Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2007

Publication Title

Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs

Volume

27

Issue

3

First Page

473

Last Page

486

DOI

10.1080/13602000701737293

ISSN

1360-2004

Keywords

Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb, John A. Lant, Emin (Leo) Nabakoff, First Society for the Study of Islam, Islam in New York

Abstract

In late 1893, the nascent Indian-backed American Islamic Propaganda movement, led by Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb, fell into discord. Emin L. Nabakoff and John A. Lant left the movement and formed their own Muslim group, the First Society for the Study of Islam in America. For the next two years the leaders of the bitter rival organizations continued to conduct business. However, they also fought a very public war of words in the newspapers, leveling charges and countercharges against each other’s character, integrity, and Islamic legitimacy. The quarrel spread abroad to India and Britain where each side tried to gain supporters and financial patronage. In the end, the constant fighting and suspicions it raised turned most willing financial backers away from both groups. When progress among American Muslims depended on unity, only fractious disarray was present. This essay explores the history of the rivalry and ultimate demise of late nineteenth century Islamic movements in the United States and examines the profound implications of the whole affair for the budding American Muslim community.

Comments

Published in Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 27, No. 3, December 2007, pp. 473-486. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602000701737293