100 Years Ago… – Islam in America and Syracuse Sunday Herald 1922


Al Fazl, 2 November 1922

Mufti Sahib Newspaper 2

The Syracuse Sunday Herald, a famous American newspaper, in its magazine section, has published a report on a large-sized full-page of its issue of 25 June 1922 and given the accounts of the Ahmadiyya Mission in America. A picture of Mufti Muhammad Sadiq Sahib, a sketch of the cover page of The Muslim Sunrise, a drawing of a minaret in New York with a muezzin standing giving the call to prayer, a view of the Highland Mosque and new converts praying in London are also depicted. Moreover, it states:

“The Christian people of America are spending millions of dollars every year in the effort to spread the gospel of Christ all over the earth and convert the people of every nation under the sun to Christianity. 

“And while this tremendous outlay is being made to maintain thousands of devoted missionaries in foreign lands, one of the world’s other great religions is making a determined effort to gain a foothold in Christian America.

“The leaders of Mohammedanism not content with the 227,000,000 or more adherents that faith now has in Turkey, India and other countries, are turning their attention to the United States and Canada, with the hope of making both those nations strongholds of Islamism.

“They aim to make their picturesque mosques and the towers from which the muezzins issue their calls to prayer as numerous as our churches, and when that day arrives, they are confident it will not be long before the crescent will overshadow the cross and a great majority of Americans will be following the precepts laid down in the Koran.

“To the millions of American Christians who have so long looked eagerly forward to the time when the cross shall be supreme in every land and the people of the whole world shall have become followers of Christ, the plan to win this continent over to the faith of the ‘infidel Turk’ will seem a thing unbelievable. But there is no doubt about its being actually well underway or that it is being pressed with all the fanatical zeal for which the Mohammedans are noted.

“A little more than a year ago there arrived in the United States a Mohammedan missionary who is charged with the duty of spreading his faith throughout the length and breadth of North America. His name is Mufti Muhammad Sadiq and he came from Qadian, Punjab, India, where there is the headquarters of what is known as the Ahmadia Movement in Islam. […]

“Christ they regard as a ‘blessed prophet,’ but secondary in importance to their own Mohammed[sa], whom they term the ‘greatest of all prophets.’

“The special concern of the Ahmadia Movement is the spread of Mohammedanism and the conversion to that faith of as many as possible of the followers of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other religions. Its slogan is ‘I will keep my faith above the world.’

“The way the Ahmadia Movement carries on its work bears a strong resemblance to the methods of the missionary organizations of the Christian churches. From the headquarters in India evangelists whose lives are dedicated to spreading the teachings of Mohammed[sa] as laid down in the Koran are sent to every part of the world where Mohammedanism is not yet the dominating religion. 

“These evangelists are highly educated men, speaking many languages, trained for the work they are doing. They are called missioners and their duties and responsibilities correspond quite closely to those laid on our own missionary bishops. 

“Already besides the missioner in America, there are missioners all over India, in England, Burmah, Ceylon, China, Australia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Arabia, Egypt, East and West Africa, Mauritius and a number of other places. More are being sent out just as fast as they can be trained and funds are raised to carry on their work.

“Dr Sadiq, as he calls himself, the missioner assigned to the task of winning the United States and Canada to Islamism, is showing himself an aggressive worker and is apparently not hampered by any lack of funds. The progress he claims to have made in the few months he has been here leads some of his admirers to think that the day when America shall be Mohammedan may dawn sooner than they had hoped. 

“In addition to several hundred converts whom he reports winning from various Christian denominations, he has done a great deal to renew interest in their faith among the thousands of Turks and other Mohammedan people who are living here.

“Since Dr Sadiq’s arrival here one Mohammedan Mosque has been built fluently and, in every way, carefully in Highland Park, Mich., a suburb of Detroit. Here the Moslem missioner has made his headquarters until recently, when he moved to Chicago. He expects, in the near future, to see mosques built in Chicago, New York and many other large cities.

“Reports of the progress of Dr Sadiq’s work are made in a magazine called ‘The Moslem Sunrise,’ of which he is the editor and publisher and which appears every three months.

“This is a neatly printed affair of twenty-eight pages, entirely in English, except for an occasional Arabic word. The front cover design is significant of what the zealous Mohammedans hope to accomplish. It shows a map of the United States and Canada, with the two nations bathed in the beneficent rays of the ‘Rising Sun of Mohammedanism.’

“The latest issue of ‘The Moslem Sunrise’ dated April 1922, prints a list of thirty-three American men and women who are said to have recently ‘accepted Islam in Ahmadia Movement.’ After their American names are given the Arabic titles which are assigned to them after they embrace the Moslem faith.

“Dr Sadiq’s magazine prints extracts from the Koran, the sacred book of the Mohammedans and also quotations from the writings of the later prophet, Ahmad[as]. There are numerous articles comparing Mohammedanism with Christianity, and always, of course to the great disparagement of the latter.

“Under the heading ‘If Jesus Christ Comes to America,’ Dr Sadiq tells what he imagines would happen if the Savior applied for admission to the United States under the present immigration laws. […]”

Thereafter, the aforementioned article is presented [by Syracuse Sunday Herald], which has already been published in one of the previous issues of Al Fazl.

(Translated by Al Hakam from the original Urdu, published in the 2 November 1922 issue of Al Fazl)

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