Chronology of Islam in America ( 1900-1999 )
1908: Muslim immigrants from the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, etc., arrive in North America. They are mainly Turks, Kurds, Albanians, and Arabs.
1913: Timothy Drew (Noble Drew Ali) establishes an organization in Newark, NJ, known as the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA). Drew Ali reportedly was commissioned by the Sultan of Morocco to teach Islam to Negroes in the United States. The MSTA is also responsible for many of today's African-American converts to Islam.
1915: Albanian Muslims build a Masjid (Mosque) in Maine and establish one of the first associations for Muslims in the United States.
1919: Albanian Muslims build another Masjid in Connecticut. Islamic Association formed in Highland Park, Michigan.
1920: The Red Crescent, a Muslim charity modeled after the International Red Cross, is established in Detroit.
1922: American Mohammedan Society (of Tatar Origin) formed in Brooklyn. Islamic Association formed in Detroit.
1923: Young Men’s Muslim Association (Arab) established in Brooklyn.
1926: Dues Muhammad Ali, mentor of Marcus Gravey and the person who had considerable impact on Gravey's movement, establishes an organization in Detroit known as the Universal Islamic Society. Its motto was One God, One Imam, One Destiny. Polish-speaking Tatars build a mosque in Brooklyn New York.
1930: African-American Muslims build the First Muslim Mosque in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Arab Banner Society formed in Quincy, Massachusetts.
1933: The organization of the Nation of Islam (NOI) is founded by Fard Muhammad or (Wallace Ford), a Muslim mystic who introduced its philosophy to the United States and disappeared in 1933. The late Eli-jah Mohammed, succeeded Frad in 1933 and built the organization into a strong ethnic movement advocating Islam as a way of life. The NOI is one of the most well known organizations that had its prints on the history of United States, as well as the American Muslim history; it holds itself responsible for converting a high percentage of African-Americans to Islam and highlighting American Christians' difficulties combating the effects of slavery and racism among African-Americans. Two of the most famous African-Americans, Muhammad Ali and Alhajj Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X), were early adherents of this movement, but both later embraced the broader multiethnic concepts of mainstream Islam.
1934: The Lebanese community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, opens its Masjid.
1939: Sheikh Dawood founds the Islamic Mission Society in New York, which publishes a magazine entitled, Muslim Sunrise.
1952: Muslims in the Armed Services sue the Federal Government to be allowed to identify themselves as Muslims. Until then Islam was not recognized as a legitimate religion.
1955: Sheikh Dawood Ahmed Faisal establishes the State Street Masjid in New York City, which is still in use today and represents a special point in the development of the American Muslim community. And it is from this Masjid the Dar-ul-Islam movement was later born in 1962.
1957: Islamic Center of Washington opened.
1960: The Nation Of Islam's University of Islam schools flourished and drew the attention of the American media. However, the coverage focused upon the Black Muslims' self-help programs for Blacks, but considered them a "threat" to the white establishment.
- The Dar-ul-Islam movement, another important group among the African-American Muslim community, is born. Until its disappearance in 1982-1983, it made a serious impact upon the development and practice of traditional Islam in America.
- The newspaper Muhammad Speaks is published by the Nation of Islam, which later on becomes the largest minority weekly publication in the United States reaching 800,000 readers at its peak. But it eventually underwent some name changes over the years, following the various transformations its publishers (NOI) underwent as well, such as Bilalian News (named after a famous black Muslim hero and scholar), the A.M. Journal, and currently The Muslim Journal.
1963: 1st Jan. The Muslim Students Association (MSA) is established, at the University of Illinois in Urbana, as an organization to aid foreign Muslim students attending schools in the United States. MSA now has more than 100 branches nationwide. In the 1970's it gave birth to the Islamic Medical Association (IMA), the Association of Muslim Social Scientist (AMSS), and the Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE).
1965: AI Hajj Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X) is assassinated in New York. He was one of the most outstanding Muslims in American history as well as a dedicated fighter for justice and equality for African-Americans and other oppressed people.
1968: The Hanafi Movement is founded by Hamas Abdul Khaalis. The Hanafi Madhab Center was established in New York but later moved to Washington, D.C. This movement had a membership of more than 1000 in the United States. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, a famous basketball player, is one of the Muslims who first came into contact with Islam through this movement. In 1977, Khaalis and some of his followers seized control of three District of Columbia buildings, holding hostages for more than 30 hours. One man was killed. Khaalis is now incarcerated in Washington, D.C., and is serving a sentence of 41 to 120 years.
1971: Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is established as a North America wide, grass root Muslim organization.
1972: The Islamic Party in North America established at Masjidul Ummah in Washington DC. The Association of Muslim Social Scientists, is launched.
1975: Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, and his son, Warith Deen Muhammad, assumed leadership of the movement. Warith Deen Muhammad recognized the importance of bringing the Nation of Islam into the mainstream of Islam and immediately began to difficult process of closing the gaps between his father’s doctrines and mainstream Islam. Not all members of Elijah Muhammad's movement agreed with the changes his son introduced. One significant segment, led by Minister Louis Farrakhan, has continued to espouse Elijah's original teachings, and has maintained the Nation of Islam's name as well as its basic organizational structure. Farrakhan preaches that blacks world-wide are oppressed by whites, and seeks a separate state for African-Americans.
1976: Warith Deen Muhammad renames Nation of Islam as the World Community of Islam in the West.
1977: April 22-24 - The Muslim World League sponsors the first Islamic conference of North America in Newark, NJ.
1980: The American-Arab anti-discrimination committee (ADC) is a founded by former Senator James Abourezk to “defend the rights of people of Arab descent and promoting their rich cultural heritage.” Warith Deen Muhammad again renames his movement at the American Muslim Mission.
1981: The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is established in Plainfield, IN. ISNA is now an umbrella organization for many active Islamic groups seeking to further the cause of Islam in the United States. The first American Islamic library is established in Plainfield, Indiana.
1982:United Muslims of America (UMA) is established in California dedicated to establishing an effective voice for Muslims in U.S. politics. It was formed in spontaneous reaction to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, when Bay Area Muslims recognized that, despite their personal professional and social standing, they lacked the ability to influence U.S. policies in the absence of a cohesive American Muslim political vision and platform. Dr. Islam Siddiqee was the first President and one of the founders of UMA.
1985: Warith Deen Muhammad’s movement was officially integrated into the general Muslim community in the United States. Its members are now known simply as Muslims.
1986: Dr. Isma'il R. al-Faruqi, the founder of the American Muslim Social Scientists organization and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, and his wife are murdered in their home outside Philadelphia. Dr. Faruqi and his wife are the authors of the Cultural Atlas of Islam and many other books. His murder was predicated without name by the president of Jewish Defense League one week before his death in the Village Voice, New York by claiming that within a week an outspoken Palestinian professor will be eliminated.
1987: Muslim Alert Network was established in Chicago to mobilize Muslim response to media and discrimination against Muslims. Later on the same concept was used to establish CAIR in 1994.
1988: The Muslim Public Affairs Council is established “to work for the civil rights of American Muslims and for the integration of Islam into American pluralism.”
1990: Muslims hold the first solidarity conference called Muslims Against Apartheid. This was the first conference of its kind in support of Muslims for the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. The conference was organized by the American Muslim Council. The American Muslim Council (AMC) was established on July 12, 1990 to increase the effective participation of American Muslims in the U.S. political and public policy arenas.
- Imam Siraj Wahhaj offers an invocation (opening prayer) to the United States House of Representatives. He was the first Muslims to do so.
- Imam Warith Deen Mohammed gives the invocation in the Senate.
- The Muslim Members in the Military (MMM) organization hold their first "Unity in Uniform" conference. The conference took place at Boiling Air force Base in Washington, D.C. According to the United States Department of Defense, there are more than 5000 Muslims in uniform on active duty in the military. However, there are no Muslim Chaplains on active duty in any branch of service.
- Charles Bilal, Kountze, Texas, becomes the nation's first Muslim mayor in an American city.
1992: American Muslim Alliance is established by Dr. Agha Saeed in Hayward, CA. The AMA devoted exclusively to encouraging Muslim participation in political parties and the electoral process.Bosnia Task Force, USA was established as an alliance of ten national Muslim organizations in support of Bosnia.
- Bosnia Task Force, USA and National Organization of Women (NOW) organized joint demonstration in 100 cities in America against the rape of women in Bosnia. Bosnia Task Force, USA organized the largest rally to date by Muslim in favor of Bosnia in Washington DC attended by 50,000 Muslims.
- On Dec 3, African-American Captain Abdul Rashid Muhammad Begins serving as the first Imam in the US Army, according to Murad Wilfried Hofmann, author of “Religion on the Rise,” published by Amana Publications in 2001.
1994: The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is established by Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad . The CAIR focuses on defending the civil rights of Muslims, defending Islam against stereotypes and training Muslims in news media relations. Islamic Shura Council of North America was established choosing four of the largest participants of the Bosnia Task Force, USA. Council of American Muslim Professional is established in Chicago.
1995: Oklahoma Bombing took place which launched a hate campaign against Muslims in America.
-Iftar-Dinner on Capitol Hill sponsored by American Muslim Council February 13 hosted by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (D CT), Congressmen Nick J. Rahall (D W. VA), Dana Rohrabacher (R CA), Thomas M. Davis III (R VA), James P. Moran (D VA) and attended by ambassadors and representatives from most of the Muslim countries.
- The White house celebration of Eid Al-Fitr, February 20, 1996 by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton the first Eid celebration ever at the White House.
-Majority of Muslim Americans vote for Bill Clinton in the presidential elections.
March 10: The ISNA Fiqh Committee reorganizes as the Fiqh Council of North America “to create a larger and more authoritative body of Muslim scholars to effectively confront the many legal issues facing Muslims in North America.”
May: Four major American Muslim organizations – American Muslim Alliance, American Muslim Council, the Council on American-Islamic Affairs and Muslim Public Affairs Council – formed the American Muslim Political Coordination Council (AMPCC).
1999: A joint meeting of Council of Presidents of Arab Organizations and the American Muslim Political Coordination Council, on Jan. 23 in Washington, DC, brought together nine major political organizations which included: the Arab American Institute (AAI.), the Association of Arab American University Graduates (AAUG), the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), the American Muslim Council (AMC), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Coalition for Good Government (CFGG), the Muslim Pubic Affairs Council (MPAC), and the National Association of Arab Americans, (NAAA). They identified 4 areas of coordination and cooperation: The future of Jerusalem; Civil and human rights; Arab and Muslim participation in the electoral process; and Access and inclusion in political structures.
On August 8, Lt. Junior Grade Malik Abd Al Muta Ibn Noet Jr. appointed the first Imam in Navy.