In the eighth century CE, after camels were introduced into North Africa, Muslim merchants of North Africa began to organize regular camel caravans across the western Sahara. North African merchants carried luxury goods from across the Islamic world and salt purchased from the desert salt mines to the great trading cities of the Sudan: Timbuktu,…

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If you listen to the news, you’d think that Islamic immigrants to the United States are something new. They’re not. Beginning in the 1880s and ending only when the United States closed the door on non-European immigrants in 1924, Muslims from Ottoman-controlled Syria joined the rush to emigrate to America. Like their European counterparts, most…

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Nothing about the Tengkera Mosque of Malacca City says “Islam” to a Western observer. Its three-tiered roof and elaborate entrance gate would be at home in any Chinatown in America. The freestanding octagonal tower looks more like a pagoda than a minaret. Built in 1728, the Tengkera Mosque reflects the melting pot character of the…

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