Author Affiliation, Ana.
As-Salaamu-Alaikum: The Invincibility of Islam in Jamaican Heritage
Date of Publication
Argues that there has been a strong Islamic presence in Jamaican history. Author reinterprets historical records and events, that according to her show, despite paucity in Islamic evidences, this strong Islamic influence, which she considers undervalued in common historiography. She starts with the Islamic history of Andalusia/Spain, and the presence of converted Muslims and people of Moorish descent among the mariners on Columbus's ships and first Spanish colonizers. Further, she describes how Islam had spread throughout West Africa by the 10th c., before the slave trade, and became more influential than often assumed in areas in Africa where many slaves in Jamaica came from. She thus gathers that a majority of about 57% among the enslaved Africans in Jamaica were Muslims. She further illustrates the influence of Islamic principles, rituals, and names first by discussing the historical Maroons and their rebellion and organization. She points at Arabic, Islam-referring origins of names of Maroon leaders like Cudjoe, the presence of a concept of Islamic freedom, and Islam-influenced rituals. In addition, the author discusses the enslaved Muslims on plantations in Jamaica, of whom the conversion to Christianity, such as to Baptism, or activities as deacons, did not, she contends, replace the Islamic faith of many slaves, and she thus refers to them as crypto-Muslims, and further argues that these, along with Islamic principles, were very influential in the slave rebellions in 1831 and 1832. She stresses that this rebellion was mainly influenced by Islam, and not as others argue mainly by Baptism or Myal beliefs, and calls this rebellion therefore a 'jihad'.....