Islam Has Always Been Part Of America
by Ronnie Spangler
According to President Obama "Islam has always been part of America."
Is this revisionist history from our President?
The truth is Islam is relatively new compared to other religions practiced within the United States. President Obama seems to forget that the original 13 colonies were predominately Christian. Other areas controlled by Spain or France were mostly Catholic. Historians vigorously disagree on when and where Islam 1st became a religious factor in the history of America. One thing is certain, by 1776 and the signing of the Declaration of Independence Muslim influence under the Ottoman Empire had been drastically reduced. After Napoleon conquered Egypt in 1798 the Muslim culture and Islamic faith had been left behind.
Obama and some misguided historians seem to believe that it was slavery in America that brought Islam to our shores. Here again historians are divided on how many slaves actually came from Muslim countries. Some will say 10% of slaves were Muslims while others put the number between 15%-30%, truth is nobody knows. If you study the spread of Islam from the time of Mohammed until the decline of the Ottoman Empire, you will find that it never ventured farther west or south than the northeastern coast of Africa. The majority of all slave trade during this period took place along the west and southwest coast of the African continent.
Due to the way slaves were captured and sold to slave traders it is highly unlikely that the ones sold on the west coast of Africa were ever exposed to Islam. Tribes along these coast that participated in slave trade were at war with tribes in central Africa. Tribes along the coast would capture members of enemy tribes and sell them to the slave traders. As the need for slaves increased France and Spain began to colonize the west and southwestern coast of Africa and became heavily involved in the slavery business. Because each tribe in central, western and southern part of Africa had its own primitive gods and religion it leaves you to wonder how any of these people could have been Muslim.
As you look deeper into the spread of Islam in early America you find very few people actually practicing the Islamic faith. In 1915 the Albanians built a Muslim Mosque in Maine, although the accepted 1st Islamic Mosque is reported to have been built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1934 by the Lebanese community. It wasn't until the 2nd half of the 20th century that Muslims started to immigrate into America in large numbers and Mosque construction began to explode. It is estimated there are over 2000 Mosques in America today, compared to zero before 1915.
With this information readily available I cannot understand how President Obama can say, "Islam has always been a part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country."