Caliph, Calafia, California
July 4, 2019 12:24 PM   Subscribe

Muslims of early America - "Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers. How was their history forgotten?"
posted by kliuless (12 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
Fascinating. Thanks for posting this.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 1:08 PM on July 4, 2019

This is a powerfully informative and fascinating part of history that has been overlooked/forgotten. I'm glad it's being shared here. Thank you for posting.
posted by Fizz at 1:19 PM on July 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huh. I did not know those things.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:44 PM on July 4, 2019

A very interesting read. Definitely a contrast between the "Greater America" of the article and the Protestant state of America. The Protestant state had a problem with Catholics for a long time, too, and there are a lot of echoes of anti-Catholic sentiment from a century ago in anti-Muslim sentiment now, all the "threat to democracy" stuff.
posted by clawsoon at 2:17 PM on July 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is fantastic and I am deeply grateful for it. Thanks for posting it here.
posted by mwhybark at 6:08 PM on July 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

What a fantastic article. Thanks, kliuless.
posted by glasseyes at 5:36 AM on July 5, 2019

Good stuff. There was a related post here recently:
Private Mohammed Kahn, also known as John Ammahail, was born in Persia, circa 1830. Raised in Afghanistan, he immigrated to the United States in 1861. About two months after his arrival he enlisted in the 43rd New York Infantry Regiment, following a night out with friends who convinced him to join.
posted by exogenous at 7:17 AM on July 5, 2019

In the Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls marries Almanzo Wilder. Even in the 1880's, Almanzo was an unusual name and this is the explanation that Almanzo gives for his name in The Long Winter:

It was wished on me. My folks have got a notion there always has to be an Almanzo in the family, because ‘way back in the time of the Crusades there was a Wilder went to them, and an Arab or somebody saved his life. El Manzoor, the name was. They changed it after a while in England…

I bet there was an El Manzoor but maybe whatever happened didn't happen during the Crusades, it happened in the US. I really, really wish we could get the real story but I bet we never will.
posted by selfmedicating at 9:11 AM on July 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the post! It tied in very nicely with my ambivalence over this Fourth of July.
posted by natabat at 10:25 AM on July 5, 2019

"Muslims came to America more than a century before Protestants, and in great numbers.

Well firstly, Protestants didn't exist in 1492. Martin Luther didn't nail his thesis to the church door until late 1517, and it took a while for the movement to take off.

That gives the author a bit of a head start in his assertion. Unfortunately there is no evidence that the small town Andalucian crew which Columbus took on his first voyage had even a single practicing Muslim. We know the names of all 87 and there isn't a Mohamed or a Khalid among them, all regular Spanish names like Rodrigo and Diego.

Even if you accept that someone on the 1492 crew was a secret Muslim avoiding the inquisition, you'd have to believe that no Protestant came to America until 1593, and we know that is not the case. For example, Drake landed in California in 1579.
posted by w0mbat at 1:16 PM on July 5, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is a great piece, with a lot to think about - thank you for posting it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:30 AM on July 6, 2019

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