Abstract

The essay investigates how a single day's debate in 1788 over the ratification of the Constitution in North Carolina forced Federalists to defend the future possibility of a Muslim president. This essay traces how an alternative vision of Muslims as potential American citizens emerged at a time when most contemporary depictions of Islam represented the faith and its adherents as both theological and political threats. The intent of this investigation is to complicate the concept of Muslims as a mere monolith in American thought by situating a range of references to them in a specific dialogue between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. The debate also contained signal implications for Catholics and Jews, who were compared throughout these heated exchanges to Muslims.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 485-506
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-31
Open Access
No
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