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ISLAM AND AFRICA: This site serves two aims: to provide information about Islam in the global African world (Continent and Americas) and as a guide to African Muslims globally identity in the context of culture and personality. This site is a cultural and historical site on progressive Pan-African Islam

 

     
     

     

 
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AFRICAN HOLOCAUST ARTICLES

Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave

– Malcolm X

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right.

– Dr. Martin L. King, Jr

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– Owen 'Alik Shahadah

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

NATION OF ISLAM

1930–1975 African-American History

Anna Marano
Ummah Stream 2011-1
 

 


The original Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit, Michigan USA in 1930 by Wallace Fard Muhammad (1877, 1891 or 1893- 1934?), reported to be a muslim immigrant from Pakistan. Fard told his followers that he was the Mahdi "The Saviour" and came to free the mind and socially reform the ex-slave in America.

One of Fard's first followers was Elijah Poole, whose name Fard later changed to Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975).

Elijah Muhammad was born in Sandersville, Georgia, but later moved to Detroit, where he came into contact with Fard Muhammad through his wife Clara Muhammad and accepted his teachings.

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He eventually traveled the country, setting up mosques or temples, and named them according to his sequence of arrival. The Muhammad Mosque in Washington D.C. was the first mosque in America to be constructed by African Americans. Over time, Elijah Muhammad's followers spread his teachings, from streets and meeting halls to correctional institutions.


One of the Nation of Islam's core beliefs is that the so-called American Negro has been miseducated by public schools with the express intent of preserving a system of white domination. Highly critical of the facilities and quality of education available in the nation's public schools, which were segregated at the time, the NOI established an independent, parochial school in various cities, calling each one the University of Islam.


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This move led to confrontations with the authorities. In Detroit in 1934, a squad of police officers raided the NOI school and arrested 12 teachers for "contributing to the delinquency of minors." Because students were not enrolled in a state-accredited school, legally, they were considered truants. According to reports, Nation of Islam members demonstrated for the teachers' release, asserting their support of the NOI private school in front of Detroit Police headquarters. (Desiree Cooper, Helping turn a sect into a nation, Detroit Free Press, March 31, 2005)

Commenting on the confrontation and the Nation of Islam's decision to set up independent schools, Elijah Muhammad said:


In Detroit, Michigan, where we were first attacked outright by the Police Department in April 1934, we were also unarmed. There were no deaths on the part of the Believers, however. They fought back against the policemen who attacked them for no just cause whatsoever but that they wanted our Muslim children to go to their schools. We refused to let children take their first courses in the public schools, although the high-school children in their upper teens could do so. But let us shape our children first. (Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman in America, Muhammad's Temple No. 2, 1965)


One follower who was to become one of his most well-known adherents was Malcolm Little, later to become known as Malcolm X and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. While serving a prison sentence for burglary, Malcolm was introduced to the Nation of Islam. Upon his release from prison in 1952, Little joined the Nation of Islam and, in the custom of the Nation, became known as Malcolm X. NOI doctrine explains that because in mathematics the X represents an unknown variable; followers use it to represent their lost, unknown African surnames. The followers accept this “X” as a symbol of the rejection of their slave names and the absence of a “proper” Muslim name. Eventually, the “X” is replaced with an Arabic name more descriptive of a person’s personality and character. Eventually, Malcolm X took the name El-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz after rejecting the Nation’s beliefs and accepting traditional Islam. Malcolm X was responsible for starting the first African American & Muslim national circulated newspaper call Muhammad Speakers, today know as the Muslim Journal.

1955 brought the arrival of future NOI leader Louis Eugene Walcott, later to be known as Louis Farrakhan. A calypso singer and violinist, Walcott first became acquainted with the teachings of Elijah Muhammad after attending the NOI's annual Savior's Day convention in Chicago. Walcott accepted Elijah Muhammad's teachings that day and became Louis X before being renamed Louis Farrakhan by Muhammad years later. After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Farrakhan became Imam of Mosque No. 7 and the official spokesman for the Nation.


Elijah Muhammad died on February 25, 1975, there were 75 Temples across America. One day after Elijah Muhammad's death, the succession of his son Wallace D Muhammad was approved unanimously during the annual Savior's Day celebrations February 26. Previously Wallace Muhammad was suspended from the NOI for “dissident views” and ideological rifts with his father over religious doctrine, but had been restored to the organization by 1974. In the 1975, Saviors Day address following the death of Elijah Muhammad, the ministers pledge there support for Wallace Muhammad.


When W.D. (Wallace) Muhammad was installed as Supreme Minister of the Nation of Islam in 1975, he immediately began to reformulate his father's beliefs and practices to bring NOI closer to mainstream Sunni Islam. He renamed his organization a number of times, settling on the American Society of Muslims, and many of his followers assimilated into traditional Islam. Wallace Muhammad publicly shunned his father's theology and black separatist views, encouraged U.S. citizen responsibility, accepted whites and all races as fellow worshipers and attempted to forge closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities & interfaith communities in the United States. Imam W. Deen Mohammed established Masjids and Schools throughout cities in America and the Caribbean and encourage his followers to learn Quranic Arabic. Wallace later changed his own name to Warith Deen Mohammed (also know as Imam W Deen Mohammed).  Imam W. Deen Mohammed died during Ramadan on September 9, 2008, with no successor. 


At the outset of Wallace Muhammad's leadership of the Nation, many members were disturbed at the movement's new, moderate and orthodox Islam direction; and a minority of them years later formed more doctrinaire splinter groups. The most important of these was Louis Farrakhan. In 1978, after wrestling with the changes and consequent dismantling of the NOI, Farrakhan and his supporters decided to rebuild the Nation of Islam upon the foundation established by W. Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad which many know today as the Nation of Islam (NOI) headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

 

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