It’s no secret that it’s a difficult time to be Muslim in the United States.
Take for example the rising rates of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Or the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the Muslim ban. Or the misguided “anti-Sharia” marches that descend upon U.S. cities several times a year. Or the time when President Trump told CNN that he believes “Islam hates us.”
As a result, a lot of Muslims feel as if they’re treated as outsiders or enemies of the state.
But believe it or not, Islam has been a part of the U.S. since its founding.
In 1777, Sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah — the Muslim ruler of Morocco — wrote a letter to Benjamin Franklin, the U.S. minister to France at the time. The letter let Franklin know that the newly formed country was welcome to use Morocco’s trade ports at any time. This made Morocco the first country to seek diplomatic relations with and formally recognize our independence.