The AACP Newsletter
Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. - More than a Bookstore
Since 1970 July/August 2010
Editor's Notes
Event Schedule
Featured Books
Featured Articles/Editorials
Evidence of Islam as Part of America's Story

Yes, Islam Has Always Been a Part of America's Story
An Editorial Rebuttal to Anti-Muslim Rhetoric
Newsletter Home Page
Printable Newsletter
Evidence of Islam as Part of America's Story
Some Early Recorded Muslims in American History

Estevanico or Esteban the Moor - enslaved member of the NarvŠez expedition in 1527 (93 years before the Pilgrims) became the first recorded account of an African (and Muslim) in what is now the United States.

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo - captured and enslaved in America in 1730

Ab-dul Rahman Ibrahima Ibn Sori - a West African prince that was enslaved in America for 40 years starting in 1774

Omar ibn Said - Islamic scholar captured and enslaved in America in 1807

Miscellaneous Numbers and Websites on Islam In America

  • Some historians estimate that 15 to 30% of African male slaves in America were Muslim. source
  • 3,409 - number of known Muslims serving on active duty in the United States military as of April 2008. Some estimates say the actual number could be three times higher. source
  • 35% of Muslims in America are Asian source

Editor's Notes

Hello Everyone,

Hope you're all having a good summer.

If you missed the big Angel Island celebration this past weekend where they were holding one of the book release celebrations for Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, you can still catch the one at Fort Mason in San Francisco this coming weekend on August 7th.

If you are not planning on being anywhere near San Francisco this weekend, don't worry, authors Judy Yung and Erika Lee may be coming to a location near you. They are going on a book tour that includes 25 stops in locations around the country. Go to the Angel Island Immigration Foundation's website to see the full list of their tour appearances.

If you can't make any of those events, you can see a video Judy's sneak preview presentation that she did for our May Asian Pacific American Authors Celebration on our website at

Thank you Emily for your help with this month's newsletter.

That's all for now. Hope you have a great rest of the summer.

Leonard Chan
Executive Editor

Give Us Your Feedback

Please feel free to send us your reviews, comments, and book suggestions. You can contact us by going to the following page and sending an email to us through the online form -

Up Coming Events

Here are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
Events that AACP will be Attending or Hosting
Sept. 24-25
California Council For History Education CA State University Sacramento
Sacramento, CA
Sept. 19
Chinatown Mall Culture Fair Historic Chinatown Mall
Sacramento, CA
Other Event of Interest that AACP May Not Attend
Aug. 5-9 Topaz Pilgrimage
Tour Starts from Berkeley
Topaz, UT
Aug. 7 Book Launch of Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America
book talk, slideshow, reception, and signing with authors Erika Lee and Judy Yung
Book tour from Aug-Nov will travel across the country
Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA
Aug. 7,8,21
Sept. 4-5
Summer 2010 Docent Programs at Manzanar
Manzanar, CA
Aug. 14-15 Pistahan Festival and Parade
Filipino arts, culture and cuisine
Yerba Buena Gardens
San Francisco, CA
Aug. 14-22 70th Annual Nisei Week Little Tokyo
Los Angeles, CA
Aug. 17 -
Sept. 18
Distillations: Meditations on the Japanese American Experience
Four Sansei Women Artists including Reiko Fujii, Lucien Kubo, Shizue Seigel, Judy Shintani
JFK Univ.
Berkeley, CA
Aug. 28-29
Oakland Chinatown StreetFest Oakland Chinatown
Oakland, CA
Sept. 18-19
Chinatown Autumn Moon Festival Chinatown
San Fracisco, CA
Sept. 25-26 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival Treasure Island
San Francisco, CA

Yes, Islam Has Always Been a Part of America's Story
An editorial by Leonard D. Chan

I recently received another email that I would characterize as showing bigotry against Muslims. I'm not sure how many times I need to say this, but I'll keep doing it as long as I get emails like this - people should not be judge by any one particular label that could be associated with them.

We are all multifaceted. There are good and bad people of any faith, race, color and creed in the world and each of us possesses the ability to be both good and bad at any given times.

The Email In Question
The email was a rebuttal to the speech that President Obama made in Cairo back in June of 2009, so this email must have been circulated many times since then. You can find similar posting on websites to this email by doing a Google search of the title of this editorial (leaving out the "Yes").

In that speech Obama stated that "Islam has always been a part of America's story." The email goes on to question whether Muslims were with the Pilgrims or among the founders of the country, or whether they fought in the Revolutionary or Civil Wars. The email answers all of this with a no. To the last point, regarding the Civil War, it even blames Muslims for slavery and then aligns Muslims with Nazis.

By this standard, many of us cannot claim to be a part of America's story. Were there any Asian or Pacific Islander Pilgrims or founders, of course not! However, this does not mean that we are not a part of the American Story. Even the most recent immigrant to this country is a part of the American Story.

Just because a group or individual can trace their roots to the Pilgrims does not mean they are better Americans or

should be more privileged than other person in this country. Tracing your roots to the founders doesn't even have any bearing on what type of person you are.

Being connected to slave owners or Nazis through religious affiliation does not mean that you or your religion supports slavery or Nazism. If that were the case many of the people with roots from the south would be considered bad people because someone in their past may have supported slavery. I'm sure that most of the more than 51 million Americans with German ancestry don't associate themselves with Nazism.

Last Point that the Email Makes
The email goes on to say that Muslims took part and are in support of the September 11th terrorism attacks and that is their contribution to America's story.

Do I have to say it again - grouping people together in this way is dead wrong!

Should all Christians be blamed whenever a Christian does something wrong or support anti-social acts - of course not. Should Christian living today be blamed fort the 11th-13th Century Crusades - of course not.

The Very Last Part of That Email
That email ends by saying "Be Sure to SEND IT to All ... Even Print it out and Send by Snail Mail!"

Do me and all those that don't subscribe to this email's form of bigotry a favor by not sending it out to others. Bigotry is the best word that I could find to describe that email and it should be seen for what it is - pure and simple hatred.

Let the Muslim greeting of assalamu alaikum be the true message that should be passed around - peace be upon you - may you remain safe from pain, sorrow, or harm!


The following books are discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discounts on these books end August 21, 2010.

Portraits of Multiracial Kids

By Kip Fulbeck
Foreward by Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng
Afterword by Cher
2010, 261 pages, Paperback.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3612, Price $19.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $15.96

Foo,the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond

By Belle Yang
2009, 32 pages, Hardback.

Two to three weeks for delivery.

For kids of all sizes (and boasting ability), a funny fable about growing pains, the ups and downs of friendship, and the gift of forgiveness.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3611, Price $16.99 ... for newsletter subscribers $13.59

One Amazing Thing

By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
2010, 220 pages, Hardback.

Two to three weeks for delivery.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3610, Price $23.99 ... for newsletter subscribers $19.19

Copyright © 2010 by Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. (a non-profit organization since 1970)
Visit our website at