A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell by Umar F. Abd-Allah

By Umar F. Abd-Allah

Conflicts and controversies at domestic and overseas have led americans to target Islam greater than ever prior to. furthermore, an increasing number of in their associates, colleagues, and associates are Muslims. whereas a lot has been written approximately modern American Islam and pioneering reviews have seemed on Muslim slaves within the antebellum interval, relatively little is understood approximately Islam in Victorian the United States. This biography of Alexander Russell Webb, one of many earliest American Muslims to accomplish public renown, seeks to fill this gap.

Webb was once a imperative determine of yankee Islam through the past due 19th and early 20th centuries. a local of the Hudson Valley, he was once a journalist, editor, and civil servant. Raised a Presbyterian, Webb early on started to domesticate an curiosity in different religions and have become fairly excited about Islam. whereas serving as U.S. consul to the Philippines in 1887, he took a better curiosity within the religion and embraced it in 1888, one of many first americans identified to have performed so. inside of many years, he all started corresponding with vital Muslims in India. Webb grew to become an enthusiastic propagator of the religion, founding the 1st Islamic establishment within the usa: the yankee venture. He wrote a number of books meant to introduce Islam to american citizens, begun the 1st Islamic press within the usa, released a magazine entitled The Moslem international, and served because the consultant of Islam on the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. In 1901, he was once appointed Honorary Turkish Consul normal in big apple and used to be invited to Turkey, the place he bought Ottoman medals of merits.

In this first-ever biography of Webb, Umar F. Abd-Allah examines Webb's lifestyles and makes use of it as a window during which to discover the early heritage of Islam in the USA. aside from his followed religion, each point of Webb's lifestyles used to be, as Abd-Allah indicates, quintessentially attribute of his position and time. It was once simply because he used to be so quite often American that he was once in a position to function Islam's ambassador to the USA (and vice versa). As America's Muslim neighborhood grows and turns into extra noticeable, Webb's existence and the virtues he championed - pluralism, liberalism, common humanity, and a feeling of civic and political accountability - exemplify what it capacity to be an American Muslim.

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