Muslims in America: A Short History



Muslims are neither new nor foreign to the United States. They have been a vital presence in North America since the 16th century. Muslims in America unearths their history, documenting the lives of African, Middle Eastern, South Asian, European, black, white, Hispanic and other Americans who have been followers of Islam.
The book begins with the tale of Job Ben Solomon, a 18th century African American Muslim slave, and goes on to chart the stories of sodbusters in North Dakota, African American converts to Islam in the 1920s, Muslim barkeepers in Toledo, the post-1965 wave of professional immigrants from Asia and Africa, and Muslim Americans after 9/11. The book reveals the richness of Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi and other forms of Islamic theology, ethics, and rituals in the United States by illustrating the way Islamic faith has been imagined and practiced in the everyday lives of individuals. Muslims in America recovers the place of Muslims in the larger American story, too. Showing how Muslim American men and women participated in each era of U.S. history, the book explores how they have both shaped and have been shaped by larger historical trends such as the abolition movement, Gilded Age immigration, the Great Migration of African Americans, urbanization, religious revivalism, the feminist movement, and the current war on terror. It also shows how, from the very beginning of American history, Muslim Americans have been at once a part of their local communities, their nation, and the worldwide community of Muslims.
The first single-author history of Muslims in America from colonial times to the present, this book fills a huge gap and provides invaluable background on one of the most poorly understood groups in the United States.

Religion in American Life explores the evolution, character, and dynamic of organized religion in America from 1500 to the present day. Written by distinguished historians of religion, these books weave together the varying stories that compose the religious fabric of the United States, from Puritanism to alternative religious practices. Primary source material coupled with handsome illustrations and lucid text make these books essential in any exploration of America's diverse nature. Each book includes a chronology, suggestions for further reading, and an index.

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
October 01, 2009
5.4 X 0.5 X 8.1 inches | 0.48 pounds

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About the Author

Edward E. Curtis IV is Millennium Chair of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The author or editor of four books on Muslim American and African American religious history, Curtis is general editor of the largest scholarly encyclopedia ever produced on the experience of Muslims in the United States.


"[Curtis] has authored a fine and succinct history that spans centuries...Unmatched for its breadth of sources, this is also one of the few books in the field to cover both immigrant and indigenous (African-American) American Muslims...Photographs, chronology, edited selections from chosen narratives, and a Further Reading Section provide useful jumping-off points for the reader, who will undoubtedly be intrigued by Curtis's compelling little read." --Publishers Weekly

"Muslims in America provide[s] an interesting and diverse sampling
of Islamic theological reflection in the United States today." --Foreign Affairs

"This concise account of US Muslims is cohesive and approachable for readers unfamiliar with the subject, does not bog down in protracted explanations of beliefs, practices, and complex historical or political events, yet remains scholarly. The author's use of intimate profiles of individuals and families to illustrate common experiences of the larger group also draws readers in and increases the power of his descriptions...Highly recommended." --Choice Reviews

"Curtis achieves his objective...a model of clarity on the details of the Muslim experience in America." --Wilson Quarterly

"Curtis' book is a refreshing look at an important aspect of American history and culture." --Foreword Magazine

"This book offers a new perspective on the role Muslims have played in America and a deeper perspective on the nature of Islam." --Indianapolis Star

"Gives voice to a population in the United States that traditional history books tend to overlook or unknowingly misrepresent." --Middle East Journal