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African Moslem Welfare Society of America Charter (1928)

Document type:
Legal Document

    African Moslem Welfare Society of America Charter (1928)

    Commentary

    The African Moslem Welfare Society of America (AMWSA) was a Sunnī religious and benevolent organization established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, under the leadership of Satti Majid, a Sudanese Muslim missionary. Filed in Pennsylvania in December 1927 and approved in early 1928, the AMWSA’s charter is one of the earliest-known extant charters of incorporation filed with a state government by an Islamic organization. The group is also the oldest-known Sunnī Muslim organization in the United States verified to have African Americans among its members. The charter of the AMWSA sheds light on the views and aims of that body as well as the other early Islamic organizations that Satti Majid influenced. Notable among these are the belief that racial differences should be “eradicated” and that Muslims should be educated in “Americanism” and learn “respect for the laws and institutions of the United States of America.”

    —Patrick D. Bowen

    In compliance with the requirements of an Act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, entitled “An Act to provide for the incorporation and regulation of certain corporations,” approved the 28th day of April, A.D. 1874, and the several supplements thereto, the undersigned, all of whom are citizens of Pennsylvania, having associated themselves together for the purpose hereinafter specified, and desiring that they may be incorporated, and that a charter may be issued to them and their associates and successors according to law, do hereby certify:

    First. The name of the proposed corporation is African Moslem Welfare Society of America.

    Second. The purposes for which the corporation is formed are: “To unite the Moslem people; to seek to educate them in Americanism; to eradicate racial differences, due to their color and nationality, and to bring them in closer association with each other; to help them in periods of adversity and illness, and to establish fraternal associations between the several races, nationalities and colors of those people who belong to the Moslem race and who are believers in the Koran; to enable them to communicate with their relatives in foreign lands and ascertain for them the whereabouts of their relatives; to teach them respect for the laws and institutions of the United States of America.

    [The board members] are as follows:

    Murad Jemel

    Elias Mahomed

    Helena Klale

    Joseph Taisr

    Siedetha Gama

    African Moslem Welfare Society of America Charter, Pennsylvania Department of State.

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