Source: Rolling Stone

Will America’s oldest Muslim community survive President Trump?

By Peter Rugg

In 1885, a group of Muslim immigrants settled in Iowa to worship free from persecution – now, once again, they have to prove they’re American. The first immigrant Muslims came to Cedar Rapids in 1885, the same year that a young German businessman named Friedrich Trump emigrated to Queens, and a year before the Iowa state’s capitol building erected a gold dome, a recognizable local symbol to this day. They were there for the most American of reasons, fleeing persecution from the crumbling Ottoman Empire, in what is now Libya and Syria. They traveled the East Coast working in grocery stores before setting off across the prairie as migrant peddlers selling needles, threads and laces when they were poor, linens and prints when they’d had some success. Native Americans were some of their most reliable customers. When they encountered prejudice, they accepted it as the price of immigration. Between the Irish the Asians and every other group, everyone ate a little bigotry. Read more here.

 

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