Friday, May 16, 2014

Muslims in the United States: A People's History

Muslims have a rich history in the United States, especially among enslaved Africans, according to this excellent essay by Alison Kysia called "A Peoples History of Muslims in the Untied States."   Kysia wrote the story for the Zinn Education Project’s “If We Knew Our History" series which "features articles by teachers, journalists, and scholars that highlight inadequacies in the history textbooks."

That rich history includes, for example, Mohamed Ali b. Said. He fought in the Civil War, eventually became a free man and taught school in Detroit.  Another example includes Nathaniel Johnson  who led an integrated mosque in St. Louis and opposed segregation. And it includes Muslims in Californian who participated in union activism in the 1970's.

These and other examples, Kysia suggests, dispel the “dominant media stereotypes of Muslims as lying, violent, brown foreigners."

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