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 in a foreign country have led american citizens to target Islam greater than ever ahead of. furthermore, an increasing number of in their friends, colleagues, and pals are Muslims. whereas a lot has been written approximately modern American Islam and pioneering stories 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 in the course of the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries. a local of the Hudson Valley, he used to be a journalist, editor, and civil servant. Raised a Presbyterian, Webb early on started to domesticate an curiosity in different religions and have become quite occupied with 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 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 project. He wrote a variety of books meant to introduce Islam to americans, all started 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 ny and was once invited to Turkey, the place he got Ottoman medals of merits.

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

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