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Muslims in American History: A Forgotten Legacy Paperback – September 1, 2006
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Mr. Dirks has organized the book in a chronological format starting with the first recorded voyage in 889 CE of Khashkhash ibn Saeed ibn Aswad, who sailed West from the same port that Columbus launched his 3 ships, to Muslims in modern day America. The topics covered are Muslims in the Americas in the pre-Columbian period, the European explorers, the slave trade, Muslims in Native American tribes, the Melungeons, Islamic residuals In the West and Muslims in 20th century North America. The first four chapters covering the pre Columbian period to the Slave trade were the most interesting and surprising.
I found the most interesting accounts were related to the Slave trade. Mr. Dirks writes about the approximately 20 million Muslims who were taken as slaves from Africa. The vast majority of these were highly educated individuals such as the Ulema (religious leaders) Hafiz-ul-Quran (those who memorized the Quran) and military and political leaders. As a result Muslims were responsible for many of the slave revolts that occurred in the European Colonies in the West, so much so that Spain passed a law forbidding slave traders from enslaving Muslims from Muslim parts of Africa.
Mr. Dirks also gives considerable attention to individual biographies of Muslims who were captured as slaves, and since I enjoy reading biographies, I felt the savage human cost of slavery in general and the impact to Muslim slaves in particular.
All in all this is a well written book that gives some very interesting insights about Muslims in the history of the Americas. Much of what is written here is familiar but it's the Muslim connection that gives this book an interesting twist.
I found this book interesting about Muslims in America before Columbus. But considering the knowledge of the Muslim at the time I can believe their early arrival after all Europe was in the dark ages while the Muslim Countries were studding Greek and Ottoman concepts. I was un- aware that most West Africans were of the Muslim faith and most black slaves were exported form that area. But again the Moors controlled Spain and North Africa before Columbus so it seems plausible. Another in-site was that Muhammad and Christ are considered prophets, Mohammad being the last. The Koran talk’s about Jesus Christ (phuh) and considers him a man of Allah (God) in the same sense as Adam is considered the first man. This has prompted a renewed interest in religion that I intend to peruse.
The one thing I would like to see in the future, is further investigations or details related to the early Pre-Columbus periods of trade between Muslim nations and the Americas. I'm sure its difficult to get this information, but as it becomes available, I would love to see more.
If only the "love it or leave it"/"Americas is a christian" nation crowd would read more of their history, the country may be a more tolerant and successful place.
Muslims are not foreigners to America nor are they here to destroy American ideals and culture. In fact, they helped build this country from the very first days of its existence.
READ THIS BOOK.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
[i]Muslims in American History: a Forgotten Legacy[/i] gets one star because it is not possible to give it fewer than that. Jerald F. Read morePublished on May 28, 2014 by JMorgan
The author really put the Muslims in prospective when it comes to early american history, interesting facts, great work and bookPublished on March 28, 2014 by Naeem
It opened my eyes to know the history of Muslims involvement in America which is not known to ordinary public specially in USAPublished on March 21, 2014 by Javid Khan
If you're looking for a window into Muslim history in the Americas, this is the book you want to read! Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Remington3006
Mr. Dirks is a great writer and really draws emotions out of his reader. This book will teach you stuff about American history that you will simply not learn elsewhere. Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Nadeem