Chronology of Islam in America from 1178 to 2011 in PDF format

Oslo Massacre by right-wing terrorist Breivik

Home Page
About us
AMP Comment
Muslims in politics
Press Center
Muslim Charities
Anti-Muslim smears
Civil liberties
Special Reports
Islam in US Chronology
Islam in Canada
Islam in Europe
US Muslim Groups
Book Review
Your comments
Letters to editor


Logo-0 Online Magazine

Executive Editor:  Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Chronology of Islam in America (2004)
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

January 2004

Republicans remove link to anti-Islam website
Jan 1: Following a strong protest by American Muslims, the ruling Republican Party has removed an anti-Islam link from one of its Websites. "We apologize for the link to this website and have instituted safeguards against links to such sites in the future. There is no room for hate in our society," said a message posted on the website of the Guild Ford County, North Carolina, Republican Party.  The website had a link to a site called "Islam Exposed" that states: "This website was designed with one objective in mind - to expose Islam and Muslims" and describes Muslims as "barbaric and savage" people. The link caused a flood of protest from Muslims concerned, requesting the party to de-link itself from hate groups.

Discriminatory U.S. Security Checks
Jan. 5: U.S. government today imposed discriminatory security checks for all Muslims who would be entering from any of the 115 airports and 14 seaports in the United States of America. From now onwards, all Muslims who need to enter into the United States will also have to go through “US-VISIT program”, which stands for United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology. The Muslims will go through these discriminatory security checks and on arrival at any airport or seaport of the U.S., they will be fingerprinted and photographed like a criminal or a possible terrorist. Not every person traveling to the U.S. will be put through the extra security steps. Good neighbors from 28 countries, mostly from Europe are not required to go through this "security hassle", as they are exempted from such security checks. Outside of Europe, U.S. government exempted countries that include Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Brunei, whereas citizens of Canada generally do not need a visa to enter the United States of America.

US bars entry to two South African Muslim religious leaders
Jan 11: US authorities barred two South African Muslims from entering the country despite having visas and detained and deported them in what they called humiliating conditions. The two men were heading for an Islamic convention in Atlanta, Georgia, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times reported. Tfter a 17-hour flight from Johannesburg to attend the convention hosted by the Atlanta Islamic Institute, businessman Musa Sulayman and cleric Mulana Ahmad Sulayman Khatani were detained by immigration officials, fingerprinted and photographed. Their passports, credit cards, invitations to the conference and other documentation were photocopied.  Sulayman, 66, told the Sunday Times he was sent back home after enduring "five hours of hell, uncertainty and embarrassment". Khatani, 33, was detained and spent more than 34 hours in a cell with four criminals before being deported.

The Justice Department's policy of secret arrests allowed
Jan 12: The U.S. Supreme Court struck a blow against government openness and accountability today by refusing to review the Justice Department's secret arrest and detention of hundreds of foreigners. The Supreme Court let stand a lower-court decision allowing the Justice Department to hide names and basic details in the cases of 762 foreigners -- almost all of them Muslims -- rounded up for immigration-law violations after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While the department claimed the blanket secrecy was needed to conceal information from terrorist groups, none of the detainees ended up being charged with terrorism. And under the cover of secrecy, the detainees were mistreated, according to a 2003 report from the Justice Department's own inspector general. The report found that some detainees weren't told of the charges they faced for more than a month; some weren't told of their right to contact a lawyer; and some were physically abused.

Senators call for investigating Muslim charities
Jan 14: In what will clearly to tarnish broadly the image of Islamic charities and chill their activities and their contributors, the US Senate Finance Committee has asked the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for its records on 25 Muslim charities and organizations as part of an investigation into possible links between non-governmental organizations and terrorist financing networks. "Many of these groups not only enjoy tax-exempt status, but their reputations as charities and foundations often allows them to escape scrutiny, making it easier to hide and move their funds to other groups and individuals who threaten our national security," Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and ranking Democrat Max Baucus said in a letter to the IRS made public today.

Muslim leader opens Ohio senate with prayer
Jan 21:  A leader of the Ohio Muslim community today opened a session of that state's Senate in Columbus with a prayer for tolerance and justice. Dr. Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relation's Ohio office (CAIR-Ohio), first recited the opening chapter (Al-Fatihah) of the Quran, and then said: "Today we give thanks to God for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, both individually and collectively. We also thank God for the bounties provided to us in our beautiful state of Ohio.

LA federal judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional
Jan 26: A Federal judge has ruled that a portion of sweeping antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, which bars giving expert advice or assistance to groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations, is unconstitutional and the government may not enforce it. In a 36-page ruling Monday, Los Angeles District Judge Audrey Collins said the ban on providing "expert advice or assistance" is impermissibly vague in violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution. "By targeting those who provide material support by providing 'expert advice or assistance,' the law made clear that Americans are threatened as much by the person who teaches a terrorist to build a bomb as by the one who pushes the button," he said. Several humanitarian groups in Los Angeles that work with Kurdish refugees in Turkey and Tamil residents of Sri Lanka had sued the government, arguing in a lawsuit that the antiterrorism act was so ill defined that they had stopped writing political material and helping organize peace conferences for fear that they would be prosecuted.

The ruling specified that the plaintiffs seek to provide support to "the lawful, nonviolent activities" of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, known as the LTTE, which advocates for the rights of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Both groups are on a list issued by former Secretary of State Madeline Albright in 1997 designating them as "foreign terrorist organizations." Collins' ruling follows a December decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn portions of a sweeping 1996 anti-terror law which preceded the Patriot Act. A three-judge panel found the law's reference to financial assistance or "material support" to terrorist organizations was overbroad. That case also was brought by the Humanitarian Law Project and involved work being done on behalf of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

ACLU complains to U.N. on Muslim detainees in U.S.
Jan 27: In Geneva, the American Civil Liberties Union today brought a complaint to the United Nations charging that Muslim immigrants in the United States were unfairly detained and deported in the wake of Sept. 11. The complaint, specifically on behalf of 10 former detainees and three men still in custody, was filed with the U.N. working group on arbitrary detentions. It accuses the U.S. government of arbitrarily arresting hundreds of Muslim immigrants from South East Asia and the Middle East following the hijacked airliner attacks in 2001 on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Most were held for months without criminal charges being laid and denied access to an attorney or judge while in legal limbo, according to the New-York based ACLU. Many were deported, some to face interrogation in their homelands, it added. It charged U.S. officials "arbitrarily and indiscriminately arrested immigrants unconnected to terrorism or crime."

February 2004

 Arizona governor speaks at Eid Al Adha prayer
Feb 1: Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, donning a white Islamic headscarf, spoke after the Eid Al Adha prayer at Sun Angel Stadium. About 10,000 Muslims turned out for the of Eid ul-Adha prayer.  In her 10-minute speech, Napolitano addressed challenges involving healthcare, education and the job market. "We have many challenges facing us ... but we must make sure that Arizonans are respectful and respecting others," she said. "[We must] make sure we are listening to all points of views and make sure we work together to build our great state.

 Seven Moroccan parliamentarians kicked off the plane
Feb 1:   A seven members Moroccan parliament deledation was detained and deported at Portland International airport today. The delegation which had visited Portland, Dallas, Texas; and Washington, D.C., was boarding a Delta Air Lines flight when members were kicked off the plane because confusion about an unattended bag led the pilot to suspect that the group posed a security risk. The Moroccan officials, equivalent to members of the U.S. Congress, were never in police custody, but they were questioned by the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration, who sifted through their 14 bags.

 Army intelligence agents investigate UT Islam conference
Feb 12: Is any gathering of Muslims now a national security concern? Events following a legal conference at the University of Texas have left Muslims and civil rights activists wondering. The U.S. Army sent intelligence agents to investigate a conference about women and Islam at the University of Texas School of Law, the US Army confirmed. The conference was held on Feb. 2. A few days later, two U.S. Army intelligence agents showed up and wanted a list of all the people who attended the conference. One agent left his business card with several students. Organizers said the Army's visit was a scary indication of attitudes towards Islam.

 The Interfaith Alliance President shocked at the Congressman King’s remarks against American Muslims
Feb 13: Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance Washington today wrote a letter to Rep. Peter King about his remarks against the American Muslims. “As president of The Interfaith Alliance, the nation’s largest interfaith organization, I was both shocked and saddened to learn of your biased, inflammatory remarks against American Muslims during your appearance on a national radio talk show earlier this week. Your statements have caused great concern in the interfaith community and particularly in the Muslim community of America. President George W. Bush and many other American political and religious leaders have made a plea to all Americans to refrain from religious bigotry and to stand together against terrorism. These leaders have affirmed that Islam is certainly one of the world’s great religions. I would hope that in your role on the national stage you understand that Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all spring from the Abrahamic tradition. 

 Los Angeles City Council acknowledges the Islamic new year
Feb 20: Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks, former Chief of Police for the Los Angeles Police Department, accompanied by other Council members, issued a resolution today recognizing the Hijra, the beginning of the Islamic New Year. The Councilman made an official presentation honoring the Hijra before the Los Angeles City Council and the leaders of the American Muslim community.

 FBI director thanks American Muslims
 Feb 24: FBI Director Robert Mueller, testify on current and projected national security threats before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: "…at the outset, I should mention that the Muslim American, Iraqi-American, and Arab-American communities in the United States have contributed a great deal to our success. And on behalf of the FBI, I would like to thank these communities for their assistance and for their ongoing commitment to preventing acts of terrorism."(C-SPAN)

March 2004

3 American Muslims Convicted of Helping Wage Jihad
March 4: In a victory for the Bush administration's campaign to root out home-grown terrorism, a federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted three American Muslims today of conspiring to help a Pakistani group wage "violent jihad" against Indian forces in Kashmir and possibly American troops in Afghanistan. Federal prosecutors had portrayed the men, two of them American-born converts and one a Pakistani immigrant, as radical Muslims who had prepared to fight for Islamic causes overseas by acquiring weapons and playing paintball in Virginia, as well as training at a camp for mujahedeen fighters in Pakistan. The defense disputed that depiction, arguing the men were moderate Muslims who played paintball purely for fun and never intended to hurt Americans. They asserted that the prosecution had been driven by anti-Muslim bias. (New York Times)

Disney movie under fire for stereotyping Muslims 
March 5: A new Disney movie, released today came under fire for negative stereotyping of Muslims and Arabs. "Hidalgo" tells the so-called “incredible true story” of a 5,000-km horse race across the Arabian Peninsula, showing a U.S. cowboy hero pitching up in Aden in 1890 with his American mustang to compete against a hundred Bedouin riders on their Arab steeds. Disney claimed that the movie was built on a true story, as the scriptwriter John Fusco claimed he has searched its historical facts carefully.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) wrote to Disney’s chairman to express concern that the movie negatively stereotypes Muslims and Arabs. It also demanded the removal of the "True Story" tag line that is touting the production. CAIR raised many concerns that the film "may contain scenes and dialogue that would serve to stereotype Muslims and Arabs and create a negative impression of Islam in the minds of moviegoers". "Given the growing prejudice against Islam, Muslims and Arabs, we believe a film with this type of dialogue and imagery could have a negative impact on the lives of ordinary American Muslims and Arab-Americans," said Ibrahim Hooper, CAIR’s National Communications Director, in his letter to Disney. Other Arab commentators, such as Hussein Ibish of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, point to the uncomfortable parallels between the film and the real-life fantasy of US domination in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. "The idea," as Mr Ibish puts it, "that being a frontiersman in the United States prepares you for dealing with another group of savages."

Bush ad offends Arabs
March 14: Prominent Arab-Americans and Dearborn, Detroil, Democrats called on the Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign to pull a television advertisement that shows the face of a young Middle Eastern man, saying the ad is offensive. Arab critics of the television spot said the president’s campaign for re-election would not have spurred controversy if it had broadcast a picture of Osama bin Laden or other recognizable terrorists, rather than the anonymous Middle Eastern man. “I would not mind if they were to use a true image of terrorism, like a known terrorist,” said Imad Hamad, director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. “But to use just a typical ordinary face of a Middle Easterner or a person of Arab descent is very serious and plays into the idea that Americans should be afraid of Arabs and Arab-Americans in general.” (Detroit News)

Arab Americans upset by dictionary definition
March 14: By most definitions, it involves hostility toward Jews. But an edition of Merriam-Webster's dictionary reprinted in 2002 has angered Arab Americans by linking anti-Semitism to Zionism and Israel. The Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, defines anti-Semitism as: "1: hostility toward Jews as a religious or racial minority group often accompanied by social, economic, and political discrimination - compare RACISM."2: opposition to Zionism: sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel." In a letter of protest, the American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee called on Merriam-Webster to "repudiate" the latter meaning and retract it. Equating opposition to Israel with anti-Semitism, the Washington-based group said, "smears and impugns the motives of all those who support the human and political rights of Palestinians" and "stigmatizes perfectly legitimate political opinions and activities." The group's spokesman, Hussein Ibish, said the publisher is legitimizing a definition "that Merriam-Webster itself does not believe is accurate" as well as "trivializing the very concept of anti-Semitism and damaging efforts to combat prejudice and discrimination against Jewish groups and individuals."Concerns over the definition were raised by Maryland graphic artist Dan Walsh, a collector of Palestinian posters, who recently complained to Merriam-Webster as part of his campaign to differentiate anti-Semitism from opposition to Israel. (San Jose Mercury News, CA)

Rand Report suggests revamping of Islam
March 18: Rand Corporation issues a study about Islam and Muslims, entitled “Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies,” written by Cheryl Benard, a sociologist and fiction writer.  Cheryl Benard arbitrarily compartmentalizes the 1.4 billion Muslims into four categories depending on their degree of affinity for Western values and concepts: 1. Fundamentalists, who reject democratic values and contemporary Western culture. 2. Traditionalists, who want a conservative society. They are suspicious of modernity, innovation, and change. 3. Modernists, who want the Islamic world to become part of global modernity. They want to modernize and reform Islam to bring it into line with the age. 4. Secularists, who want the Islamic world to accept a division of church and state in the manner of Western industrial democracies, with religion relegated to the private sphere. Benard says that though the secularists should be our most natural allies in the Muslim world because Western democracies are premised on the separation of church and state but the problem has been, and continues to be, that many important secularists in the Islamic world are unfriendly or even extremely hostile to us on other grounds. “Leftist ideologies, anti-Americanism, aggressive nationalism, and authoritarian structures with only quasi-democratic trappings have been some of the manifestations of Islamic secularism to date.” Therefore, Benard suggests that Moderanists are our allies in the Muslim world.  This group is most congenial to the values and the spirit of modern democratic society. A close reading of Benard’s work indicates that the main thrust of the study is to create a defanged version of Islam - to develop a Western Islam, a German Islam, a U.S. Islam, etc. The daunting and complex task of religion-building (or revamping Islam in America’s image) will include the necessity to depart from, modify, and selectively ignore elements of the original religious doctrine of Islam, Benard argues.

The ordeal of Chaplain Yee:Why Capt. Yee was charged remains mystery?
March 19:  The US government drops all criminal charges against Army Capt. James Yee who was accused of espionage.  Yee saw his notoriety bloom overnight. He was vilified on the airwaves and on the Internet as an operative in a supposed spy ring that aimed to pass secrets to al-Qaeda from suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Yee ministered to them. After his arrest, Yee was blindfolded, placed in manacles and taken to a Navy brig, where he spent 76 days in solitary confinement. Eight months later, all the criminal charges against the 36-year-old West Point graduate have melted away. A subsequent reprimand has been removed from his record.

Stockton Steel to pay $1.1 million to Pakistani-American workers, in harassment settlement case
March 19: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the $1.11 million settlement of a harassment lawsuit against Stockton Steel, a subsidiary of Herrick Corporation. This resolves an EEOC lawsuit filed in federal court in January 2000, charging that Pakistani-American employees were repeatedly harassed due to their national origin and Muslim religion, at Herrick's steel plant in Stockton, California. The workers alleged harassment that included being ridiculed during their daily Muslim prayer obligations and derogatory name-calling such as "camel jockey" and "raghead".

Interfaith leaders refute Rep. King’s Islamophobic remarks
March 25: Long Island interfaith leaders held a news conference to refute Islamophobic accusations made recently by Rep. Peter King (R-NY). King claimed in a number of media interviews that “85 percent” of America’s mosques are controlled by “extremists” and that Muslims have done nothing to aid law enforcement authorities in the war on terror.  He also referred to Muslim leaders as an “enemy living amongst us.” Interfaith leaders described King’s claims as the dehumanization of an entire community of Americans and called for better interfaith understanding and dialogue.

Al Amoudi pleads innocent to charges on Libya
March 31: In Alexandria, Virginia, Abduraham Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council and the American Muslim Foundation already accused of illegal financial transactions with Libya pleaded innocent today  to additional charges. Alamoudi pleaded innocent to charges of assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, a corrupt endeavor to impede the investigation of Internal Revenue laws, and false statements on a tax return.

ADC Commends Justice Dept for Protecting Student's Right to Wear Headscarf in School
March 31: Anti-Arab Discrimination Committee (ADC) welcomes the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division's complaint against an Oklahoma school district for violating the constitutional rights of a student by denying her the right to wear her hijab (headscarf) to school. ADC views this 14th Amendment-based complaint, which asserts equal protection for the student in question, as an important step in preserving equal rights for Americans Muslims. The Civil Rights Division made the announcement yesterday that it would "seek to intervene in a lawsuit pending against the Muskogee, Oklahoma Public School District to protect the right of a sixth-grade Muslim girl to wear a headscarf to school."According to the complaint, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the student was twice suspended from the Benjamin Franklin Science Academy for refusing to take off her headscarf, or hijab, after being told that it violated the school's dress code. That code prohibits students from wearing hats, caps, bandanas, or jacket hoods inside school buildings. The girl and her parents filed suit in October 2003.

CA Senate report about the impact of Patriot Act, Other Post-9/11 Enforcement Powers on California’s Muslim Communities
March: California Senate Research Office released a report on the impact of Patriot Act, Other Post-9/11 Enforcement Powers and The Impact on California’s Muslim Communities. The report said that Muslim communities in California found troubling, if not alarming, was the FBI headquarters directive of February 3, 2003, ordering each of the bureau’s 56 regional field offices to base their terrorist investigations on demographic data of Muslim communities. Included in the data for field agents to ascertain were the number of mosques that the FBI could identify in a given area.

 2004     Jan-Feb-March     April-May-June      July-August-Sept        Oct-Nov-Dec

Islam in America:  1178-1799   1800-1899  1900-1999   2000-2002   2003 2004   
       2005     2006     2007     2008      2009    2010    2011    2012   2013   2014