Muslims in America

A timeline of major events in the history of Muslims in America

Sources: Staff reports, "Chronology of Islam in America," Abdus Sattar Ghazali, "American Muslim History: A Chronological Observation," Fareed H. Numan, Collections & Stories of American Muslims (CSAM)

1907-07-27 00:00:00

first Muslim organization

Tartar immigrants from Poland, Russia and Lithuania establish the American Mohammedan Society in Brooklyn, N.Y., the nation's first Muslim organization

1929-07-01 00:00:00

North Dakota Mosque

Muslim farmers build one of America's first mosques in Ross, N.D. The original mosque/farmhouse was destroyed in 1978, but a nearby Muslim cemetery where many of the original community members are buried remains. In 2005, a new mosque was built on the same land as the original mosque.

1934-07-01 00:00:00

Nation of Islam

Elijah Muhammad becomes the leader of "The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America," which later became known as "The Nation of Islam."

1934-07-01 00:00:00

"Mother Mosque"

The Muslim community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa establishes the first mosque specifically designed and built as a mosque in the U.S. It is now known as the "Mother Mosque."

1940-07-01 00:00:00

D.C.'s first Black Muslim temple

The Nation of Islam establishes Temple No. 4 in Washington D.C., making it the District's first Black Muslim temple.

1957-06-28 00:00:00

Islamic Center of D.C.

June 28, 1957 -- The Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., a mosque and Islamic cultural center, is dedicated.

1963-01-01 00:00:00

Muslim Students Association

Jan. 1, 1963 -- The Muslim Students Association is established on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There are currently 50 chapters of the association in 25 cities, each of which serves as a forum for Muslim students.

1964-03-01 00:00:00

Malcolm X leaves NOI

March 1964 -- Malcolm X leaves the Nation of Islam to form his own organization. He later converts to Sunni Islam, makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and changes his name to El-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz.

1964-07-01 00:00:00

Muhammad Ali

Boxing champ Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to Cassius X and later Muhammad Ali.

1965-02-21 00:00:00

Malcolm X assassinated

Feb. 21, 1965 -- Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.

1975-02-25 00:00:00

Elijah Muhammad dies

Feb. 25, 1975 -- Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, dies. His son, Warith Deen Muhammad assumes leadership of the organization.

1991-05-01 00:00:00

First Muslim mayor

May 1991 -- Charles Bilal, of Kountze, Tx. becomes the first Muslim in America elected mayor of an American city.

1991-06-26 00:00:00

Imam leads House of Reps. invocation

June 26, 1991 -- Imam Siraj Wahhaj becomes the first Muslim in U.S. history to lead an invocation before the start of a session of the House of Representatives.

1992-02-06 00:00:00

Imam leads Senate invocation

Feb. 6,1992 -- Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, son of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, becomes the first Muslim in U.S. history to give the invocation at a session of the United States Senate.

1993-12-03 00:00:00

First Muslim military chaplain

Dec. 3, 1993 -- Captain Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad is appointed as the first Muslim chaplain in the American military. As imam, Muhammad serves the growing number of Muslims in its ranks.

1994-07-01 00:00:00

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Three officers of the Islamic Association of Palestine establish the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). The organization focuses on defending the civil rights of Muslims, challenging stereotypes of Islam and Muslims and training Muslims in media relations. It is sometimes accused of being too sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalists and radicals.

1996-02-20 00:00:00

First White House Eid celebration

Feb. 20, 1996 -- Then-First Lady Hillary Clinton hosts the first Eid celebration at the White House. The dinner commemorated Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival that marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.

1996-08-08 00:00:00

First U.S. Navy chaplain

Aug. 8, 1996 -- Monje Malak Abd al-Muta Ali Noel Jr. becomes the first imam commissioned as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy.

1999-08-01 00:00:00

First Muslim US Ambassador

Aug. 1999 -- The first Muslim US Ambassador, Osman Siddique, is sworn in as ambassador to the Republic of Fiji. Siddique is the first Muslim appointed and confirmed for an ambassadorship and the first American ambassador to take the oath of office with his hand on the Koran.

2001-09-01 00:00:00

First Muslim holiday stamp

Sept. 1, 2001 -- The U.S. Postal Service issues the first stamp honoring a Muslim holiday. The 34-cent Eid stamp features gold Arabic calligraphy on a lapis background and is part of the "Holiday Celebrations" stamp series.

2001-09-11 00:00:00

9/11 attacks

Sept. 11, 2001 -- Middle Eastern terrorists launch attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing thousands of people. The attacks have massive reverberations across the globe, triggering internal debate within Muslim communities and reshaping the foreign policy of many Muslim and non-Muslim nations.

2005-04-01 00:00:00

First Muslim sorority

April 2005 -- Mother and daughter Althia F. Ali and Imani Abdul-Haqq found Gamma Gamma Chi, the first Muslim national sorority in U.S. The principles of the sorority are based on Islam, but the group is open to both Muslim and non-Muslim women.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

First Muslim Congressman

Jan. 2007 -- Keith Ellison of Minnesota is sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and becomes the first Muslim to serve in Congress.

2010-08-01 00:00:00

"Ground Zero mosque"

August 2010 -- Landmark status is rejected for a building near the World Trade Center site in New York, paving the way for construction of Park 51, a mosque and an Islamic community center. The plan for the mosque inflames controversy because of its proximity to the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.

2011-03-11 00:00:00

Muslim hearings

March 11, 2011 -- The Committee on Homeland Security holds a hearing titled "The Extent of Radicalization in the American Muslim Community and that Community's Response" led by Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). The politically divisive hearing featured testimony by American Muslims about life in the country.

Muslims in America

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