Ahmadiyya Muslim Missionaries and the Development of Islam in America

The 20th century development of Islam in America should be understood through the explicit and covert activities of a little known, non-orthodox group of Indian Muslims, the Ahmadiyya, operating in Europe and North America. Understanding the role of the Ahmadiyya thoroughly changes the periodization of Islam in America and enriches our understanding of the contemporary American Islamic scene.  

Delving beyond the traditional narrative which recognizes the role of Ahmadiyya missionaries in early 20th century development of Islam in America, Dr. Fanusie’s scholarship brings a more focused look at Ahmadiyya activity from the group’s late 19th century inception and emphasizes five distinct phases of Ahmadiyya involvement with American religious culture between 1880 and 1975. Her study deepens our perception of how and why Islam spread in the United States throughout the 20th century.


Dr. Fanusie's focus goes beyond the history of Islam in America and covers how Islam DEVELOPED in America. Key to understanding this are the shifts surrounding the American crisis of faith in the late 19th century, the role of African American urban migration, and the common methods through which Islam spread among populations throughout world history.  


There is a dearth of scholarly knowledge on the history of Islam in the United States. To address this, Dr. Fanusie provides CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT consulting for institutions seeking to offer courses or lessons on the history of Islam in America.

Public History

Dr. Fanusie is the Historian for the Howard Thurman Historical Home in Daytona Beach, FL and oversees the preservation and organization of the home's archives. Her work with the home includes developing academic partnerships with colleges and universities and assisting with outreach with state and municipal organizations in support of the home's community development mission.