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Newsletter for June 2012
Muslims in America: Seven Centuries of History
The New York Times
estimates (Feb. 21, 1989) that there are approximately 7 million
Muslim in America. The Chicago Tribune puts the number at 16
million. Other estimates put the number at around ten million,
and the number is to double by the year 2027. The reason for the
discrepancy is that the Census Bureau does not ask for religious
affiliation and the 3000 mosque membership rosters do not
accurately represent all the Muslims in the USA
Muslims are NOT new to America. We are not the Johnny come lately. The History of Muslims in America is the history of America itself. We all built America and will continue to build it together. Like all other immigrants, Muslims came to America in a variety of ways. From the earliest times to the present Muslims came to America as explorers, as slaves, as students, as economic refugees, and as professionals.
There are 565 names of places (villages, towns, cities, mountains, lakes, rivers,.. etc. ) in U.S.A. (484) and Canada (81) which derived from Islamic and Arabic roots. These places were originally named by the natives in pre-Columbian periods. Some of these names carried holy meanings such as: Mecca-720 inhabitants (Indiana), Makkah Indian tribe (Washington), Medina-2100 (Idaho), Medina-8500 (N.Y.), Medina-1100, Hazen-5000 (North Dakota), Medina-17000/Medina-120000 (Ohio), Medina-1100 (Tennessee), Medina-26000 (Texas), Medina-1200 (Ontario), Mahomet-3200 (Illinois), Mona-1000 (Utah), Arva-700 (Ontario)...etc. A careful study of the names of the native Indian tribes revealed that many names are derived from Arab and Islamic roots and origins, i.e. Anasazi, Apache, Arawak, Arikana, Chavin, Cherokee, Cree, Hohokam, Hupa, Hopi, Makkah, Mahigan, Mohawk, Nazca, Zulu, Zuni...etc..
889: Muslim navigator, Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad, from Cordoba, Spain sailed From Delba (Palos) in 889 CE, crossed the Atlantic, reached an unknown territory (ard majhoola) Source: ABUL-HASSAN ALI IBN AL-HUSSAINAL-MASUDI (871-957 CE) wrote in his book Muruj adh-dhahab wa maadin aljawhar
February 999CE: Ibn Farrukh, from Granada, sailed from Kadesh (February 999CE) into the Atlantic, landed in Gando (Great Canary islands) visiting King Guanariga, and continued westward where he saw and named two islands, Capraria and Pluitana. He arrived back in Spain in May 999 CE Narrated by ABU BAKR IBN UMAR AL-GUTIYYA. Dr. Barry Fell (Harvard University) introduced in his book 'Saga America-1980' solid scientific evidence supporting the arrival, Centuries before Columbus, of Muslims from North and West Africa.
1100: The Muslim explorers accessed the interior of the continent by using the Mississippi River. The traces of their early presence may be found in the architecture and calligraphy of towns such as St. Augustine, Florida (America's oldest town), in the names of islands such as Islam Dora, and in the customs of the American Indians
1178: In 1178, a
Chinese document known as the Sung Document records the voyage
of Muslim sailors to a land known as Mu-Lan-Pi (America). This
document is mentioned in The Khotan Amirs, published in 1933.
1310: Abu Bakari, a Muslim king from the Malian Empire, leads a series of nautical voyages to the New World in 1310.
1312: African Muslims from Mandinga arrive in the Gulf of Mexico and explore the American interior via the Mississippi River. There is documented proof of expeditions by Muslim explorers to North America (Source Congressman Findley "Silent No More").It is believed that Mansa Abu Bakr of Mali traveled to the Gulf of Mexico in 1312. Ethno-linguistic analysis shows connections between certain peoples of the West African coast and the Native Americans living in the
Gulf of Mexico region of the Americas
Columbus departs from Huelva, Spain (Andalusia). The entire area
was full of Muslims and the earliest ships to America had
Muslims, Spaniards and Muslim Moors on the ships. The Captains
of Nina and Pinto Maria were Arab origin. Martin Alonso Pinzon
was the captain of the PINTA, and his brother Vicente Yanez
Pinzon was The captain of the NINA. The PINZON family was
related to ABUZAYAN MUHAMMAD III (1362-66 CE), the Moroccan
sultan of the Marinid dynasty (1196-1465CE). Columbus admitted
in his papers that on Monday, October 21,1492 CE while his ship
was sailing near Gibara on the north-east coast of Cuba, he saw
a mosque on top of a beautiful mountain. The ruins of mosques
and minarets with inscriptions of Qur'anic verses have been
discovered in Cuba, Mexico, Texas and Nevada
1513: Piri Reis completes his first world map, including the Americas, after researching maps from all over the world. The map is unsurpassed in its practicality and artistry.
1527: The founding and
exploration, in 1527, of both Arizona and New Mexico by
Estevanico, a Spaniard from Morocco. After Estevanico, Muhammad
explains, the next wave of Muslims to come to America were
termed the Melungeons. This
group, like the Moors, left Spain and Portugal to escape the Spanish Inquisition.
1539: It is a documented fact that a Moroccan guide Estephan participated in the exploration of Arizona and New Mexico for the viceroy of New Spain.
1717: Arrival in North America of "Arabic-speaking slaves" About 25% of the slaves from Africa were Muslim and against all odds (Kunte Kunte in “Roots"), many maintained their religion for many generations. In fact about 3.5 Muslim in America today are descendants of Muslim slaves
1732: A Muslim slave by the name of "Ayyub Bin Sulaiman Jallon" from "Boonda, Galumbo" is set free by James Oglethrope, the founder of Georgia, and provided transportation to England. In 1735, three years later, he returned home
1776: Thomas Jefferson had a copy of the Quran as part of his library Civil War: Clear evidence of the presence of Islam in America begins with the Moriscoes who accompanied the Spanish invaders.
1790: Moors from Spain are reported to be living in South Carolina and Florida
1807: An African Muslim by the name of Yarrow Mamout is set free in Washington DC, after the United States Congress prohibits the importation of slaves into America after January 1st, 1808, and later becomes one of the first shareholders of the Columbia Bank, the second charted bank in America. It is implemented that Yarrow may have lived to be more than 128 years old, the oldest person in American history.
1809: A Muslim by the name of "Omar ibn Said" is enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina, and imprisoned after running away. Later in prison he was visited by John Owen, who became later a Governor of North Carolina, and taken to Bladen County to be placed on the Owen plantation. It is reported that he lived to be 100 years old
1865: During the American Civil War, the "scorched earth" policy of the North destroyed churches, farms schools, libraries, colleges and a great deal of other property. On the morning of April 4, when the Federal troops reached the campus of the University of Alabama with orders to destroy the university, André Deloffre, a modern language professor and custodian of the "Rotunda library" at the university, appealed to the commanding officer, to spare one of the finest libraries in the south. The officer, being sympathetic, sent a courier to General Croxton at his headquarters in Tuscaloosa asking permission to save the library, but the general's reply was negative, so the officer reportedly said, "I will save one volume as a memento of this occasion" and the volume selected was a rare copy of the Qur'an"
1893: "Mohammad Alexander Russel Webb", the US Ambassador to the Philippines and one of the earliest "White American Converts", founds the "American Islamic Propaganda Movement". And on September 20th and 21st, he appeared at the First World Congress of Religions and delivered two lectures: "The Spirit of Islam," and "The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions."
1900: Earliest recorded Muslim group to organize for communal prayers, in Ross, North Dakota. In the early part of this century, waves of immigrants from various parts of the Muslim world, most notably Palestine, Lebanon and what is now Pakistan, appeared on these shores. These people were mostly illiterate, unskilled Arabs who found work in the auto factories of Detroit, or peasants from the Punjab who set up house in such places as Sacramento
1908: Muslim immigrants from the provinces of the Ottoman Empire, who are mainly Turks, Kurds, Albanians, and Arabs arrive in North America.
1913: "Timothy Drew" (Noble Drew Ali) establishes an organization in Newark, NJ, known as the "Moorish Science Temple of America" (MSTA), responsible for many of today's African-American converts to Islam, and who was reportedly commissioned by the Sultan of Morocco at that time to teach "Negroes" in the United States
1915 Albanian Muslims build a Masjid (Mosque) in Maine and establish one of the first associations for Muslims in the United States, and in 1919 they build another Masjid in Connecticut.
1934: First building designated as Mosque, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
1952: Muslim servicemen allowed to identify their religion as “Muslim” by the US government. Then, beginning in the '50s, the picture changed drastically. An influx of Muslim professionals, many of them physicians, finding conditions in their homelands inhospitable, settled in this country after completing their studies. The black movements, the back-to-Africa groups, had come into flower by this time. Great numbers of Muslim students from all parts of the world also began to arrive in this country.
1960s: Immigration of Muslim doctors etc. It was this period that also witnessed the formation of national Islamic groups, such as the Muslim Students Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada, later to be replaced by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and their supporting institutions.
1970: Muslim students in Engineering and Science
1980: Large-scale immigration of Muslims during the USA-Muslim alliance that destroyed the USSR
1982 The "Islamic Society of North America" (ISNA) is established in Plainfield, Indiana, which is now the umbrella organization.
1987 Muslim Alert
Network was established in Chicago to mobilize Muslim response
to media and discrimination against Muslims. Later on the same
concept was used to establish CAIR.
1991 Imam Siraj Wahhaj offers an invocation (opening prayer) to the United States House of Representatives. He was the first Muslim to do so.
1995 Oklahoma Bombing took place which launched a hate campaign against Muslims in America
1996 Iftar-Dinner on Capitol Hill sponsored by American Muslim Council February 13 hosted by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D CT), Congressmen Nick J. Rahall (D W. VA), Dana Rohrabacher (R CA), Thomas M. Davis III (R VA), James P. Moran (D VA) and attended by ambassadors and representatives from most of the Muslim countries.
2000: Muslims endorsed Governor Bush for bloc vote who won in one the most narrow election in the history of the US.
2004: Muslims and Jews overwhelmingly vote for John Kerry but a large percentage voted for President Bush
1. AGHA HAKIM, AL-MIRZA Riyaadh Al-Ulama(Arabic),Vol.2 P.386/Vol.4 P.175
2. AL-AMEEN, SAYED MOHSIN Aayan Ash-Shia(Arabic),Vol.7 P.158/Vol 8 P.302-3
3. AL-IDRISSI Nuzhat Al-Mushtaq fi Ikhtiraq Al-Afaaq(Arabic)
4. AL-MASUDI Muruj Adh-Dhahab (Arabic), Vol. 1, P. 138
5. AL-ASFAHANI, AR-RAGHIB Adharea Ila Makarim Ash-Shia,Vol.16,P.343
6. CAUVET, GILES Les Berbers de L'Amerique, Paris 1912,P.100-101
7. COLUMBUS, FERDINAND The Life of Admiral Christopher Columbus, Rutgers Univ. Press, 1959, P.232
8. DAVIES, NIGEL Voyagers to the New World,New York 1979
9. ON MANUEL OSUNAY SAVINON Resumen de la Geografia Fisica...,Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1844
10. FELL,BARRY Saga America, New York 1980
11. FELL,BARRY America BC, New York 1976
12. GORDON,CYRUS Before Columbus, New York 1971
13. GYR,DONALD Exploring Rock Art, Santa Barbara 1989
14. HUYGHE,PATRICK Columbus was Last, New York 1992
15. OBREGON ,MAURICIO The Columbus Papers, The Barcelona Letter of 1493, The
Landfall Controversy, and the Indian Guides, McMillan Co., New York 1991
16. THACHER,JOHN BOYD Christopher Columbus, New York 1950,P.380
17. VAN SETIMA,IVAN African Presence in Early America, New Brunswick, NJ 1987
18. VAN SETIMA,IVAN They Came Before Columbus, New York 1976
19. VON WUTHENAU,ALEX Unexpected Facts in Ancient America, New York 1975
20. WEINER,LEO Africa and the Discovery of America, Philadelphia, 1920,Vol.2 P.365-6
21. WILKINS,H..T. Mysteries of Ancient South America, New York 1974
22. WINTERS,CLYDE AHMAD Islam in Early North and South America, Al-Ittihad, July 1977,P.60
courtesy: Moin Ansari
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