Islam in the United States was practically borne by slavery. When it became clear that majority of the slaves who were brought to the country from Africa were originally of the Islam faith, several attempts were made to restore them to Islam. One notable movement was the Moorish Science Temple of America established by Noble Drew Ali in 1913 which started teaching African-Americans the rudiments of Islam. Another was the Ahmadiyyah Movement brought in by Indian missionaries and which spread to thirty-eight cities in the United States during the twentieth century.
(Fisher, 2005) However, it was only in 1930, when the Nation of Islam (NOI) was founded by Master Fard Muhammad and later led by Elijah Muhammad, that the religion had its first big momentum. (NOI. org, 2006) The NOI, though, considers Minister Louis Farrakhan as the real catalyst of its robust growth in the country. Under his leadership, the NOI was able to establish “mosques and study groups in over 120 cities in America, Europe, the Caribbean and missions in West Africa and South Africa devoted to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
” (para. 6) Islam could be credited as the religion with the fastest growth in the United States, but it received a telling blow from the war on terrorism which is being waged by the United States government targeted against the Muslims. (Fisher, 2005) The 9/11 bombing and the U. S. -led invasion of Iraq are believed by many to have resulted to a halt, if not a backward slide, in the development of Islam in the country.
Nobody can deny that the U. S. government now regards every Muslim with suspicion after these incidents, most especially the 9/11 bombing. In fact, this “U. S. -led war on terrorism [has] exacerbated a dangerous and growing divide between Muslims and non-Muslims [not only in the U. S. but] in the contemporary world. ” (Fisher, 2005. page 362)
Fisher, M. P. (2005). Islam. Living Religions, Sixth Edition (pp. 362-416). Prentice-Hall. NOI. org. (2006). Bio Sketch of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. (Retrieved February 18, 2007 from: http://www.noi.org/mlfbio.htm