(Part 2) Funny, you don’t look like a . . .

Salem Poor at Bunker Hill

Salem Poor at Bunker Hill (View Source: swapmeetdave.com)

In this blog post, I continue the previous post (Part 1), which I started when I wondered what stereotype I fit that would cause someone to think that I would welcome anti-Muslim emails. That email stimulated me to do some research and give substantive answers to the questions that were asked. Investigating a topic gives me inspiration for writing,  as my research about lynchings in 1907 led to my novel Well Considered.

[Continuing:  the anti-Muslim email questions are on the left, and my responses are indented and italicized on the right. These questions followed a Barack Obama Cairo speech quote, “I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s history.”]

Part 2:  Muslim participation in U.S. wars:

Did Muslims fight for this country’s freedom from England? No.

Yes. An estimated 15-30% of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa arrived as Muslims:

“It is estimated that 5,000 African Americans served as soldiers for the Continental army, while more than 20,000 fought for the British” (who promised to free them if the Patriots were defeated). [ http://www.myblackhistory.net/Revolutionary_War.htm ] Therefore, it is likely that many Muslims fought for this country’s freedom from England, but more may have fought against it. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Americans_in_the_Revolutionary_War ],

A 1975 postage stamp displayed Salem Poor, an African-American war hero during the American Revolutionary War, who may have been a Muslim.

Wikipedia states that “Salem Poor’s Muslim identity is . . . based solely on the characteristics of his first name.”


Did Muslims fight during the Civil War to free the slaves in America? No, they did not. In fact, Muslims to this day are still the largest traffickers in human slavery. Your own half brother, a devout Muslim, still advocates slavery himself, even though Muslims of Arabic descent refer to black Muslims as “pug nosed slaves.” Says a lot of what the Muslim world really thinks of your family’s “rich Islamic heritage,” doesn’t it Mr. Obama?

[Everything after the first sentence is irrelevant and unsubstantiated, and is included only to not distort the nature or content of the original email. It also does not address the particular repugnance of the slavery system in the United States, where, unlike in Africa, slavery became a heritable condition where children of enslaved persons were born enslaved themselves. Finally, in this email to me, Obama is never quoted as saying his family has a “rich Islamic heritage.”]

Regarding whether Muslims fought in the Civil War, approximately 180,000 United States Colored Troops fought for the Union and over 36,000 died. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_African_Americans_in_the_American_Civil_War ] Once again, an estimated 15-30% of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa arrived as Muslims  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_the_United_States , so it is likely that some of the black Union troops were Muslim or of Muslim descent, since the slaves had had their religions stripped from them along with everything else.

Where were Muslims during World War II? They were aligned with Adolf Hitler. The Muslim grand mufti himself met with Adolf Hitler, reviewed the troops and accepted support from the Nazi’s in killing Jews.

WWI and II Military Cemetary Besancon, France

WWI and II Military Cemetary Besancon, France

In the U.S. alone, over 15,000 Arab Americans served in WWII.  You can see photographs of Muslim soldiers buried in military cemeteries in Europe here.  And, there are many crescents among the crosses at Arlington military cemetery. These include Hassein Ahmed (Army, WWII), Ibrahim Muhammad (Navy, WWII),  Mahir Hasan (Army, Korea), and Abul Fateh Umar Khan (Air Force, Korea).”

Captain Humayun S.M. Shah, died in Iraqo, June 8, 2004

Captain Humayun S.M. Shah, died in Iraq, June 8, 2004

“If you ever visit Arlington National Cemetery, as many are doing on this Memorial Day, you may notice that every now and then,

Mother grieves for son, Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, died in Iraq, Aug. 6, 2007

American Muslim mother grieves for son, Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, died in Iraq, Aug. 6, 2007

a crescent pops up among the field of crosses. Few Americans are aware that many American Muslims have fought and died in the US Armed Forces, including in Iraq. When you wander the cemetery grounds that overlook Washington, DC, you’ll notice the grave of Army Captain Humayun Khan, who lured a suicide car bomb away from the men in his charge, saving their lives but giving up his own . . . Today, nearly 15,000 Muslims serve in the US Armed Forces”  Read more


Next:  (Part 3) Civil Rights and Women’s Suffrage

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One Response to (Part 2) Funny, you don’t look like a . . .

  1. Joe says:

    I wonder about the religious outlook of Colonial American hero Crispus Attucks, shot dead by British troops in 1770–the Boston Massacre–who was of Wampanoag Indian and African descent. He very likely was not Christian. Did his darker skin make him any less of a hero? I think not. I do believe, however, some of this anti-Muslim nonsense is based on fear of the other–people with darker skin. Your anti-Muslim acquaintance might take a page from Malcolm X, who traveled to the Middle East and was shocked to discover that most Muslims there are Caucasian. When Malcolm X returned to the states he denounced racism. Denouncing racism based on the acquisition of knowledge. What a concept. Education, apparently, is a dangerous thing.

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