Muslim communities of the Gullah Islands of St. Simon and Sapelo off the coast of Georgia. Bilali (Ben Ali) Mahomet and Salih Bilali ruled as plantation mangers and Muslim leaders. In America’s history there were Gullah Wars. Some of them are known as the Seminole Indians wars. The African-American language Gullah was initially developed by the enslaved African Muslims and non-Muslims in Senegal to help communicate among the various African tribes.

In 1805, a slave named Sambo who knew Arabic had escaped from a plantation on the Ashley River, in South Carolina. The announcement in the Courier on February 9, 1805 offered a reward of $5 for his recovery. It stated that he was about 5′ 5″, slender body and writes the Arabic language.

In 1807, Yarrow (Mamout) Marmood was given his freedom. Yarrow was enslaved and brought from Guinea, Africa before the American Revolution. Yarrow was given his freedom by Upton Beall of Montgomery County in the Washington, DC area. On April 13, 1807, Upton Beall’s deed was recorded that the Negro Yarrow was given his freedom because he was more than forty-five years old and that he would not become a bother to the County of Washington.

Two pictures of Yarrow exsits today, one painted by James Simpson in 1822 which hangs in the Peabody Room at Georgetown public library, and the other picture painted by Charles Wilson Peale in 1819 which hangs at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Yarrow Marmood was a property owner in Georgetown in Washington, DC. In the 1800 and 1810 census Yarrow’s name was listed as Negro Yarrow with a wife or elderly woman living with him. In the 1810 census Yarrow’s name was listed as Yarrow Marmood with one woman living with him. Yarrow had established a hauling business, owned real estate on what is now 3330-3332 Dent Place NW, and he had invested some of his savings in the stock of the Bank of Columbia. One of Yarrow’s neighbors and friend was another manumitted slave named Joseph Moor who became a respectable grocer in Georgetown.

In Washington, DC the 1820 census identifies Yarrow Marmood and Joseph Moore, both with families and free men. The census identifies Yarrow and a female family member and two other free people of color (blacks), Grace Almonds a family of four and Yarrow’s neighbor Charley Brown a family of three, and one slave. The 1820 census also has three other free blacks Obed Diner a family of five, Free Catty a family of three, and Nelly a family of two.

On April 12, 1844, Yarrow’s estate was administered by probate court in Washington, DC, under the name Negro Yarrow. Yarrow lived to be more than 100 years old. The dates of his birth and death have been record as 1736-1844.

In 1807, Hajj Omar Ibn Sayyid was captured at the age of 37. Omar was a Fula born in Fur Tur in present day Senegal. He was born from a Serahule family. Omar lived from 1770-1864. He had studied in Bundu, Senegal where he learned how to read, write, arabic, Islamic studies, and made Hajj in Mecca before his capture. Omar was enslaved in Charleston, SC where he labored for a short period of time before he escaped in 1810 to Fayetteville, NC where was caught and imprisoned. While in prison Omar persuaded James Owen, a general in the state militia and brother of John Owen (who later became Governor of North Carolina), to purchase him, which he did for $900.00. Omar was also known as Uncle Moreau.

Omar ibn Sayyid wrote many items in Arabic while enslaved. He wrote the Lords Prayer, the Bismillah, this is How You Pray, Quranic phases, the 23rd Psalm, and Omar’s latest known writing was in 1857 Surah 110 of the Holy Qur’an.

Omar was given an Arabic written Bible and a Qur’an by his slave master. The Bible is housed today at Davidson College in North Carolina.

In The War of 1812, Abraham joined the British Colonial Marines who had occupied Spanish Pensacola. Abraham lived from 1787-1870. He was well known as a very gifted individual, soft spoken, and intelligent. Abraham came to Pensacola, Florida sometime in the early 1800s. During his years in Pensacola, Abraham had been a slave of Dr. Eugenio Antonio Sierra, a prominent Spanish physician and surgeon. He was held in high esteem and worked as an interpreter, for he spoke several different languages.

Soon after the Fort Negro construction Abraham left out on his own. He soon gained a reputation as a businessman or a man after profit. Abraham became involved in trade with the Maroons and the Seminole Indians of the lower Suwannee River area. Gradually, he was accepted by the Maroons and became their foremost leader. The Seminoles had a high regard for Abraham.

Chief Micanopy, the top hereditary chief in the Seminole Nation, appointed Abraham as the “sense-bearer” or legal counsel. As the military leader of the Maroons, he was known by the name “Sounoffee Tustenuggee” which means “Suwannee Warrior.” Abraham was married to a woman named Hagar. Abraham and Hagar had two sons named Renty and Washington. Abraham lived peacefully with his family and people in the villa of Pilaklikaha, raising horses, cattle, and growing crops.

After the first Seminole war Abraham and a delegation of Indian Chiefs went to Oklahoma in 1832 to inspect the land being offered to them in the treaty that was to move them out of Florida. The United States officials would not allow Abraham and the others to leave until they signed the treaty, which they did on March 28, 1833. Abraham opposed the move, therefore spending almost eight months at Fort Gibson. Abraham and several other leaders were opposed to the treaty after learning of its deception, thus the second Seminole war began 1835 to 1842. Abraham had fought in almost every battle of the Seminole Indians wars until 1837. However, in February of 1839 he moved to Oklahoma with his family and became a successful cattle rancher.

Abraham returned to Florida in 1852, ten years after the government officially declared an end to the Seminole war. The government had hired Abraham to take chief Billy Bowlegs, his father in-law, and some other chiefs to Washington, DC., in order to convince them to leave Florida. They met with Millard Fillmore who became President after Zachary Taylor died. The chiefs still refused to move to Oklahoma. They went back to Florida and disappeared in the everglades. Abraham went back to his ranch in Oklahoma where he died years later, sometime after the Civil War in 1870. He was buried in an unmarked grave in today’s Seminole county.

In 1818 Medina, Ohio was organized. It was originally called Mecca, then later it changed to Medina making it the seventh place on the globe at the time called Medina. Three other cities in America bear the name Medina- Medina, New York; Medina, Michigan and Medina, TX.

In 1828, Abrahim Abdul Rahman ibn Sori (1762-1829) was set free by the order of the Secretary of State Henry Clay and President John Quincy Adams. He was born in Timbo, West Africa (in present day Guinea). He was known as the “Prince of Slaves.” He was a Fulbe from the land of Futa Jallon. Abrahim left Futa in 1774 to study in Mali at Timbuktu.

Abrahim was captured by warring tribes and sold to slave traders in 1788 at the age of 26. He was bought by a Natchez, Mississippi cotton and tobacco farmer, where he eventually became the overseer of the plantation of Thomas Foster. In 1794 he married Isabella, another slave of Foster’s, and eventually fathered a large family. In 1826 he wrote a letter to his relatives in Africa. A local newspaperman sent a copy to Senator Thomas Reed in Washington, who forwarded it to the U.S. Consulate in Morocco. After the Sultan of Morocco read the letter, he asked President Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay to release Abrahim Abdul Rahman.

In 1807, a coincidental meeting took place. John Cox, an Irish ship’s surgeon, whose life had been saved by Abrahim’s father many years earlier. John Cox recognized the Prince in the market, learned of his story, and began petitioning for his freedom. Twenty five years later in 1828 at the age of 66 Abrahim gained his freedom. Rahman had been a slave in America for forty years before he got his freedom. Rahman and his wife sailed for Africa in February 1829. The following September his former owner died. Foster’s heirs sold two of Rahman’s children and five of his grandchildren to the American Colonization Society (A.C.S), and they were reunited with his wife in Liberia.

In 1828, a Muslim named Sterling living in Hartford, CT met Abdul Rahman during his visit to the New England States.

In 1832, The Village of Mahomet, IL was laid out. Mahomet, IL was originally named Middletown. Sometime during the 1840s it was changed to Mahomet, IL.

In 1834, A Muslim woman named Sylvia appears in “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe,”by William A. Carruthers.

In 1834, in Tennessee, a Muslim by the name of Hamet Abdul is reported to have sought money to return to Africa.

In 1834, two Muslims by the names of Jupiter (Dawud) Dowda and Big Jack were reported by the American Colonization Society’s “The African Repository”to be well-known slaves in New Orleans. Big Jack was a plantation manager.

In 1835, Lamen Kebe known as (Old Paul) was liberated after having been in servitude in South Carolina and Alabama. Lamen Kebe was captured in battle and arrived in America in the early 1800s. He was from an elite class of Serahule who were trained to rule, advise, teach, protect, trade, translate, collect taxes, and travel. His family were the founders of ancient Ghana, and they were among the earliest converts to Islam south of the Sahara. His mother was a Mandinga. In Senegambia, he was a schoolmaster in the land of the Fulah before his capture. Lamen and Omar Sayyid corresponded with each other in 1835 in Arabic. Lamen (Old Paul) through Omar, provided Theodore Dwight, a member of the American Ethnological Society, with information of his native land and school system. Lamen returned back to Africa at the age of sixty in 1835.

In 1839, Oman’s ruler, Sayyid Sa’id, ordered his ship “The Sultana”to set sail for America on a trade mission. The ship touched port in New York on April 30, 1840. The voyage was not a commercial success. The ship’s commander, Ahmed bin Nauman bin Muhsin Al-k’abi Al-Bahraini came from Zanzibar. Ahmed bin Nauman bin Muhsin Al-k’abi Al-Bahraini’s photo hangs today on the third floor of City Hall in New York, NY.

In 1845, Osman Rockman died. His tombstone was found in Connecticut.

In 1852, Osman known as “General Osman” became the leader of the North Carolina Dismal Swamp community from 1852-1862. Osman was a runaway slave from Virginia and lived in the dismal swamp. At one time the dismal swamp was partly owned by George Washington, the first President of the United States. The swamp was drudged out by slave labor in the mid 1700s.

In 1856, The United States cavalry hired a Muslim by the name of Hajj Ali to experiment with raising camels in Arizona. He experimented with breeding camels in the desert. He became a local folk hero in Quartzsite, AZ, where he died in 1903. He was known as “Hi Jolly”, his tombstone is a stone built pyramid with a camel on top of it.

In 1859, in Savannah, Ga, many slaves were sold from the Butler plantation in Darien, Ga. Some of the slaves sold were Muslims. It was reported that some of the women wore gorgeous turbans and one of them had a string of beads. At the auction a Muslim named Abel age 19 was sold for $1,295, and one named Hagar, age 50, was sold for $300.

In 1860, a Muslim lady known as “Old Lizzy Gray” died in Edge field County. Her obituary, appeared on the front page of the Edgefield Advertiser, on September 12, 1860. Her physician and owner Dr. E.J. Mims wrote that according to the best computations she was 127 years of age. She had four children in Africa before being taken prisoner. During the revolution she was a prisoner on board an English ship. Before her capture she was educated as a Muslim. As a slave she seems to have combined both faiths and became a member of the Methodist Church. She was known to have always said “Christ built the first Church in Mecca.”

In 1860, Muhammad Ali ibn Said (1833 – 1882), known as (Nicholas Said) arrived in America as a free man. Muhammad was born in the Kingdom of Bornoo, West Africa near Lake Chad to a well-educated merchant family. Said was kidnaped and enslaved when he was 16. His first slave master was an Arab named Abdel Kader who took him to Tripoli and Fezzan. Muhammad was then sold to Alexander Menshikov, an aide to the Russian Czar, then to Nicholas Trubetzkoy with whom he traveled to many places during his years of slavery from Russia, Rome, Persia to France. In 1860 he left Liverpool, England with a man from Holland to travel to Boston, New York, Kingston, New Providence, Toronto, Quebec, and other places in North America as a freed man.

In 1861 he arrived in Detroit. Shortly afterward he found a teaching job and in 1863 Muhammad enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts colored regiment and became a Civil War hero. He served faithfully and bravely with his regiment as Corporal and then Sergeant in the South. Near the close of the war he was assigned, at his own request, to the hospital department, to learn some knowledge of medicine. His Army records show that he died in Brownsville, Tennessee in 1882.

In 1864, a monument was erected in New England for a Mr. Smith and it is crowned with three slain Muslim’s heads who were slain by Mr. Smith. From the Isles of Shoals.

In 1864, Captain Harry Dean was born. He was the son of Susan Cuffe Dean whose brother was Paul Cuffe. Captain Dean’s family came from Quata, Morocco. For three generations the family were wealthy merchants in Philadelphia. Captain Dean found the first black nautical training school in America. Dean maintained his family’s Islamic tradition during his seafaring days on the ship “Pedro Gorino” and in southern Africa where he tried to build an African empire. He was also associated with the Muslim Mosque of London. In the United States he distributed Islamic literature in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington state.

In 1866, The Cherokee chief had a Muslim name, Chief Ramadan ibn Wati. Muslims were known to live among many of the different Indian tribes. They lived among the Seminole Indians, The Delawares, The Nanticokes, The Cherokees, and many others.

In 1869, a number of Muslims from Yemen arrived in the United States after the opening of the Suez Canal. Most Yemenis came through New York to Buffalo, and Detroit. Many Yemenis jumped shipped in San Francisco and settled on the West Coast.

In 1875, The first small wave of Muslim immigrants arrived, mainly from Greater Syria (Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine). Some of the Syrian-Lebanese Arabs settled on Manhattan’s lower Washington Street and in Brooklyn across the East River around Atlantic Avenue and South Brooklyn. A smaller number came from the Punjab area of India.

In 1876, The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, attracted Arab merchants and peddlers, where they sold an assortment of merchandise, and some set up centers to import goods.

In 1877, Seven Algerian escapees from French Guyana were admitted by the Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware, and held as exiles.

In 1884, Sambo Swift died. He was born in 1811, and lived in Darien, GA. He was buried with his tombstone facing northeast. Engraved on his tombstone is a hand pointing with one finger up as the Islamic symbol of God’s oneness. This symbol was used by Muslims dating back more than 1400 years. It is believed that Sambo was one of the slaves left on the Butler plantation at the time of the great slave sale of 1859 in Georgia. Sambo was a carpenter and had at least three children named Abraham, Mollie, and Alonzo.

In 1889, Edward Wilmot Blyden, a noted scholar and activist, traveled throughout the eastern and southern parts of the United States proclaiming the truth of Islam. Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832 – 1912) was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on August 3rd, 1832. In 1850 he emigrates to Liberia from America and by 1855-56 became the editor of the Liberian Herald. Blyden served for three terms (1864-1871) as Secretary of State of Liberia, and on three postings as Ambassador to the Court of St. James in 1877, 1879, and 1892-94.

In 1858 Blyden was ordained as a Presbyterian clergyman. By 1886 he resigns from the Presbyterian Church and becomes a Muslim, one of the first known freed Africans to revert back to Islam. In 1887 Blyden published his first book Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race.

From 1901-1906 Edward Blyden was the Director of Mohammed Education in Sierra Leone.

In 1893, Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (1846-1916) appeared at the First World Exposition Conference on World Religions in Chicago, where he delivered two lectures, “The Spirit of Islam” and “The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions.” Among the audience was Mark Twain. Webb converted to Islam in 1888 while he was serving as the American Consul to the Philippines. He was also a Journalist. Webb is known as the first white American convert to Islam. In 1893, Mohammed found the first Islamic organization in America called “The American Moslem Brotherhood” in New York.

In 1897, The Federal government allotted free land, consequently Syrians started moving to Rugby and Williston, North Dakota. From 1899-1914 a total of 86,111 Syrians arrived in America.

In 1897, Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) is born in Sandersville, Georgia. He became the leader of The Nation of Islam from 1934 to 1975.

In 1899, Hassen Juma had settled in Ross, North Dakota with 160 acres of free land. By 1902 twenty families had followed his path from Birey, Syria. In the early 1920s they built one of the Nations first Mosque.

In the late 1800s many people and former slaves used the Islamic symbol of God’s oneness on their tombstones.

The 1900’s

Compiled By Amir Muhammad

From 1900-1917 Wills are found in Washington, DC Archives beginning with Islamic salutations “With the Name of God Amen” with names like Hannah Henderson, Fontaine Mahmood, James Moore, Mary Newman, Edward Quader, and Anne Yarrow.

In 1903, Mohammed Asa Abu-Howar arrives in New York. Moves to Washington, DC. He becomes a successful builder as A. Joseph Howar, who backed the construction of the Islamic Center.

In 1904, at the St. Louis Exposition and World Fair, merchants and visitors came from the Arab world at which time an Arab used a waffle to create an ice cream cone.

In 1905, The US General Land Office grants land title to one Mahmod Ali.

In 1907, The Polish Tartars establish “The American Mohammed Society” in Brooklyn, NY.

In 1908, Muslim immigrants from the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan arrive in North America. They are mainly Turks, Kurds, Albanians, and Arabs.

In 1913, Noble Drew Ali established the Canaanite Temple in Newark, NJ. Noble Drew Ali was born Timothy Drew, January 8, 1886 on a Cherokee reservation in Sampson, North Carolina. There were immediate challenges to Noble Drew Ali’s leadership from within the Moorish community, and by 1916 internal disagreements caused a division of the Moorish-American nation into two groups. One group stayed in Newark, changing its name to the Holy Moabite Temple of the World. Moabite, is the ancient name for Moroccans. Noble Drew Ali and his followers moved to Chicago in 1925 and established the Moorish Science Temple of America. By this time, Drew Ali had established temples in Charleston, WVA; Milwaukee, WI; Lansing and Detroit, MI; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; Pine Bluff, AR; Newark, NJ; Cleveland and Youngstown, OH; Richmond and Petersburg, VA. Noble Drew Ali was murdered in 1929 in Chicago, IL and buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.

In 1915, Albanian Muslims in Biddeford, Maine established the first effective Mosque in North America. Most were bachelors working at the Peppermell Mills. Muslim Albanian families still reside in Biddeford and nearby Saco.

In 1919, The Albanians established another Mosque in Connecticut.

In 1919, an Islamic association established in Highland Park, Michigan. The organization dismantled after 5 years.

In 1920, The first Ahmadiyya Muslim missionary to arrive in America was Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, who arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday, February 15, 1920, on board the Haverford. For religious reasons he was detained on Ellis Island, New York on February 25, 1920. On May 20, 1920 he was released by the order of the Secretary of the State. Dr. Sadiq stayed in New York for some time and continued to preach Islam. Later, he moved to Chicago and in 1921 established the first headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, at 4448 Wabash Avenue, giving it the name “Al Masjid.”

In 1920, The Red Crescent, a Muslim charity modeled after the International Red Cross, is established in Detroit.

In 1922, an Islamic association was established in Detroit, Michigan.

By 1923, Hassen Mohamed became a successful businessman in Downtown Belzoni, Mississippi. He had a general merchandise store. Hassen settled in the Belzoni area in 1911 he came from the Lebanese Shiite village of Sir’een. Hassen was married to Ethel Wright together they had eight children one of their sons Ollie Mohamed became a State Senator. Hassen Mohamed past away in 1965.

In 1925, a Muslim group in Michigan City, Indiana purchased land designated as their cemetery. In the thirties, these Muslims added a Mosque/Community Center. The building is still in use.

In 1926, Duse Muhammad Ali (1866-1945), mentor of Marcus Garvey, helped establish an organization in Detroit known as the “Universal Islamic Society.” Its motto was “One God, One Aim, One Destiny.” He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of a Sudanese mother and an Egyptian army officer. He was brought to London at a young age by one of his fathers” friends. He was known to be a frequently in the company of Muhammad Pickthall, the English Muslim scholar who translated the Holy Qur’an into English. Duse Ali had considerable influence upon Garvey’s when they work together in London when Duse Ali was the Editor African Times and Orient Review.

In 1926, Polish speaking Tartars opened a Mosque in Brooklyn, NY. In the 1900s Polish Muslims came to Brooklyn, NY. In 1931 they purchase a New England church-style-meeting hall and an adjacent three-story residential building which is still in use today. The community is made up of Asian Tartars whose nomadic ancestors helped Vitautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, in his victory against the Teutonic Order in 1410. They settled in Lithuania and Poland with the status of nobility, while remaining Muslim. They were nearly annihilated during World War II.

In 1928, The Islamic Propagation Center of America opened up on State Street in Brooklyn, New York, under the leadership of Shaikh Al-Haj Daoud Ahmed Faisal. He also started the Islamic Mission Society, which was active from 1934-1942. Shaikh Faisal was granted a charter by Shaikh Khalid of Jordan and King Saud of Saudi Arabia to propagate Islam in America.

In 1928, The early beginnings of the first Mosque of Pittsburgh were rooted in Noble Drew Ali’s teaching. Several years after its foundation, the main teacher of the community, Walter Smith Bey, invited Dr. Yusef Khan an Ahmadi to speak and teach the community. During this time of growth and development by 1935 there emerged a new conflict pertaining to Dr. Khan’s teachings. Most of the community members concluded against Dr. Khan and the community divided for a second time. Today the community follows the sunnah of the Prophet.

In 1929, Muslim farmers built one of America’s first Mosques (Masjid) in Ross, North Dakota. The homesteader Hassen Juma had settled there with 160 free acres in 1899. By 1902, twenty families had followed his path from Birey, Syria. The U.S. objected to their naturalization until 1909 when it withdrew the ban and the Syrians began claiming citizenship. Many fought and died in the two world wars. In 1929 the community built a Mosque, and performed Jumah (Friday) prayer service. The farmhouse/mosque was destroyed in 1978. The cemetery on its grounds remains and there is an arched gate with a crescent and star on it.

In 1929, “The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America” in Detroit was founded by W.D.Fard. Fard was known as (Wali D. Fard, Wallace Fard, and W.F. Muhammad) mystery surrounds his origins some identify him as half-Syrian, half-Jamaican some say half-Persian, half-Turkish, and the FBI says he was half-Polynesian, half-Scottish. Fard claimed he was half-European, half-Meccan genealogy. On July the Fourth, he announced the beginning of His mission which was to restore and to resurrect his lost and found people, who were identified as the original nation of Muslims of Asiatic-African descent from the tribe of Shabazz, who were captured, exploited, and dehumanized and enslaved. In 1931, Fard was preaching in Detroit, Michigan where after hearing his first lecture Elijah Poole was overwhelmed by the message and immediately accepted it. The founder of the Nation of Islam gave him the name “Karriem” and made him minister. Later he was promoted to the position of “Supreme Minister” and his name was changed to Muhammad.

Mr. Muhammad quickly became an integral part of the Temple of Islam. For the next three and a half years, Mr. Muhammad was personally taught by his teacher Wali D. Fard. Eljiah was taught some Islamic beliefs, a self-independence and empowerment concept, a history, a superior cultural belief, was inspired to read and respect the Holy Qur’an. There where about 8,000 followers at that time.

In 1933, Fard told Eljiah Muhammad that he was the Mahdi “The Saviour”, the one who had come in the early morning dawn of the New Millennium to lay the base for a New World Order of Peace and Righteousness on the foundation of truth, justice, freedom, and to change the world into a Heaven on Earth.

In 1934, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) becomes the leader of “The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America” which later became known as “The Nation of Islam.” The Nation of Islam, was an i-ndigenous African American Islamic expression founded by Wali Fard Muhammad and developed by Elijah Muhammad. In 1934, W. Fard Muhammad, departed the scene and left the Honorable Elijah Muhammad with the mission. By 1935, Mr. Muhammad faced many new challenges and a death plot at the hands of a few disgruntled members. To avoid the plot and to do research at the Library of Congress he moved to Washington, DC. In Washington, Mr. Muhammad studied and started a Muslim community he was known as “Mr Evans”, “Ghulam Bogans”, Muhammad Rassoull”. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad built a mulit-million dollar empire by the time of his passing. The Nation of Islam had develop many Temples of Islam, and the University of Islam across the country, they had businesses, farms, property, rental property, transportation fleets and more. He produced many great Muslims leaders like Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and Imam W.D. Mohammed.

In 1934, The Muslim community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa built the first Masjid (Mosque) specifically designed and built as a Masjid. The earlier community was predominantly Lebanese under the leadership of Abdullah Ingram. Cedar Rapid’s community has grown and has been able to maintain their Islamic identity.

In 1934, The Frist Mosque of Cleveland was developed by a major community of Ahmadis headed by Wali Akram from 1934-1937. By the 1940s there were two hundred people in the Masjid. As the twentieth century progressed, the direct personal influence of the Ahmadi missionaries declined. Many of the early members left the movement for a variety of reasons.

In the 1930’s, three other Mosques (Masjids) were started in Dearborn, MI., Sacramento, CA., and Michigan City, MI.

In the late 1930s, “The Addeynu Allah Universal Arab Association” a Sunni community was established in Newark, NJ under the leadership of Professor Ezeldeen who was second in command in Noble Drew Ali’s movement and was known as Brother Lomax Bey. As one of the first African-American to master the Arabic language and to go aboard to study Islam in Egypt. When Professor Ezeldeen returned to the States, he rejected the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple and developed orthodox Islamic communities in several cities throughout the United States. A community was developed in upper State New York and in Southern part of New Jersey outside of Camden in a community called Ezaldeen Village. Professor Ezeldeen was responsible for establishing the first National Islamic Organization among the Sunni Muslims called “United Islamic Communities”, which included Sheikh Dawud, members of the First Mosque of Cleveland and Pittsburgh along with others.

In 1939, The Islamic Mission Society is founded in New York by Sheikh Dawud.

In 1940, The first official Nation of Islam Temple #4 in Washington, DC was setup by Elijah Muhammad. Three other cities had Temples in Detroit, MN #1, Chicago, IL #2, and Milwaukee, Wn #3.

In 1941, The FBI begins its’ program of harassment on the members of the Nation of Islam.

In 1942, John Ben Ali Haggin was known as Captain Johnny Haggin who became famous for his valor as the pilot of the famous submarine sinking flight, off the coast of New Jersey. John Ben Ali Haggin was born of Irish-Arabian descent on August 19, 1916, in New York City.

In 1942, The Nation of Islam begins preaching in the US prison systems in Petersburg, VA. William X Fagin, Harry X Craighhead, and Benjamin X Mitchell. In Benjamin’s book he states that “Inmates began to ask us questions about our religion. The three of us began to explain to the inmates the teachings of Islam.”

In 1946, The Nation of Islam bought their first Temple called Temple #2 in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1946, The first Young Muslim Women’s Association was chartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had a sub-charter in Missouri that provided services such as aid for dependent children, widows, and the elderly.

1947-60, A third wave of Muslim immigrants, coming from Palestine, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Egypt.

In 1949, The Albanian-American Muslim Center of Detroit was founded by Imam Vehbi Ismail.

By the late 1940s, a few jazz musicians became Muslims. Art Blakey, Talib Dawoud, Mohammed Sadiq, Sahib Shihab, Ahmad Jamal, Dakota Staton, Yusef Lateef, Idrees Sulieman, and McCoy (Sulieman Saud) Tyner to a name a few.

In 1950, the first mosque in the nation’s capital is established as the “American Fazl Mosque” at 2141 Leroy Place, Washington, DC. It served as the Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from 1950-1994.

In 1952, Muslim service men sue the federal government and were allowed to identify themselves as Muslims.

In 1954, The Federation of Islamic Associations (FIA) of the US and Canada was established.

In 1955, The State Street Masjid in New York City was established by Sheikh Dawud Ahmed Faisal. It is still in use today. From this Masjid came the Dar-ul-Islam movement in 1962.

In 1955, A Mosque was established by Yugoslavians in Chicago. These Muslims arrived in the early 1900s and have evolved into an organized ethnic group with several institutions, including the Bosnian-American Cultural Association.

In 1956, Malik Shabzz (Malcolm X) (1925-1965), becomes an active preacher for the Nation of Islam. While in prison, he was introduced to Elijah Muhammad teaching. In the early 1950s he converted and took his X. He started working with the Nation of Islam in 1952 when he was released from jail. He eventually rose to a position of leadership and was assigned to New York City Temple #7. In the late 1970s Temple #7 was renamed Masjid Malcolm Shabazz in honored of him.

In 1957, The Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. opens. The Islamic Center of Washington, DC was open on June 28th 1957. The center was built as a traditional Islamic architect structure. President Dwight Eisenhower gave the opening remarks at the opening of the Islamic Center. In his statement he says, “Under the American Constitution this Center, this place of worship is as welcome as could be any similar edifice of any religion. Americans would fight with all their strength for your right to have your own church and worship according to your own conscience.”

In 1960, Masjid Muhammad of Washington, DC was built as the first Mosque built under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. During its” first ten years the building was used as a Temple. For more than twenty years since 1975 Masjid Muhammad has functioned as a Masjid under the Sunnah or orthodox way of Al-Islam. The community has a rich history that expands more than sixty years since the mid 1930s and was known as Temple #4 in its early beginnings.

In 1962, The first Muslim American Newspaper “Muhammad Speaks” is launched. It later became the largest minority weekly publication in the country and reached more than 800,000 readers at its peak. It has undergone various name changes’ Bilalian News, The A.M. Journal, to its current name Muslim Journal.

In 1963, The Muslim Student Association (MSA) was founded. It’s an organization to aid foreign Muslim students attending schools in the United States. MSA now has more than 100 branches nationwide.

In 1965, Internationally known Muslim leader El Hajj Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X) is assassinated in New York.

In 1965, Muhammad Ali the three time world boxing champ makes the name Muhammad Ali and the Islamic faith a household name in America.

In 1968, The Hanafi Movement is founded by Hamas Abdul-Khaalis. The Hanafi Madhab Center was established in New York but later moved to Washington, DC. At it peak the community had a membership of more than 1,000 in the United States. Kareem Abdul-JAbbar, the famous basket player help bring attention to the community.

From 1960’s-1980, A fifth wave of Muslim students and immigrants came from all over the Muslim World.

From 1970-1973, Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Muslim from Bangladesh, designed the Chicago’s John Hancock Center in (1970), the One Shell Plaza in Houston (1971), and the Sears Towers in Chicago in (1973).

In 1972, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad opened a $2 million Mosque and school in Chicago.

In 1973, a unique event took place. A descendant of the Beall’s Family sold some property to Masjid Muhammad, then known as Muhammad’s Holy Temple of Islam # 4. The Beall’s is the same family that had own and freed Yarrow Marmood in the 1800s.

In 1974, The Muslim World League was granted non-governmental organizational status at the United Nations.

In 1975, Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, dies February 25th.

In 1975, Warith Deen Mohammed becomes the leader of the Nation of Islam. He moved the Nation of Islam from nationalism into the Sunnah path of Islam. Under his leadership the community made many positive transitions and name changes from The World Community of Islam in the West, to the American Muslim Mission, Ministry of W.D. Mohammed, and now Muslim American Society.

In 1978, Warith Deen Muhammad is named as consultant/trustee by the Gulf States to distribute funds for Islamic missionary activities in the U.S.

In 1981, The first Islamic library was established in Plainfield, Indiana.

In 1982, The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in Plainfield, IN. ISNA is now an umbrella organization for many active Islamic groups seeking to further the cause of Al-Islam in the United States.

In 1985, Warith D. Muhammad decentralizes the old N.O.I community structure.

In the 1990s, A Somalian born Muslim working as an employee for the US Post Office invented the new self-adhesive stamp.

In the 1990s A National Shura developed in North America which comprises Imam W.D. Mohammed, Dr. Abdullah Idris Ali, President of ISNA, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, and Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid, the Amir of ICNA.

In 1991, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, became the first Muslim in U.S. history to offer the invocation (opening prayer) to the United States House of Representatives.

In 1991, Charles Bilal, of Kountze, Texas, became the nation’s first Muslim mayor in an American city.

In 1992, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, became the first Muslim in U.S. history to offer the invocation (opening prayer) to the United States Senate.

In 1993, Captain Abdul Rasheed Muhammad became the First Muslim Army Chaplin (Imam) in the U.S. Army was installed. In 1991 according to the United States Department of Defense, there are more than 5,000 Muslims in uniform on active duty in the military.

In 1994, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is established, a leading Islamic Human and Civil rights organization.

In 1994, Abdul-Hakeem Muhammad, a computer specialist with the IRS, won the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service. For his work in the field of Open systems standards and architectural environment.

In 1996, Monje Malak Abd Al-Muta”Ali ibn Noel, Jr. became the First Muslim Naval Chaplin (Imam) in the U.S. Navy.

In 1996, The American Muslim Council sponsored the first Iftar Dinner Celebration on Capitol Hill.

In 1996, The White House and the first lady, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, recognized the completion of Ramadan by hosting a group of Muslim families at a White House reception for Id al-Fitr.

In 1999, The New York City Police Department appoints the first Muslim Chaplain, Imam Izak-El M. Pasha.

In 1999, The U.S. Post-office published a stamp to honor the Muslim leader Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X). There are two other postage stamps honoring achievements of Muslims the revolutionary heroes Peter (Salem) Saleem, and Saleem (Salem) Poor. Malcolm is the first well-known Muslim to be put on the stamp.

In 1999, The U.S. State Department hosted its first Iftar for Muslim Americans at the State Department.

In August 1999, The first Muslim US Ambassador, Osman Siddique was sworn in as the Ambassador to the Fiji Islands.

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s we have seen much growth in the Muslim community. Today Islam is the fastest growing Religion in America today and has now become the second largest religion in the United States. Today there are many Muslims across the country that are holding elected offices as local City Council members, State representatives, a Mayor, and Judges. We find Muslims in every profession today as Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers and others.

Muslims in America . org


History of American Muslims (1)


The Early History

Pre Columbus & Pre Slavery Years

Compiled By Amir Muhammad
In Dr. Barry Fell’s book Saga America, he reports that the southwest Pima people possessed a vocabulary which contained words of Arabic origin. Dr. Fell also reports that in Inyo County, California, there exits an early rock carving which stated in Arabic:”Yasus ben Maria” (“Jesus, Son of Mary”). Dr. Fell discovered the existence of Muslim schools in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Indiana dating back to 700-800 CE.

By 1312, Mansa Musa’s brother Sultan Abu Bakri II of Mali made his second expedition on the Atlantic ocean. In 1324 on his famous journey to Hajj, Mansa Musa reported in Cairo that his brother had left him in charge of Mali. Anthropologists have proven that the Mandinkas under Abu Bakri explored many parts of North America via the Mississippi and other river systems. At Four Corners, Arizona writings show that they even brought elephants from Africa to the area.

In 1492, Columbus had two captains of Muslim origin during his first voyage, one named Martin Alonso Pinzon the captain of the Pinta, and his brother Vicente Yanex Pinzon the captain of the Nina. They were wealthy expert ship outfitters who helped organize Columbus’ expedition and repaired the flagship Santa Maria. The Pinzon family was related to Abuzayan Muhammad III, the Moroccan Sultan of the Marinid Dynasty (1196-1465).

October 21, 1492, Columbus admitted in his papers that while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the northeast coast of Cuba, he saw a Mosque on the top of a beautiful mountain. Ruins of Mosques and minarets with inscriptions of Qur’anic verses have been discovered in Cuba, Mexico, Texas, and Nevada.

In 1527, the Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narva’ez left Spain for the Americas. In his fleet he had five ships and six hundred people in his company. The expedition met with many hardships. Several ships were destroyed by a West Indies, hurricane and a group of Indians killed a large number of the remaining members of the party. Afterward, when only a few members of the expedition were left, Cabeza de Vaca, the former treasurer of Narva’ez took up the leadership of the remaining members of the party with Estevanico being among them.

Estevanico was called an Arab Negro, a Muslim who came from Azamore on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. He was among the first two persons to reach the west coast of Mexico in an exploring overland expedition from Florida to the Pacific Coast. It’s reported that Estevanico acted as a guide and it took them nine years to reach Mexico City where they told stories of their travels.

In 1538, Estevanico lead an expedition from Mexico with Friar Marco, in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibolia, in which time he discovered Arizona and New Mexico. He was the first member of a different race reported to have visited the North Mexican Pueblos. He was killed in the city of Cibolia, one of the Seven Cities of the Zuni Indians, which is now New Mexico. Friar Marco, while following Estevanico’s trail to Cibolia, learned of his murder from an Indian messenger.

From 1566-1587 Spain kept and maintained a military outpost and settlement called Santa Elena on the southern tip of Parris Island, SC. Portuguese were known to be among the Spaniards at Santa Elena. In Spain 1568 the Alpujarra uprising of the Moriscos (Muslims’ who were forcibly converted to Catholicism) gave cause to another wave of Portuguese Moriscos to leave Spain.

In 1600, the first Melungeons were reported in the southern Appalachian valleys. As English and Scotch-Irish settlers moved in, they pushed the Melungeons into the mountains of North Carolina, and into Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. The Melungeons were the first people, aside from Native Americans to penetrate so deeply into the Appalachian region. Many of the Melungeons were of primarily Portuguese ancestry, with North African and Indian traits. Among the early Portuguese were the Moriscos of Spain who were escaping persecution. Today there are still some Melungeons living secretively and many have assimilated into the American culture.

The Melungeons had operated rich silver mines in the area of Straight Creek in the Cumberland Plateau, near Pineville, Kentucky. They minted silver coins in the area for their own use. By the time Kentucky joined the Union and became a Commonwealth, the independent secretive life of the Melungeons came to an end.

In 1600, The Indians told Jamestown residents that with only a six-day walk to the west, there were”people like you,” who wore their hair short and built log houses.

In 1639, The First black recorded by name on the Delmar va Peninsula was called Anthony. He was delivered near present day Wilmington. He was often described as”an Angoler or Moor,” and called”Blackamoor.” From the”Delaware’s Forgotten Folk” The Story of the Moors & Nanticokes by C.A. Weslager

In 1654, English explorers from Jamestown reported finding a colony of bearded people”Moors” wearing European clothing, living in cabins engaging in mining, smelting silver and dropping to their knees to pray many times daily in the mountains of what is now, North Carolina.

In 1670, Virginia General Assembly 1670 Act declared who will be slaves, excluding Turks & Moors, whose countries were in amity with the King of England. Page 491 of Virginia General Assembly 1733 and 1752 records.

In 1684, Moors are reported to have arrived in Delaware near Dover, and in Southern New Jersey near Bridgeton.

The descendants of many of the Muslim visitors of North America are members in many of our present day Indian tribes. Some of the tribes are the Alibamu tribe of Alabama, the Apaches, Anasazi, Arawak, Arikana, the Black Indians of the Schuylkill River area in New York, the Cherokees, Creeks, the Makkahs, Mahigans, Mohanets, the Nanticokes, the Seminoles, the Zulus, and the Zuni.

Many other Muslims and their descendants came to America’s shores after being marooned, such as the Moors of Delaware near Dover, and of Southern New Jersey near Bridgeton, and in parts of Southern Maryland; the Melungeons of Tennessee and Virginia; the Guineas of West Virginia; the Clappers of New York; the Turks of South Carolina; and the Laster Tribe near Hertford, NC. It is reported that the Laster Tribe was descendants from a Moorish captain who married a white woman and settled in the area.

There are more than 500 names of places, villages, streets, towns, cities, lakes, rivers, etc . . . in the United States which are derived from Islamic and Arabic roots. Like Mecca, Indiana; Medina, N Y; Medina, OH; Medina, TX; Toledo, OH; Mahomet, IL; Islamorada, FL, and Tallahassee, FL.

The 1700’s

In 1713, the Reverend John Sharpe reported from New York the existence of what he called “Negro marriages” he described a situation familiar to New Englanders. The marriages of the blacks, he explained, “are performed by mutual consent without the blessing of the Church,” Some slaves, he went on, were kept from Christian marriage “because of polygamy contracted before baptism where none or neither of the wives will accept a divorce.
From Black Kings and Governors of New England.

In 1719 The Reverend Peter Thatcher of Milton, Massachusetts complained about his slave woman Hagar sexual life. She was a slave that was married to Sambo, a slave of Mr. Brightman of Boston, in 1716. She apparently had another child after Sambo’s death or departure from the area by 1719. Hagar had three children Sambo, Jimmie, and Hagar.
From Black Kings and Governors of New England.

In 1730 Ayuba (Job) Suleiman Diallo, a well educated Muslim merchant was kidnaped and enslaved from 1730-1733. Job ibn Solomon Dgiallo (Jallo) came from Bundu, Senegal. He was captured in 1730 in Gambia and brought to Annapolis, MD in 1731, where he was delivered to Mr. V. Denton, factor to Mr Hunt. Mr Denton sold Job to Mr. Alexander Tolsey in Kent Island in Maryland. He was a Fulani who lived near the banks of the Gambia river in Senegal. Job was one of the first Muslims written about in America. While in Maryland Job wrote a letter to his father, which came to the attention of James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, who helped purchase his freedom and sent him to London where he was finally set free and sent back home to work for the Royal African Company of London in his homeland. While in London Job wrote down three copies of the Quran from memory.

In 1730 Lamine Jay came from Futa-Toro, Senegal. He was captured along with Job ibn Soliman ibn Dgiallo (Jallo) trading on the lower part of the Gambia river. Lamine was also brought to Annapolis, Maryland where he became known as a Linguist. In less than five years Jay was able to win his freedom and return home with the help of his friend Job.

In the winter of 1741 in New York City, three Moorish crewmembers of a captured Spanish ship were sold into bondage and protested their condition, swearing revenge. After several fires flared across town during March and April of 1742, hysterical residents feared that a slave revolt was imminent and suspected that the Spanish Negroes “Moors” were deeply concerned and active in the protest. The episode ended with the public executions of twenty-three people and the exile of seventy-one others.
From the Seaport New York’s History Magazine.

In 1750, true to legend, the Melungeons were already in the area of Knoxville, TN; Camden, SC; and Marion, NC when the first Europeans arrived.
Mahomet Tombstone

In 1750 in the royal burial ground of the Mohegans Indians in Norwich, CT one of the memorial state’s “In memory of  Elizabeth Joquib, the daughter of Mahomet, great-grandchild to the first Uncas, great sachem of Mohegan, who died July 5th, 1740 at 38 years old. Mamohet was the rightful heir of Qwenoco but Ben, the youngest son of Uncas, of illegitimate birth, succeeded Caesar, the successor as sachem after Owenoco.

From Indian Races of America / The New England Coast.

March 3, 1753 Muslims from North Africa, appear in the records of South Carolina. In the South Carolina Council Journal, No. 21, Pt. 1, pp. 298-299. Two men by the name Abel Conder and Mahamut (Mahomet) petitioned the South Carolina royal authorities in Arabic for their freedom. They came from Asilah (Sali) on the Barbary Coast of Morroco. Their story is that they were in a battle in 1736, with the Portuguese when they lost the battle and was captured. An officer named Captain Henry Daubrib, asked them would they be willing to serve him for five years in Carolina. When they arrived in South Carolina they were transferred to Daniel LaRoche, who then enslaved them for fifteen years until 1753.
From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.


Chicken George, Kunta’s Grandfather

In 1767, Kunta Kinte was captured and enslaved. Kunta Kinte was a Muslim born in 1750, in the village of Juffure in Gambia. He was shipped to Annapolis, Maryland on the ship Lord Ligonier and sold to a Virginia planter. Kunta Kinte fought hard to hold on to his Islamic heritage. Having learned the Qur’an as a boy Kunta scratched Arabic phrases in the dirt and tried to pray every day after he arrived in America. Kunta Kinte was Alex’s Haley Mandingo forbearer, who he talks about in his book Roots.

In 1768 a Muslim named Charno, living in South Carolina, wrote four Surahs from the Quran. He was the slave of Captain David Anderson. There are at least nine different people reported to have written Arabic text during this period.

In 1769 Savannah Georgia Gazette advertises for three runaway Muslim women from Guinea by the names of Jamina, Belinda, and Hagar.

From 1774-1775 many runaway slave advertisements were of Muslim runaway slaves. Like the one in the Savannah Georgia Gazette, in September 7, 1774 for a runaway Negro fellow named Mahomet.

On June 17, 1775, Peter Salem (Saleem) born (1750?-1816) a former slave who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. The battle was fought at Breed’s Hill according to one story, the colonial troops were near defeat, and British Major John Pitcairn ordered them to surrender. Salem then stepped forward and shot Pitcairn. Pitcairn later died of the wound. Peter Salem got awarded for fighting in the Revolutionary War, and he also fought at Lexington. Peter Salem and Salem (Saleem) Poor were honored for their bravery.

Peter Salem was born a slave in Framingham, Massachusetts. He had at least two owners in his lifetime. The first owner was Jeremiah Belknap. Belknap sold him to Lawson Buckminister of Framingham. Buckminister allowed Salem to enlist in the colonial army. In exchange for enlisting in the army, Salem received his freedom.

After receiving his freedom “Peter Buckminister” changed his name to Salem. He was also known as “Salem Prince.” Local legend has it that the name Salem came from a Massachusetts privateering port where all of the sailors went during the Revolutionary War when people were fighting on their boats. History reports that an old Jewish man told the people that the word was like “shalom” which means peace. The name for peace in Arabic is Salaam and Saleem in Arabic means one who is peaceful.

Salem (Saleem) remained in the army for several years, long enough to fight in the battles of Saratoga and Stony Point. After the war he settled in Leicester, Massachusetts where he barely earned a living weaving cane seats for chairs. He died in the poor house in Framingham in 1816. Postage stamps have been made of Peter Salem and Salem Poor as American Revolutionary war heros.

In 1777 Morocco becomes the first country to acknowledge America’s independence as a new country.

In 1784
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams was commissioned to negotiate a treaty with the Emperor of Morocco.

In 1786 Morocco became the sixth and the first Muslim country to sign a Peace Treaty with the United States in 1786. Algeria in 1795, Tripoli in 1796, Tunis in 1797, and Muscat (Oman) in 1833 followed.

In 1786 two Muslim men appeared in Charleston, SC “dressed in the Moorish habit” and aroused a great deal of suspicion by their strange ways. An officer of the law attempted to question them and found they were Moors who did not speak English. They were taken to an interpreter who found out they came from Algeria and sailed to Virginia were they had been arrested. Then they traveled overland to South Carolina.
From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.

In 1788 Abrahim Abdul Rahman ibn Sori (1762-1829) born in Timbo, West Africa (In present day Guinea) was captured. He was known as the “Prince of Slaves.” He was a Fulbe from the land of Futa Jallon. Abrahim was captured by warring tribes and sold to slave traders in 1788 at the age of 26. He was bought by a Natchez, Mississippi cotton and tobacco farmer, where he eventually became the overseer of the plantation.

In 1788-1789 The Sultan Mohammed III and President George Washington exchanging letters about peace and asking the Sultan to intercede with authorities in Tunis and Tripoli to obtain the right of free navigation for American ships in the Mediterranean.

August 20, 1789 the Savannah Georgia Gazette, runs an advertisment for a Muslim women runaway describing her as “A Young Negro Wench, named Hagar, has on oznabrig clothes, and wears a handkerchief on hear head. She has been seen a day or two ago selling watermelons near town.”

In 1790 in South Carolina a group of “Moors” by the names of Francis, Daniel, Hammond, and Samuel, along with their wives four Muslim women named Fatima, Flora, Sarah, and Clarinda, asked the South Carolina House of Representatives to treat them as free whites. They stated that while they had been fighting for the emperor of Morocco against an African King they had been taken prisoners. A Captain Clark had the Moors delivered to him on the promise he would take them to England where the Ambassador from Morocco would purchase their freedom. Instead, Clark brought them to South Carolina where he sold them as slaves.
The Journals of the House of Representatives, 1789-1790.

In 1790 Joseph Benenhaly or Yusef Ben Ali from North Africa appears in the 1790 census in Sumter, county. General Thomas Sumter recruited Benenhaly, of Arab descent, and another man known as John Scott to fight with him in the American Revolution. Originally, it is believed that they were pirates. After the war, Sumter took them inland with him to near Stateburg where they settled down and many of their descendents have remained. His dark-skinned descendants, became known as the Turks of Sumter County because of their Moorish background.

In 1792 the South Carolina legislature passed a law which stopped the importation of slaves in the state. One provision stated that Moors could not be bound for terms of years of service and could not be brought into South Carolina from other states in the Union either by land or sea.
From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.
Yarrow Marmood
In 1796 Brooke Beall’s inventory listed Yarrow’s age at about 60 years old. Yarrow (Mamout) Marmood 1736-1844 was enslaved and brought from Guinea, Africa before the Revolutionary War.

Muslims In


Muslim Americans: A National Portrait

An in-depth analysis of America’s most diverse religious community

The Gallup Organization has conducted a study of Muslim-Americans that reveals “Muslims in America have a much more positive outlook on life than their counterparts in most predominantly Muslim countries and some other Western societies” and that “Muslim-Americans to be racially and ideologically diverse, extremely religious, and younger and more highly educated than the typical American.”

The demographics of the study showed the following –
RELIGIOSITY: Muslim-Americans are more religious than other Americans, but less likely than those in predominantly Muslim countries to say religion plays an important part in their lives — 80 percent of Muslim-Americans compared to virtually all in Egypt, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Morocco, for example.

IDEOLOGY: Muslim-Americans are the U.S. religious group most evenly spread out along the political spectrum — 29% liberal, 38% moderate, 25% conservative.

PARTISANSHIP: 49 percent of Muslim-Americans called themselves Democrats, 8 percent Republican and 37 percent independent. Gallup found that among all Americans in 2008 34 percent identified as Democratic, 26 percent Republican and 33 percent independent. But voter registration was relatively low among Muslim-Americans.

OTHER DEMOGRAPHICS: Muslim-Americans skew young, with 36 percent age 18-29, double the rate for the general population. They’re more likely than other Americans to be single. Forty percent have at least a college degree, compared to 29 percent of Americans overall. Muslims may be slightly more likely than other Americans to report low household income.
Muslim Americans: A National Portrait represents the first-ever nationally representative study of a randomly selected sample of Muslim Americans. The results shed light on one of the most diverse religious groups in the United States, reflecting the economic, racial, and political diversity within America itself.

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