Muslims in America
Recently President Obama in a well publicized speech encouraging toleration mentioned in general the historical contributions to our country of individuals, Americans, professing the Muslim faith. This has brought out the expected screams of anguish from those who seem to criticize our president for anything he says or does. I received an email from one of my correspondents, a middle-eastern non-muslim immigrant, forwarding a lengthy screed denying any contribution of anyone of that faith to our history and challenging anyone to demonstrate that any fought in the American Revolution, were residents during colonial times or otherwise contributed in any way to this country’s development. Well here are some:
1. “Islam is Peace” said President George W. Bush in a speech. He also once held hands with an Arab muslim.
2. 20% of the slaves brought to America were muslim thereby, I suspect, many of them predating the arrival on these shores of the ancestors of the people making the claims in the email.
3. Salem Poor, Yuef Ben Ali, Bampett Muhamed and Francis and Joseph Saba served in the American Revolutionary Army.
4.Estavanco was a muslim (North African Berber) who explored what is now Arizona and New Mexico for Spain.
5. Bilali (Ben Ali) Muhammad was a Fula Muslim from Timbo he became the religious leader and Imam for a slave community numbering approximately eighty Muslim men residing on his plantation. During the War of 1812, Muhammad and the eighty Muslim men under his leadership protected their master’s Sapelo Island property from a British attack. In 1829, Bilali authored a thirteen page Arabic Risala on Islāmic beliefs and the rules for ablution, morning prayer, and the calls to prayer. Known as the Bilali Document, it is currently housed at the University of Georgia in Athens.
6. In 1790, the South Carolina legislative body granted special legal status to a community of Moroccans
7. in the 1788 North Carolina ratifying convention opposed the new constitution; one reason was the fear that some day Catholics or Muslims might be elected president.
8. In 1863 Muhammad Ali ibn Said (also known as Nicholas Said) enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts Colored Regiment in the United States Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was later granted a transfer to a hospital department, where he gained some knowledge of medicine.
9. Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (November 9, 1846, Hudson, New York – October 1, 1916, Rutherford, New Jersey), a muslim convert, was an American writer, publisher, and the United States Ambassador to the Philippines.
10. 1840 Yemini and Turkish immigration begins. They settled primarily in Dearborn Mich., Quincy Mass and Ross North Dakota.
11. 1906 Bosnian Muslims settle in Chicago.
12. 1907 Polish Muslims settle in NY.
13. Two of the most prominent Chinese American Muslims are the Taiwan National Revolutionary Army Generals Ma Hongkui and his son Ma Dunjing, who moved to Los Angeles after fleeing from China to Taiwan. Pai Hsien-yung, son of the Chinese Muslim General Bai Chongxi, is a Chinese Muslim writer who moved to Santa Barbara, California after fleeing from China to Taiwan.
14. There are over 2000 mosques in the United States and the nation’s largest mosque, the Islāmic Center of America, is in Dearborn, Michigan.
15. There are more than 15,000 doctors practicing medicine in the USA who are of Pakistani origin alone and the number of Pakistani American millionaires was reported to be in the thousands.
16. 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.
17. As of May 30, 2005, over 15,000 Muslims were serving in the United States Armed Forces.
18. Data released from the 2010 U.S. Religion Census shows Islam was the fastest growing religion in America in the last 10 years, with 2.6 million living in the U.S. today.
19. Marine Corps Captain Aisha Bakkar-Poe a Muslim woman whose family emigrated from Syria said after 9/11, “Those terrorists must be reading a completely different Koran than the rest of us…This isn’t about Islam it’s about terrorism.”
(Much of the above is from Wikipedia)
I do not particularly like Islam as I do not particularly like any of the Abrahamic religions if for no other reason than the horrors that they have inflicted on each other and others in their name, but I hate bigotry more.
- Muslims face dehumanizing prejudice in U.S., scholar says (m.onlineathens.com)
- NYPD designates mosques as terrorism organizations (bigstory.ap.org)