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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Correction to Previous Post: Muslims Did Contribute

(nablopomo day 22)

I previously posted on President Obama's statement uttered in his speech in Cairo, that Muslims played a role in "America's story."  What I posted was An American citizen's response" to Obama's statement by Mr. Morris Sadek, supposedly refuting it point by point.  The refutation sounded plausible on the surface, and I did no research on it whatsoever. I Should've. Because the refutations themselves were done without research, and they were false (hat tip, my previous commenter, Friar Yid).  I am here to set the record straight.

Turns out In this case, Obama was right: Muslims did play a part in the discovering and building of America.  Even before the slave trade, there were accounts in pre-Columbus times of Muslims arriving in the 'New World', and in the 1500s, Africans were forcibly brought to this country and sold as slaves in Spanish Florida.  There are estimates indicating that 10-20% of the blacks brought as slaves were Muslim.

Here are just some examples of Muslim slaves in America in the 18-19th century:

Omar Ibn Said (ca. 1770-1864) was born in the Muslim state of Futa Toro in     Western Africa, in present-day Senegal. He was a Muslim scholar and trader who was captured and enslaved. He arrived in South Carolina in 1807, and was sold to James Owen of North Carolina.
Sali-Bul Ali was a slave on a plantation. His owner James Cooper wrote: "He is a strict Mahometan (sic); abstains from spirituous liquors, and keeps various fasts, particularly that of the Ramadan..."

Lamen Kebe was a slave who used to be a school teacher in Africa. He shared information about the texts and teaching methods used in the Islamic schools of his country.

Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Sori spent 40 years in slavery before he returned to Africa to die. He wrote two autobiographies, and signed a charcoal sketch of himself by Henry Inman, which was featured on the cover of "Freedman's Journal" and is on display in the Library of Congress.


It also looks as if the black Muslim slaves  were, similar to the Jews' persecution during the Middle Ages and other times, forced to convert to Christianity:
Many of the Muslim slaves were encouraged or forced to convert to Christianity. Many of the first-generation slaves retained much of their Muslim identity, but under the harsh slavery conditions this identity was largely lost to later generations.
 There are also records of  Muslims who served in America's wars, as far back as the American Revolutionary war, and the Civil War, as well as WWI and of course, WWII.

Read the true complete documented answers here.  Now that we're talking truth about America's history and the Muslims' part in it, how about shattering some myths about that venerable American holiday, Thanksgiving

And who knows--maybe even our founding father Alexander Hamilton, venerable author of the Federalist Papers, might have been. . . Jewish?

Naaah.



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