Manhattan Beginnings

Umar F. Abd‐Allah

in A Muslim in Victorian America

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195187281
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199784875 | DOI:
  Manhattan Beginnings

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This chapter focuses on Webb's life following his return to New York in February 1893. He moved in with a friend, Samuel Brown of Jersey City, and immediately launched his mission from Brown's parlor with a well-publicized talk on Islam. Webb called his mission by various names, which reflected its evolution over about half a decade. The “American Mission,” “American Islamic Propaganda,” and “American Moslem Brotherhood” were the most prominent, but it is difficult to assign a single designation to the mission as a whole. From beginning to end, he conceived of his work as a movement and frequently alluded to it as “the movement” or, when addressing sympathizers and co-workers, “our movement.” Webb tried to avoid the press after his arrival in Manhattan in the winter of 1893, but the New York Times brought a quick end to his anonymity. Although Webb was initially “disinclined to talk,” the paper finally obtained a full interview, and Webb's mission soon appeared on the front pages of the city's leading newspapers. With his prominence — an American consul embracing Islam — Webb had even gained some notoriety in the American press before his return to America.

Keywords: Alexander Russell Webb; mission; Islam; Muslim American

Chapter.  9766 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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