The world’s history mentioned that Christoper Colombus is the first man who came to America on 21 October 1492. However, for Muslims, America is not a new thing because far before that Muslim adventurers from West Africa had built civilization in American continent.
“Historically, Muslims had given influence on American people for several centuries before Columbus came,” said Abdul Hamid Robinson-Royal, a doctoral student at Cultural and Historical Studies in Religion at Graduate Theological Union, America, on Wednesday (6/4) at CRCS UGM.
In a discussion entitled Islam in America, Abdul Hamid mentioned that one factor for the spread of Islam in America is the arrival of African slaves who were generally Muslims. The African Muslim slaves during colonization period were often forced to convert religion. “Besides, they were also often discriminated,” he said.
Talking about Islam in America, Abdul Hamid mentioned a figure named Malcom, an Afro-American Islamic figure who struggled to abolish discrimination against Afro Americans. At that time, Afro-Americans were identical with black men being discriminated,” he said.
Further, Abdul Hamid said that America is democratic country so that many African Muslims prefer staying there to returning to their homeland. He, who is Afro-American, also feels the same. “Muslims in America do not experience much prosecution as in other places,” he explained.
Data of CIA World Factbook 2011 show that the number of Muslims increases rapidly. In year 2010, there were 2.6 million Muslims and was estimated to increase up to 6.2 million people in 2030.