By Umar F. Abd-Allah

Conflicts and controversies at domestic and out of the country have led american citizens to target Islam greater than ever sooner than. additionally, a growing number of in their associates, colleagues, and pals are Muslims. whereas a lot has been written approximately modern American Islam and pioneering reports have seemed on Muslim slaves within the antebellum interval, relatively little is understood approximately Islam in Victorian the US. 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 critical determine of yank Islam through the overdue 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 desirous 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 american citizens recognized to have performed so. inside of many years, he started corresponding with very important 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 quite a few books meant to introduce Islam to americans, 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 basic in manhattan 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 by which to discover the early heritage of Islam in the United States. with the exception of his followed religion, each element of Webb's lifestyles was once, as Abd-Allah exhibits, quintessentially attribute of his position and time. It used to be simply because he used to be so quite often American that he used to be capable of function Islam's ambassador to the US (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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A Muslim in Victorian America: The Life of Alexander Russell Webb by Umar F. Abd-Allah

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