Some Intresting Facts About Islam in the United States

islamamerica

Following are details about Islam in America which I found very interesting in the Wikipedia article Islam in the United States. The sources for the facts are given in the original article on Wikipedia. I’ve only hand picked certain facts which I found intriguing. Some of the facts are from other articles linked from this original piece. I haven’t really found anything which seems way too out there but if someone does, then please let me know in the comments section below and I will be more than happy to remove it. Please let me know the source as well.

  • It is the third largest religion in the United States after Christianity and Judaism.
  • According to a new estimate in 2016, there are 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, about 1% of the total U.S. population
  • Muslims are one of the most racially diverse religious groups in the United States.
  • Native-born American Muslims are mainly African Americans who make up about a quarter of the total Muslim population.
  • One of the earliest accounts of Islam’s presence in North America dates to 1528, when a Moroccan slave, called Estevanico by his Spanish masters, was shipwrecked near present-day Galveston, Texas. He and four survivors subsequently traveled through much of the American southwest and the Mexican interior before reaching Mexico City.
  • One of the first documented Muslims in North America was Anthony Janszoon van Salee (1607–1676), a landholder and merchant of mixed Dutch-Moor descent who settled in New Netherlands (modern New York) in the 17th century. His father, Jan Janszoon van Haarlem, was a convert to Islam and tried very hard to convert his fellow Europeans who were Christian to become Muslim and was a very passionate Muslim missionary. Anthony had four daughters and one of them was named Sara, who married John Emans. They are fifth great-grandparents of Warren G. Harding, the 29th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1921, until his death. Anthony’s notable descendants include the Vanderbilt dynasty as well, who were once the wealthiest family in America. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the richest American in history until his death in 1877. After that, his son William acquired his father’s fortune, and was the richest American until his death in 1885. The Vanderbilts’ prominence lasted until the mid-20th century. Branches of the family are found on the United States East Coast. Contemporary descendants include fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, her youngest son, journalist Anderson Cooper, musician John P. Hammond, screenwriter James Vanderbilt and actor Timothy Olyphant.
  • Records from the American Revolutionary War indicate that at least a few Muslims fought on the American side. Among the recorded names of American soldiers are “Yusuf ben Ali” and “Bampett Muhamed”.
  • Historians estimate that between 15 and 30 percent of all enslaved African men and less than 15 percent of the enslaved African women were Muslims. These enslaved Muslims stood out from their compatriots because of their “resistance, determination and education”. Some newly arrived Muslim slaves assembled for communal salat (prayers). Some were provided a private praying area by their owner.
  • The two best documented Muslim slaves were Ayuba Suleiman Diallo and Omar Ibn Said. Suleiman was brought to America in 1731 and returned to Africa in 1734. Like many Muslim slaves, he often encountered impediments when attempting to perform religious rituals and was eventually allotted a private location for prayer by his master. Omar Ibn Said (ca. 1770–1864) is among the best documented examples of a practicing-Muslim slave. He lived on a colonial North Carolina plantation and wrote many Arabic texts while enslaved. Born in the kingdom of Futa Tooro (modern Senegal), he arrived in America in 1807, one month before the U.S. abolished importation of slaves. Some of his works include the Lords Prayer, the Bismillah, this is How You Pray, Quranic phases, the 23rd Psalm, and an autobiography. In 1857, he produced his last known writing on Surah 110 of the Quran. In 1819, Omar received an Arabic translation of the Christian Bible from his master, James Owen. Omar converted to Christianity in 1820, an episode widely used throughout the South to “prove” the benevolence of slavery. However, some scholars believe he continued to be a practicing Muslim, based on dedications to Muhammad written in his Bible.
  • Prior to the late 19th century, most documented non-enslaved Muslims in North America were merchants, travelers, and sailors.
  • In 1785, George Washington stated a willingness to hire “Mahometans,” as well as people of any nation or religion, to work on his private estate at Mount Vernon if they were “good workmen”.
  • In 1776, John Adams published “Thoughts on Government,” in which he mentions the Islamic prophet Muhammad as a “sober inquirer after truth” alongside Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, and other thinkers.
  • In 1797, President John Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, declaring the United States had no “character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen.”
  • In his autobiography, published in 1791, Benjamin Franklin stated that he “did not disapprove” of a meeting place in Pennsylvania that was designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”
  • On December 9, 1805, President Thomas Jefferson hosted an Iftar dinner at the White House for his guest Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, an envoy from Tunis.
  • Thomas Jefferson defended religious freedom in America including those of Muslims. Jefferson explicitly mentioned Muslims when writing about the movement for religious freedom in Virginia.
  • The first country to recognize the United States as an independent nation was the Sultanate of Morocco, under its ruler Mohammed ben Abdallah, in the year 1777. He maintained several correspondences with President George Washington. In December 1777, Moroccan sultan Muhammad ben Abdallah included the United States of America in a list of countries to which Morocco’s ports were open. Morocco thus became the first country whose head of state publicly recognized the new United States. Relations were formalized with the Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship negotiated by Thomas Barclay, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Muhammad ben Abdallah in 1786.
  • Among South Asians in the country, the large Pakistani American community stands out as particularly well educated and prosperous, with education and income levels exceeding those of U.S.-born whites. Many are professionals, especially in medicine (they account for 2.7-5% of America’s physicians), scientists, engineers, and financial analysts, and there are also a large number of entrepreneurs.
  • The number of mosques in the United States in 2011 was 2,106. The six states with the greatest number of mosques were: New York 257, California 246, Texas 166, Florida 118, Illinois 109, and New Jersey 109.
  • Muslims in the United States have increasingly made their own culture; there are various Muslim comedy groups, rap groups, Scout troops and magazines, and Muslims have been vocal in other forms of media as well.
  • America’s Islamic Heritage Museum in Washington, DC opened on April 30, 2011 dedicated to the history of Islamic culture in the U.S.
  • After the September 11 attacks, America saw an increase in the number of hate crimes committed against people who were perceived to be Muslim, particularly those of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. A publication in Journal of Applied Social Psychology found evidence that the number of anti-Muslim attacks in America in 2001 increased from 354 to 1,501 following 9/11. Arab American Institute reported an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes ranging from discrimination and destruction of private property to violent threats and assaults, some of which resulted in deaths.
  • 51% of American Muslims express worries that women wearing hijab will be treated poorly, 44% of American Muslim women who always wear hijab express a similar concern
  • In a 2007 survey, 53% of American Muslims reported that it was more difficult to be a Muslim after the 9/11 attacks. Asked to name the most important problem facing them, the options named by more than ten percent of American Muslims were discrimination (19%), being viewed as a terrorist (15%), public’s ignorance about Islam (13%), and stereotyping (12%).
  • 2014 Pew poll found that Muslims were the most disliked religious group in the United States with an average 40% cold rating.
  • 54% of Muslims in America believe that the U.S. government’s anti-terrorism activities single out Muslims.
  • 76% of surveyed Muslim Americans stated that they are very or somewhat concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, while 61% express a similar concern about the possibility of Islamic extremism in the United States.
  • Overall, from restaurants to supermarkets, halal meat sales are projected at $20 billion in 2016, up by one-third since 2010, according to the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America, which certifies halal food and promotes education on the topic.
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Categories: Dawah/Non-Muslims, History

Tags: , ,

2 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Blogging Theology and commented:
    Fascinating!

  2. Interesting! Let’s spread this out. These facts, could lead a better understanding of Islam, where Muslim is an integral part in the history of United States.

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