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First Muslim to live in New York was Egyptian

First Muslim to live in New York was Egyptian



New York, Shawwal 21//Jan 5,2002 (IINA) – It is believed that the first Muslim who settled in New York was an Egyptian, while African Muslims who settled in it came in the 16th century, and had been brought by the Whites to work in plantations.

It is said that the Sultan of Oman at the time visited New York in the middle of the 19th century, and between 1880 and 1920 there followed wave after wave of immigrants from Arab countries, the majority of them belonging to the Christian faith, mostly Maronites from Lebanon and Syria, though there was a sprinkling of Muslims among them.

The first man from the New York area who declared his Islam was a man named Alexander Weib, who embraced Islam in 1888, when he was Consul in Manila. He set up the Islamic Center of New York in 1893, and started to distribute literature on Islam and the Muslim world.

In 1930 a number of Yemenis arrived and settled in New York, and since 1950 more and more waves of Muslim immigrants started to arrive in New York, particularly after 1966, when immigration rules were relaxed and more educated Muslims decided to come and live here.

New York’s Muslim population now is estimated at one million, most of them under 30 years of age, a good number of them living in greater New York and other neighbouring suburbs. Their ethnic breakdown is as follows: 33 percent Afro-Americans, 28 percent Arab-Americans, 25 percent from Southeast Asia, three percent Turks, Albanians, and Bosnians. The new Muslim immigrants are mainly Afghans and Bosnians.

There are a number of suburbs in the New York area that carry the names of Islamic cities, such Baghdad, Cairo, Aden, and the like.

There are now several Islamic organizations operating in New York, while the first Islamic Center (society) was set up here in 1893. Another organization was set up in 1924, while in 1931 the Nation of Islam was founded, and since then has set up a number of mosques in the New York area.