By Anouar Majid
Islam and America argues that the present animosity among the U.S. and Muslim international can be understood throughout the often-overlooked background among the 2. Tracing the family tree of this conflicted courting from the Pilgrims to the current, writer Anouar Majid weaves own tales with ancient narratives to provide a serious view of either cultures and to signify a direction in the direction of destiny peace.
The ebook exhibits how America’s present clash with Islam is rooted in an extended and complex historical past of prejudice and ignored possibilities, in addition to a heritage of benevolence and fruitful trade on either side. whereas traditionally americans have often appeared Islam as a despotic faith that had to be triumph over, the army and academic institutions that americans equipped via their makes an attempt at changing Muslims grew to become resources of nationwide satisfaction within the center East. And whereas Muslims have frequently distrusted americans, they, too, have made major contributions to American culture.
Majid contends that understanding this background of either clash and collaboration can assist advertise the mutual goodwill and appreciation that may be essential to take on the demanding situations dealing with Islam and the USA. Majid makes a provocative argument opposed to faith-inspired prejudices and provides feedback for the future.
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Even the US national anthem traces its lineage to the war on Muslim corsairs. In a little-known 1805 poem in honor of Stephen Decatur that would become the prototype for the national anthem, Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” celebrated the American heroes of the Barbary wars in a language that foreshadowed the present conflict in the Middle East: In the conflict resistless each toil they endured, ‘Till their foes fled dismayed from the war’s desolation; And pale beamed the crescent, its splendor obscured By the light of the star-spangled flag of our nation.
Early captivity narratives—that is, the narratives of men (and women) presumably captured by North African Muslim pirates waging jihad against Christian vessels, perhaps like the renegade Somalis have been doing recently—were used as occasions to preach against the depredations of Islam or those of sultans like the infamous Moroccan Moulay Ismail, whose notorious cruelty, according to one account by the English captive Francis Brooks, was due to religious and racial defects. ) The Moroccan sultan loomed so large in New England’s imagination that Cotton Mather addressed him directly in The Goodness of God.
Indeed, the new nation’s first war was with Muslim corsairs from the Barbary states (particularly Algiers and Tripoli) consolidated American patriotism. Although Barbary pirates not infrequently engaged in lawful business activity, they allowed Americans to intensify the contrast between their free, bright, civilized republic and the dark, barbaric, and despotic culture of Islam. ”15 Several scholars and commentators recalled this episode in American history after 9/11. ” In fact, even as suspicious-looking aliens were being deported from Virginia, the state’s legislature passed an act in 1786, written by Thomas Jefferson, to protect the religious freedom of Muslims.