American Muslims Research & Data Center (AMRDC) strives to be the most accurate source of data on the Muslim community from the following 4 perspectives
While some believe the arrival of Muslims in North America pre-dates the voyage of Columbus and others believe they sailed with him, no one denies that Muslims were brought by the shiploads during the seventeenth century as slaves against their will. Additionally, Muslims migrated voluntarily to this country in the late 19th and throughout the 20th century and started forming communities. It is not my intention to find out when the first Muslim stepped foot on this continent but rather, to provide researchers sufficient data to show the evolution of the Muslim presence, along with Muslim institutions, Muslim contributions during the 20th century as well as contributions made during the first fifteen years of the 21st century.
Though Muslims started immigrating to the United States in the late 18th and early 19th century, their real impact and presence was observed from the 1970s and onward. Therefore, the bulk of the history of Muslims in this country is very young and many notable Muslims that participated are still around and alive today. Since people tend to move or die and memories start to fade away, there is a great need for preserving this history as soon as possible. The Mother Mosque in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, established around 1934, is believed to be the oldest standing Mosque in North America. Currently there are about 2,600 mosques and Islamic centers, 400 Islamic schools, several universities, and numerous civil rights, relief, political, & social organizations. I believe the evolution of Muslim presence in this country passed through eleven phases or milestones in fulfillment of ten basic needs as outlined below. The historical background and accurate account of what took place throughout these years is a treasure that should be recorded and preserved.