“Journey” Teaser Series: Who is the “Yankee Mahomet”?

For a full answer to this and other questions, see Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam

The “Yankee Mahomet”, according to 19th century American commentators, referring to the Prophet Muhammed, was none other than Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Mormon faith.

When Joseph Smith declared his faith, many people took notice. As early as 1842, the New York Herald editorialized that Joseph Smith “indicates as much talent, originality, and moral courage as Mahomet, Odin, or any of the great spirits that have hitherto produced the revolutions of the past ages”. From its birth, the founder of the Mormon Church was compared to the Prophet of Islam—approvingly by Mormons and dismissively by their critics. The American public began calling him “Yankee Mahomet” and  or “backwoods Mahomet.”

Many, many comparisons can be made between the Muslim and Mormon communities. We explore this fully in the book, with an entire chapter devoted to Mormons and Muslims—a fascinating and important comparison.

Order Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam.

Next: Why did the State Department ban The Selected Works of Thomas Jefferson?


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