The Nation of Islam, abbreviated NOI, is an African American political and religious movement, founded in Detroit, Michigan, United States, by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. Its stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of humanity. Critics have described the organization as being black supremacist and antisemitic. The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks the NOI as a hate group. Its official newspaper is The Final Call. In 2007, the core membership was estimated to be between 20,000 and 50,000.
Fard disappeared in June 1934. His successor Elijah Muhammad established places of worship (called temples or mosques), a school named Muhammad University of Islam, farms, and real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. The Nation has long been a strong advocate of African-American businesses.
There were a number of splits and splinter groups during Elijah Muhammad's leadership, most notably the departure of senior leader Malcolm X to become a Sunni Muslim. After Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, his son, Warith Deen Mohammed, changed the name of the organization to "World Community of Islam in the West" (and twice more after that), and attempted to convert it to a mainstream Sunni Muslim ideology.
In 1977, Louis Farrakhan rejected Warith Deen Mohammed's leadership and re-established the Nation of Islam on the original model. He took over the Nation of Islam's headquarters temple, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2) in Chicago, Illinois. Since 2010, under Farrakhan, members have been strongly encouraged to study Dianetics, and the Nation claims it has trained 1,055 auditors.
|Nation of Islam|
|Motto||"Justice or Else!"|
|Formation||July 4, 1930|
|Founder||Wallace Fard Muhammad|
|Founded at||Detroit, Michigan, U.S.|
|Type||Political religious movement|
|Headquarters||Mosque Maryam, Chicago, Illinois|
Membership (2007 estimate)
The NOI was founded in Detroit in 1930, by Wallace Fard Muhammad, also known as W. D. Fard Muhammad. His goal, according to the Nation of Islam, was to "teach the downtrodden and defenseless Black people a thorough Knowledge of God and of themselves, and to put them on the road to Self-Independence with a superior culture and higher civilization than they had previously experienced." According to the NOI, Fard chose Elijah Muhammad to be his assistant in 1931. According to Muhammad, Fard trained him daily for nine months, then less frequently for about two years. In May 1933, shortly after naming Elijah Muhammad Minister of Islam, Fard disappeared without notifying his followers or designating a successor. In the wake of Fard's disappearance, several potential leaders emerged. Muhammad asserted that Fard had selected him to be his successor and trained him "day and night" for three years. He argued that Fard was God incarnate, and that Fard had revealed this to him alone. Muhammad established a newspaper, The Final Call to Islam, initially referring to Fard as a prophet and later as Almighty God. He prevailed over his rivals as leader.
In 1942, during World War II, Elijah Muhammad was convicted of violating the Selective Service Act and jailed. Many other Nation of Islam members were similarly charged, as NOI opposed serving in the United States military. Upon his release in 1946, Elijah Muhammad slowly built up the membership of his movement through recruitment in the postwar decades. His program called for the establishment of a separate nation for black Americans and the adoption of a religion based on the worship of Allah and on the belief that blacks were his chosen people.
During this time, the Nation of Islam attracted Malcolm Little. While in prison in Boston for burglary from 1946 to 1952, Little joined the Nation of Islam. He was influenced by his brother, Reginald, who had become a member in Detroit. Little quit smoking, gambling and eating pork, in keeping with the Nation's practices and dietary restrictions. He spent long hours reading books in the prison library. He sharpened his oratory skills by participating in debating classes. Following Nation tradition, Elijah Muhammad ordered him to replace his surname, "Little", with an "X", a custom among Nation of Islam followers who considered their surnames to have been imposed by white slaveholders after their African names were taken from them.
Malcolm X rose rapidly to become a minister and national spokesperson for the NOI. He is largely credited with the group's dramatic increase in membership between the early 1950s and early 1960s (from 500 to 25,000 by one estimate; from 1,200 to 50,000 or 75,000 by another). In March 1964, Malcolm X left the Nation due to disagreements with Elijah Muhammad; among other things, Malcolm X cited his interest in working with other civil rights leaders, saying that Muhammad had prevented him from doing so in the past. Later, Malcolm X also said Muhammad had engaged in extramarital affairs with young Nation secretaries—a serious violation of Nation teachings. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights, New York. In March 1966, three NOI members were convicted of assassinating Malcolm X.
In 1955, Louis Wolcott joined the Nation of Islam. Following custom, he also replaced his surname with an "X". He was given his new name, "Farrakhan", by Elijah Muhammad. In 1965, following the assassination of Malcolm X, Farrakhan emerged as the protege of Malcolm. Like his predecessor, Farrakhan was a dynamic, charismatic leader and a powerful speaker with the ability to appeal to the African-American masses.
At the time of Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, there were 75 NOI centers across America. The Nation's leadership chose Wallace Muhammad, also known as Warith Deen Mohammad, the fifth of Elijah's sons—not Farrakhan—as the new Supreme Minister. At the time, Nation of Islam was founded upon the principles of self-reliance and black supremacy, a belief that mainstream Muslims consider heretical. He shunned his father's theology and black pride views, forging closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities in an attempt to transition the Nation of Islam into orthodoxy more similar to Sunni Islam. Under W. D. Mohammed's leadership, the Nation of Islam decentralized into many bodies of followers led by many different leaders. This made it hard to track the exact number of NOI members, but it is estimated to have been in the tens of thousands.
In 1977, Farrakhan resigned from Wallace Muhammad's reformed organization. He worked to rebuild the Nation of Islam upon the original foundation established by Wallace Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad. Farrakhan traveled across America speaking in cities to gain new followers. Over time, Farrakhan regained many of the Nation of Islam's original properties. There are now mosques and study groups in over 120 American cities attributed to Farrakhan's work as a leader.
In 1995, the Nation of Islam sponsored the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. to promote African-American unity and family values. Estimates of the number of marchers were between 400,000 and 840,000. Under Farrakhan's leadership, the Nation of Islam tried to redefine the standard "black male stereotype" of drug and gang violence. Meanwhile, the Nation continued to promote social reform in African-American communities according to its traditional goals of self-reliance and economic independence.
Under Farrakhan's leadership, the Nation was one of the fastest-growing political movements in the country. Foreign branches of the Nation were formed in Ghana, London, Paris, and the Caribbean islands. In order to strengthen the international influence of the Nation, Farrakhan attempted to establish relations with Muslim countries. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991 and had a near-death experience in 2000 due to complications. After that, Farrakhan toned down the politics of the NOI and attempted to strengthen its relations with other minority communities, including Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
Since the announcement in 2010, the Nation of Islam has hosted its own Dianetics courses and its own graduation ceremonies. At the third such ceremony, which was held on Saviours' Day 2013, it was announced that nearly 8500 members of the organization had undergone Dianetics auditing. The organization announced it had graduated 1,055 auditors and had delivered 82,424 hours of auditing. The graduation ceremony was certified by the Church of Scientology, and the Nation of Islam members received certification. The ceremony was attended by Shane Woodruff, vice-president of the Church of Scientology's Celebrity Centre International. He stated that, "[t]he unfolding story of the Nation of Islam and Dianetics is bold, [i]t is determined and it is absolutely committed to restoring freedom and wiping hell from the face of this planet."
The main belief of the NOI and its followers is that there is no other God but Allah. They teach that their founder, Master Fard Muhammad is the Mahdi. The official beliefs of the NOI have been outlined in books, documents, and articles published by the organization, and in speeches by Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Farrakhan, and other ministers. Many of Elijah Muhammad's teachings may be found in Message to the Blackman in America.
Written lessons from 1930 to 1934 were passed from W. Fard Muhammad to his student, Elijah Muhammad. These were collected and entitled The Supreme Wisdom. The NOI continues to teach its followers that the present world society is segmented into three distinct categories. They teach that from a general perspective, 85% of the population are the "deaf, dumb and blind" masses of the people who "are easily led in the wrong direction and hard to lead in the right direction". Those 85% of the masses are said to be manipulated by 10% of the people. Those 10% rich "slave-makers" are said to manipulate the 85% masses of the people through ignorance, the skillful use of religious doctrine, and the mass media. The third group is referred to as the 5% "poor righteous teachers" of the people of the world, who know the truth of the manipulation of the 85% masses of the people by the 10%. The 5% "righteous teachers" are at constant struggle and war with the 10% to reach and "free the minds" of the masses of the people.
An official Nation of Islam platform referred to as "The Muslim Program" was written by Elijah Muhammad in his book Message to the Blackman in America (1965). The itemized platform contains two sections; "What The Muslims Want", consisting of 10 points; and "What The Muslims Believe", consisting of 12 points.
Elijah Muhammad once said that the Moon was once a part of the Earth, and that the Earth is over 76 trillion years old. The entire land mass on the Earth was called "Asia". This was, Elijah Muhammad claimed, long before Adam. Elijah Muhammad declared that Black People in America are descendants of the Asian black nation and of the tribe of Shabazz. He writes on page 31 of his book, "Message to the Blackman in America", "...who is this tribe of Shabazz? Originally, they were the tribe who came with the earth (or this part) 66 trillion years ago when a great explosion on our planet divided it into two parts. One we call earth and the other moon. This was done by one of our scientists, God, who wanted the people to speak one language, one dialect for all, but was unable to bring this about."
Tim Russert: "Once a week, on the back page [of your newspaper] is The Muslim Program, 'What the Muslims Want' [written in 1965]. The first is in terms of territory, 'Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own.' Is that your view in 1997, a separate state for Black Americans?"
Minister Louis Farrakhan: "First, the program starts with number one. That is number four. The first part of that program is that we want freedom, a full and complete freedom. The second is, we want justice. We want equal justice under the law, and we want justice applied equally to all, regardless of race or class or color. And the third is that we want equality. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society. If we can get that within the political, economic, social system of America, there's no need for point number four. But if we cannot get along in peace after giving America 400 years of our service and sweat and labor, then, of course, separation would be the solution to our race problem."
Wallace Fard Muhammad taught that the original peoples of the world were black and that white people were a race of "devils" created by a scientist named Yakub (the Biblical and Qur'anic Jacob) on the Greek island of Patmos. According to the supreme wisdom lessons, Fard taught that whites were devils because of a culture of lies and murder that Yakub instituted on the island to ensure the creation of his new people. Fard taught that Yakub established a secret eugenics policy among the ruling class on the island. They were to kill all dark babies at birth and lie to the parents about the child's fate. Further, they were to ensure that lighter-skinned children thrived in society. This policy encouraged a general preference for light skin. It was necessary to allow the process of grafting or making of a lighter-skinned race of people who would be different. The idea was that if the light-skinned people were allowed to mate freely with the dark-skinned people, the population would remain dark-skinned due to the genetic dominance of the original dark-skinned people. This process took approximately 600 years to produce a blond-haired, blue-eyed group of people. As they migrated into the mainland, they were greeted and welcomed by the indigenous people wherever they went. But according to the supreme wisdom lessons, they started making trouble among the righteous people, telling lies and causing confusion and mischief. This is when the ruling class of the Middle East decided to round up all the troublemakers they could find and march them out, over the hot desert sands, into the caves and hillsides of Europe. Elijah claimed that this history is well-known and preserved, and is ritualized or re-enacted within many fraternal organizations and secret societies. Fard taught that much of the savage ways of white people came from living in the caves and hillsides of Europe for over 2,000 years without divine revelation or knowledge of civilization. The writings of Elijah Muhammad advise a student must learn that the white man is "Yacub's grafted Devil" and "the Skunk of the planet Earth".
The Nation of Islam teaches that black people are the original people, and that all other people come from them. Farrakhan has stated, regarding spiritual ascension, "If you look at the human family—now, I'm talking about black, brown, red, yellow and white—we all seem to be frozen on a subhuman level of existence. In Islam and, I believe, in Christian theology and Jewish theology as well, there are three stages of human development. The first stage is called the animalistic stage of development. But when we submit to animal passions, then we can do evil things to one another in that animalistic stage of development. But when moral consciousness comes and we have a self-accusing spirit, it is then that we become human beings. Right now, we have the potential for humanity, but we have not reached that potential, because we are functioning on the animalistic plane of existence."
The Blackman is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red, and white people. By using a special method of birth control law, the Blackman was able to produce the white race. This method of birth control was developed by a Black scientist known as Yakub, who envisioned making and teaching a nation of people who would be diametrically opposed to the Original People. A Race of people who would one day rule the original people and the earth for a period of 6,000 years. Yakub promised his followers that he would graft a nation from his own people, and he would teach them how to rule his people, through a system of tricks and lies whereby they use deceit to divide and conquer, and break the unity of the darker people, put one brother against another, and then act as mediators and rule both sides.— Elijah Muhammad.
In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Farrakhan said the following in response to host Tim Russert's question on the Nation of Islam's teachings on race:
You know, it's not unreal to believe that white people—who genetically cannot produce yellow, brown or black—had a Black origin. The scholars and scientists of this world agree that the origin of man and humankind started in Africa and that the first parent of the world was black. The Qur'an says that God created Adam out of black mud and fashioned him into shape. So if white people came from the original people, the Black people, what is the process by which you came to life? That is not a silly question. That is a scientific question with a scientific answer. It doesn't suggest that we are superior or that you are inferior. It suggests, however, that your birth or your origin is from the black people of this earth: superiority and inferiority is determined by our righteousness and not by our color.
Pressed by Russert on whether he agreed with Elijah Muhammad's preaching that whites are "blue-eyed devils", Farrakhan responded:
Well, you have not been saints in the way you have acted toward the darker peoples of the world and toward even your own people. But, in truth, Mr. Russert, any human being who gives themself over to the doing of evil could be considered a devil. In the Bible, in the "Book of Revelation", it talks about the fall of Babylon. It says Babylon is fallen because she has become the habitation of devils. We believe that that ancient Babylon is a symbol of a modern Babylon, which is America.
During the time when Malcolm X was a member and leader of the Nation of Islam, he preached that black people were genetically dominant to white people but were dominated by a system of white supremacy:
Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to Black people. Even [Senator James] Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant. The entire American economy is based on white supremacy. Even the religious philosophies, in essence, white supremacy. A white Jesus. A white Virgin. White angels. White everything. But a black Devil, of course. The "Uncle Sam" political foundation is based on white supremacy, relegating nonwhites to second-class citizenship. It goes without saying that the social philosophy is strictly white supremacist. And the educational system perpetuates white supremacy.
After Malcolm X made his pilgrimage to Mecca, he stated that seeing Muslims of "all colors, from blue-eyed blonds to black-skinned Africans", interacting as equals led him to see Islam as a means by which racial problems could be overcome. He credits his evolving views on Islam and race as a reason for leaving the Nation of Islam and his decision to convert to Sunni Islam.
The Nation of Islam teaches that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited. This is point 10 of the official platform, "What the Muslims Want", published 1965. Farrakhan nevertheless stated in the Tim Russert interview:
The mother of the Leader who came to North America to teach us, Fard Muhammad, His mother was a white woman. His father was a black man. So where there is love, love transcends our racial denomination or ethnicity. Love is the great power of transformation. I don't think that we can say when two people are in love that they shouldn't marry one another. But I would prefer that the black man and the black woman marry into their own kind.
Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.— Ezekiel 1:15–18 (ESV)
Farrakhan, commenting on his teacher's description said the following:
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Mother Plane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the Original scientists. It took $15 billion in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this Mother Wheel, which is a half mile by a half mile [800 m by 800 m]. This Mother Wheel is like a small human-built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said these planes were used to set up mountains on the earth. The Qur'an says it like this: We have raised mountains on the earth lest it convulse with you. How do you raise a mountain, and what is the purpose of a mountain? Have you ever tried to balance a tire? You use weights to keep the tire balanced. That's how the earth is balanced, with mountain ranges. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we have a type of bomb that, when it strikes the earth a drill on it is timed to go into the earth and explode at the height that you wish the mountain to be. If you wish to take the mountain up a mile [1.6 km], you time the drill to go a mile in and then explode. The bombs these planes have are timed to go one mile down and bring up a mountain one mile high, but it will destroy everything within a 50-square-mile [130 km²] radius. The white man writes in his above top secret memos of the UFOs. He sees them around his military installations like they are spying.
That Mother Wheel is a dreadful-looking thing. White folks are making movies now to make these planes look like fiction, but it is based on something real. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Mother Plane is so powerful that with sound reverberating in the atmosphere, just with a sound, she can crumble buildings.— Louis Farrakhan, The Divine Destruction of America: Can She Avert It?
The first book analyzing the Nation of Islam was The Black Muslims in America (1961) by C. Eric Lincoln. Lincoln describes the use of doctrines during religious services:
Often the minister reads passages from well-known historical, sociological, or anthropological works, and finds in them inconspicuous references to the black man's true history in the world ... Occasionally the minister chides the audience for its skepticism: "I know you don't believe me because I happen to be a black man. Well, you can look it up in a book I'm going to tell you about that was written by a white man." He then reads off references that his hearers are challenged to check.
In recent years, the embrace of Dianetics under Farrakhan has drawn much criticism that the Nation of Islam is becoming too close to the Church of Scientology and the ideas of its founder L. Ron Hubbard, whom Farrakhan has said he respects. Farrakhan has praised Hubbard, saying he was "exceedingly valuable to every Caucasian person on this Earth". Of followers of Scientology, he stated "You can still be a Christian; you just won't be a devil Christian. You'll still be a Jew, but you won't be a satanic Jew!" NOI Sister Charlene Muhammad, a correspondent for NOI's newspaper The Final Call, received the "Dianetics Auditor of the Year" Award 2018. In her acceptance speech she thanked, in order, Minister Louis Farrakhan, David Miscavige (leader of the Church of Scientology), and “most of all, L. Ron Hubbard.”
In the 1930s Japanese national Satokata Takahashi allegedly promised financial aid and military assistance to African Americans in Detroit if they "joined a war against the white race". In 1938 the FBI charged that Nakane had an influential presence within the NOI, speaking as a guest at temples in Chicago and Detroit. A poster was removed from a raid of Muhammad's Chicago home that was a copy of a poster removed from Detroit headquarters of Takahashi. The poster was entitled "Calling the Four Winds". There were images of four guns, each titled "Asia" and they had barrels pointing to the center of the poster, which had an image of the United States. "Calling the Four Winds" is the title of a speech written by Takahashi's wife. Muhammad engaged in the use of various names to elude federal authorities because they were monitoring Black Muslims for sedition and failure to register for the draft. He used names such as Elijah Karriem, Elijah Evans, Gulam Bogans, Mr. Muck Muck, and Muhammad Rasoul. Muhammad went to prison from 1942–1946 for influencing his followers not to register.
The Nation of Islam has repeatedly denied charges of anti-Semitism. Farrakhan has stated, "The ADL ... uses the term 'anti-Semitism' to stifle all criticism of Zionism and the Zionist policies of the State of Israel and also to stifle all legitimate criticism of the errant behavior of some Jewish people toward the non-Jewish population of the earth." However, NOI officials and outlets including Farrakhan have also been accused of repeatedly using anti-semitic and homophobic rhetoric, including saying, "It's the wicked Jews, the false Jews, that are promoting lesbianism, homosexuality. It's the wicked Jews, false Jews, that make it a crime for you to preach the word of God, then they call you homophobic!"
Regarding condemnation for having referred to Adolf Hitler as being a "great man", Farrakhan has said, "I have throughout my life referred to Hitler as a wicked man, yet, the national news media insists that I called him a 'great man', with the implied inference that 'great' means 'good'. However, I did refer to him as 'wickedly great', in the same sense that Genghis Khan stands out in history."
David W. Leinweber of Emory University asserts that the Nation of Islam engages in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and that they exaggerate the role of Jews in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Leinweber and others use the original statements of Farrakhan and others as the basis for their evaluation.
Jeffery Muhammad, the Nation of Islam's longtime leader in Dallas, Texas, stated:
They [Asian-American merchants in black neighborhoods] are just the latest in a long line of people who have come to this country—like Jews, Italians, Indians and now Asians—who have sucked the blood of and exploited the black community.
The Nation of Islam resembles traditional Sunni Islam with some differences. It preaches the following of the Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith, though somewhat differently. Interpretation of the Five Pillars differs among many different Islamic schools of thought, as well as among different Islamic cultures.
Other doctrines of the Nation of Islam are disputed, specifically:
On March 7, 1998 the Board of Ulema of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) issued a fatwa against the Nation of Islam. The AMI issued the fatwa after being asked their opinion on the NOI; it was the AMI's opinion that members of the NOI were not Muslim, on the grounds that "their official doctrine is that Allah appeared in the form of a human being named Fareed Muhammad, and that this "incarnation of God" chose another man, called Elijah Muhammad, as his Prophet." In the AMI's view, this contradicts the core Muslim tenet of monotheism, and as such members of the NOI could not be considered Muslim; "Muslims must declare this truth, and each one of them who keeps silent while listening to Mr. Farrakhan being called "a Muslim leader" is committing a sin."
The NOI obtained substantial funds from the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, notably a $5 million loan used to pay back-taxes and costs for the home of the movement's former leader Elijah Muhammad and a $3 million loan from Libya in the 1970s to acquire its opulent headquarters on Chicago's South Side. Libya channeled funds through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) based in Canada to a Libyan intelligence front in Washington. The money was provided to finance trips to Tripoli by the NOI and American radicals, according to a Canadian parliamentary investigation and a prosecution by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. "At least one gathering attended by Farrakhan in Libya – in violation of a travel ban imposed on Americans by President Reagan after Libya was linked to terrorist attacks in Europe – offered training seminars on weapons and explosives." The Libyans paid $250,000 in travel and other expenses to stage a pro-Gaddafi demonstration in which NOI played a leading role.
In 1994, the NOI leader visited Khartoum, where he met with General Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, the former Sudanese head of state and Doctor Hassan Abdullah al-Turabi, who headed Sudan's ruling party. Farrakhan's National Assistant Khalid Abdul Muhammed attended the 1995 PAIC meeting. Upon meeting Sheikh Naim Qassem of Hezbollah after a news conference at a Khartoum hotel, Muhammed found a translator to convey his greetings.
In 1996, Farrakhan traveled to Iran, Iraq, and Libya, at which time Gaddafi offered him an additional $1 billion. Farrakhan said he would use the money to develop the black community and increase its power in politics. He also denied an earlier report, which originated in the Iranian press, that while in Iran he had said, "God will destroy America by the hands of Muslims. God will not give Japan or Europe the honor of bringing down the United States; this is an honor God will bestow upon Muslims." In August 1996, Farrakhan formally asked the U.S. government to allow him to accept the funds from Libya, a requirement because of sanctions against the African state. His application was denied.
In 2011, shortly after Gaddafi's death, Farrakhan portrayed Gaddafi as a fellow revolutionary who had lent millions of dollars to the Nation of Islam over the years, "It wasn't the money, but the principles that made me his brother".
NOI video titles include "Conspiracy of the International Bankers", "Conspiracy of the U.S. Government", "Controversy with Jews", and "Which One Will You Choose, the Flag of Islam or the Flag of America?" In one video Farrakhan is said to state, "I hasten to tell you that the precious lives that were lost in the World Trade Center was a cover, a cover for a war that had been planned to bring a pipeline through Afghanistan to bring oil from that region, oil owned by Unocal, of which Dick Cheney is a stock holder."
Farrakhan's videos also address the U.S. military. During the Millions March in Harlem, Farrakhan discussed the Fort Hood shootings as he addressed the crowd.
You don't join the armed forces to become nation builders. You join the armed forces and they train you to kill. They're killers. So why did Army major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim psychologist at Fort Hood go on a shooting spree after being assigned to debrief soldiers who came back from the theater of war. He couldn't take it any more so he shot up the soldiers. They want you to think he was a terrorist. But he was debriefing terrorists. And unfortunately, it took his balance.
Controversy over the availability of NOI videos and writings surfaced on June 15, 2011, when Representative Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security hosted a hearing titled "The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons". During the hearing, former Bureau of Prisons director Harley Lappin testified on the extreme susceptibility of radicalization of inmates through propaganda efforts of groups like NOI. Testimony included discussion of an incident in which two radicalized converts planned a terrorist attack on a military facility in Seattle. The suspects had met in prison and had converted to Islam while there. In July 2011, King and Representative Frank Wolf, worried that prisoners were being radicalized by Farrakhan, asked U.S. Bureau of Prisons Acting Director Thomas Kane to remove Nation of Islam material from prisons and to audit all other Islamic texts and sermons made available to inmates as well as bureau procedures for approving such materials.
The Final Call is a newspaper published by NOI in Chicago, with news stories on a variety of topics, primarily related to Blacks in America. "The Muslim Program" is published in every issue of the newspaper stating the demands of the Nation of Islam. NOI journalists have written about a range of topics, including conspiracy theories on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and a Central Intelligence Agency conspiracy to disrupt rule in Libya. Harold Muhammad, minister of an NOI New Orleans mosque, wrote in the paper that there is enough evidence that AIDS is a man-made disease being used by the U.S. government against Blacks.
Estimates of the Black Muslim membership vary from a quarter of a million down to fifty thousand. Available evidence indicates that about one hundred thousand Blacks have joined the movement at one time or another, but few objective observers believe that the Black Muslims can muster more than twenty or twenty-five thousand active temple people.
African-American Muslims, also colloquially known as Black Muslims, are a religious minority among both African American and Muslim populations of the United States. They are represented in various self-described Muslim sects such as the Nation of Islam. The history of African American Muslims is related to African-American history, in general, and goes back to the Revolutionary and Antebellum Eras.American Society of Muslims
The American Society of Muslims was a predominantly African-American association of Muslims which was the direct descendant of the original Nation of Islam. It was created by Warith Deen Mohammed after he assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam upon the death of his father Elijah Muhammad. Imam W. Deen Mohammed changed the name of the Nation of Islam to the "World Community of Islam in the West" in 1976, then the "American Muslim Mission" in 1981, and finally the "American Society of Muslims".The group largely accepted beliefs and practices based on mainstream Sunni Islam, abandoning many of the distinctive claims of the founders of the Nation of Islam. W.D. Mohammed retired as the leader of the association in 2003 and established a charity called The Mosque Cares.Bean pie
A bean pie is a sweet custard pie whose filling consists of mashed beans, usually navy bean, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, and spices. Common spices and flavorings include vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Variations can include cloves and ginger.Variations of the pie are popular in South America. Bean pies are commonly associated with African American Muslim cuisine as an alternative to Soul Food, except those containing vanilla extract or imitation vanilla extract because they contain alcohol. The pies are also associated with the Nation of Islam movement and Elijah Muhammad, who encouraged their consumption instead of richer foods associated with soul food. Members of the community commonly sell bean pies as part of their fundraising efforts.Betty Shabazz
Betty Shabazz (born Betty Dean Sanders; May 28, 1934 – June 23, 1997), also known as Betty X, was an American educator and civil rights advocate. She was the wife of Malcolm X.
Shabazz grew up in Detroit, Michigan, where her foster parents largely sheltered her from racism. She attended the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where she had her first encounters with racism. Unhappy with the situation in Alabama, she moved to New York City, where she became a nurse. It was there that she met Malcolm X and, in 1956, joined the Nation of Islam. The couple married in 1958.
Along with her husband, Shabazz left the Nation of Islam in 1964. She witnessed his assassination the following year. Left with the responsibility of raising six daughters as a single mother, Shabazz pursued higher education, and went to work at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.
Following the 1995 arrest of her daughter Qubilah for allegedly conspiring to murder Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz took in her ten year old grandson Malcolm. In 1997, he set fire to her apartment. Shabazz suffered severe burns and died three weeks later as a result of her injuries.Black nationalism
Black nationalism is a type of political thought that seeks to promote, develop and maintain a black race identity for people of black ancestry.Black nationalist activism revolves around social, political, and economic empowerment of black communities and people, especially to resist assimilation into white culture (through integration or otherwise), and maintain a distinct black identity.Elijah Muhammad
Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Robert Poole; October 7, 1897 – February 25, 1975) was a religious leader, who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, as well as his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed.Five-Percent Nation
The Five-Percent Nation, sometimes referred to as the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE/NOGE) or the Five Percenters, is a movement founded in 1964 in the Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan, New York City by Allah the Father, who was previously known as Clarence 13X and, before that, Clarence Edward Smith.
Clarence Edward Smith was born February 22, 1928 in Danville, Virginia. In 1952, Smith was inducted into the United States Army where his service in the Korean War and Japan earned him honors and medals, including the Bronze Service Star. Upon his honorable discharge from the military in 1960, Smith began visiting the Nation of Islam's (NOI) Temple No. 7, where he was captivated by the speeches of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X). Smith joined the Nation of Islam and was renamed Clarence 13X, in accordance with the NOI's customs.As a member of the Nation of Islam, Clarence 13X was an avid student of Malcolm X and NOI literature and lessons. He also became a member of the Fruit of Islam. In 1963, Clarence 13X began teaching his NOI students that the Black man (collectively) was the "Original Man" and "God," and he "rejected" the Nation of Islam's doctrine that its light-skinned founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, was Allah. Between 1963–1964 Clarence 13X left the Nation of Islam, renamed himself Allah, and founded what is known as the Five-Percent Nation or Nation of Gods and Earths. Five Percenters called him "The Father" because "many of them were the products of broken homes and this was the only father they knew." Thus, Allah also became known as Allah the Father or Father Allah.
Members of the group call themselves Allah's Five Percenters, which reflects the concept that ten percent of the people in the world know the truth of existence, and those elites and their agents opt to keep eighty-five percent of the world in ignorance and under their controlling thumb; the remaining five percent are those who know the truth and are determined to enlighten the eighty-five percent.The Nation of Gods and Earths teaches that Black people are the original people of the planet Earth, and therefore they are the fathers ("Gods") and mothers ("Earths") of civilization. The Nation teaches that Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet, a set of principles created by Allah the Father, is the key to understanding humankind's relationship to the universe. The Nation does not believe in a god but instead teaches that the Asiatic Blackman is God and his proper name is "Allah", the Arabic word for "God".Five Percenters have culture-specific names for certain cities. The New York City areas of Harlem ("Mecca") and Brooklyn ("Medina") were named after notable Islamic cities by members of the organization. Other areas include Detroit ("D-Mecca"), New Jersey ("New Jerusalem"), Chicago ("C-Medina"), Queens ("the Desert"), Connecticut ("New Heaven"), St. Louis ("Saudi"), Seattle ("Morocco"), New Rochelle ("Now Rule"), and Dallas ("Sudan").Khalid Abdul Muhammad
Khalid Abdul Muhammad (born Harold Moore Jr.; January 12, 1948 – February 17, 2001) was an American black nationalist who became a prominent figure in the Nation of Islam and later the New Black Panther Party. After a racially inflammatory 1993 speech at Kean College, Muhammad was condemned and removed from his position in the Nation of Islam by Louis Farrakhan. He was also censured by both Houses of the United States Congress.After being removed from the Nation of Islam he served as the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party until his death in 2001 from a brain aneurysm. Despite the controversy that followed him, his strong and unapologetic denunciations of white supremacy gained him the support of some in the black community.Louis Farrakhan
Louis Farrakhan Sr. (; born Louis Eugene Walcott; May 11, 1933), formerly known as Louis X, is an American minister who is the leader of the religious group Nation of Islam (NOI), which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as a Black nationalist group. Previously, he served as the minister of mosques in Boston and Harlem and had been appointed National Representative of the Nation of Islam by former NOI leader Elijah Muhammad.
After Warith Deen Muhammad reorganized the original NOI into the orthodox Sunni Islamic group American Society of Muslims, Farrakhan started rebuilding the NOI as "Final Call". In 1981 he officially adopted the name "Nation of Islam", reviving the group and establishing its headquarters at Mosque Maryam.
Farrakhan has been described as antisemitic by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League and others. The NOI promotes an anti-white theology, also according to the SPLC. Some of his remarks have also been considered homophobic. Farrakhan has disputed these characterizations.In October 1995, he organized and led the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. Due to health issues, he reduced his responsibilities with the NOI in 2007. However, Farrakhan has continued to deliver sermons and speak at NOI events. In 2015, he led the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March: Justice or Else.Malcolm X
Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965) was an American Muslim minister and human rights activist who was a popular figure during the civil rights movement. He is best known for his controversial advocacy for the rights of blacks; some consider him a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans, while others accused him of preaching racism and violence.
Born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska, he relocated to New York City's Harlem neighborhood in 1943, after spending his teenage years in a series of foster homes following his father's murder and his mother's hospitalization. In New York, Little engaged in several illicit activities, and was eventually sentenced to ten years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam (NOI) and changed his name to Malcolm X. After his release, he quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952.
During the civil rights movement, Malcolm X served as the public face of the controversial group for a dozen years, where he advocated for black supremacy, the separation of black and white Americans, and rejected the notion of the civil rights movement for its emphasis on racial integration. He also expressed pride in some of the social achievements he made with the Nation, particularly its free drug rehabilitation program. In the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for the Nation's supposed links to communism.
In the 1960s, Malcolm X began to grow disillusioned with the Nation of Islam, and in particular, with its leader Elijah Muhammad. Expressing many regrets about his time with them, which he had come to regard as largely wasted, he instead embraced Sunni Islam. Malcolm X then began to advocate for racial integration and disavowed racism after completing Hajj, whereby he also became known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. After a brief period of travel across Africa, he notably repudiated the Nation of Islam, and founded Muslim Mosque, Inc. (MMI) and the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) to emphasize Pan-Africanism.
Throughout 1964, his conflict with the Nation of Islam intensified, and he was repeatedly sent death threats. On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was preparing to address the OAAU in Manhattan when he was assassinated by Thomas Hagan, Thomas Johnson, and Norman Butler, three members of the Nation of Islam. The trio were sentenced to indeterminate life sentences, and were required to serve a minimum of 20 years in prison. Conspiracy theories regarding the assassination, and whether it was conceived or aided by leading members of the Nation or with law enforcement agencies, have persisted for decades after the shooting.
Malcolm X was posthumously honored with Malcolm X Day, which commemorates him in various cities and countries worldwide. Hundreds of streets and schools in the U.S. have been renamed in his honor, while the Audubon Ballroom, the site of his assassination, was in-part redeveloped in 2005 to accommodate the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.Moorish Science Temple of America
The Moorish Science Temple of America is an American national and religious organization founded by Noble Drew Ali. He based it on the premise that African Americans are descendants of the Moabites and thus are Moorish by nationality, and Islamic by faith. Ali put together elements of major traditions to develop a message of personal transformation through historical education, racial pride and spiritual uplift. His doctrine was also intended to provide African Americans with a sense of identity in the world and to promote civic involvement.
One primary tenet of the Moorish Science Temple is the belief that African Americans are of Moorish ancestry, specifically from the "Moroccan Empire." According to Ali, this area included other countries that today surround Morocco. To join the movement, individuals had to proclaim their "Moorish nationality." They were given "nationality cards." In religious texts, adherents refer to themselves racially as "Asiatics," as the Middle East is also western Asia. Adherents of this movement are known as "Moorish-American Moslems" and are called "Moorish Scientists" in some circles.The Moorish Science Temple of America was incorporated under the Illinois Religious Corporation Act 805 ILCS 110. Timothy Drew, known to its members as Prophet Noble Drew Ali, founded the Moorish Science Temple of America in 1913 in Newark, New Jersey, a booming industrial city. After some difficulties, Ali moved to Chicago, establishing a center there, as well as temples in other major cities. The movement expanded rapidly during the late 1920s. The quick expansion of the Moorish Science Temple arose in large part from the search for identity and context among black Americans at the time of the Great Migration to northern and midwestern cities, as they were becoming an urbanized people.Competing factions developed among the congregations and leaders, especially after the death of the charismatic Ali. Three independent organizations developed from this ferment. The founding of the Nation of Islam by Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1930 also created competition for members. In the 1930s membership was estimated at 30,000, with one third in Chicago. During the postwar years, the Moorish Science Temple of America continued to increase in membership, albeit at a slower rate.Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, and philanthropist. He is nicknamed "The Greatest" and is widely regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sports figures of the 20th century and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics, and turned professional later that year. He converted to Islam and became a Muslim after 1961, and eventually took the name Muhammad Ali. He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964. In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War. He was arrested, found guilty of draft evasion, and stripped of his boxing titles. He appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction in 1971, but he had not fought for nearly four years and lost a period of peak performance as an athlete. His actions as a conscientious objector to the war made him an icon for the larger counterculture generation, and he was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the civil rights movement. As a Muslim, Ali was initially affiliated with Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam (NOI). He later disavowed the NOI, adhering to Sunni Islam, and supporting racial integration like his former mentor Malcolm X.
Ali was a leading heavyweight boxer of the 20th century, and he remains the only three-time lineal champion of that division. His joint records of beating 21 boxers for the world heavyweight title and winning 14 unified title bouts stood for 35 years. Ali is the only boxer to be named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year six times. He has been ranked the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, and as the greatest athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated, the Sports Personality of the Century by the BBC, and the third greatest athlete of the 20th century by ESPN SportsCentury. He was involved in several historic boxing matches and feuds, most notably his fights with Joe Frazier, such as the Thrilla in Manila, and his fight with George Foreman known as The Rumble in the Jungle which has been called "arguably the greatest sporting event of the 20th century" and was watched by a record estimated television audience of 1 billion viewers worldwide, becoming the world's most-watched live television broadcast at the time. Ali thrived in the spotlight at a time when many fighters let their managers do the talking, and he was often provocative and outlandish. He was known for trash-talking, and often free-styled with rhyme schemes and spoken word poetry, anticipating elements of rap and hip hop music.Outside the ring, Ali attained success as a musician, where he received two Grammy nominations. He also featured as an actor and writer, releasing two autobiographies. Ali retired from boxing in 1981 and focused on religion and charity. In 1984, he made public his diagnosis of Parkinson's syndrome, which some reports attribute to boxing-related injuries, though he and his specialist physicians disputed this. He remained an active public figure globally, but in his latter years made increasingly limited public appearances as his condition worsened, and he was cared for by his family until his death on June 3, 2016.Muhammad Speaks
Muhammad Speaks was one of the most widely read newspapers ever produced by an African-American organization. It was the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam from 1960 to 1975, founded by a group of Elijah Muhammad's ministers, including Malcolm X. After Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, it was renamed several times after Warith Deen Mohammed moved the Nation of Islam into mainstream Sunni Islam, culminating in The Muslim Journal. A number of rival journals were also published, including The Final Call under Louis Farrakhan, claiming to continue the message of the original.Nation of Islam and antisemitism
A number of organizations and academics consider the Nation of Islam to be antisemitic, stating that it has engaged in Holocaust denial and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust, and exaggerates the role of Jews in the African slave trade. The Nation of Islam has repeatedly rejected such charges as false and politically motivated.The Final Call
The Final Call is a newspaper published in Chicago. It was founded in 1979 by Minister Louis Farrakhan and serves as the official newspaper of the Nation of Islam. The magazine acts as the cult's propaganda tool to spread their agenda, goals and their view of world events and natural disasters. The magazine is primarily racist favouring black African Americans as per their website.United Nation of Islam
The United Nation of Islam (UNOI) is an African American religious movement based in Kansas City, Kansas. It was founded in 1978 as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam by Royall Jenkins, who continues to be the group's leader and styles himself "Royall, Allah in Person". Since its founding, the group has undergone numerous name changes and is currently known as the Value Creators.Wallace Fard Muhammad
Wallace D. Fard, also known as Wallace Fard Muhammad (; reportedly born February 26, c. 1877 – circa 1934), was the founder of the Nation of Islam. He arrived in Detroit in 1930 with an obscure background and several aliases, and taught an idiosyncratic form of Islam to members of the city's black population. In 1934 he disappeared from public record, and Elijah Muhammad succeeded him as leader of the Nation of Islam.Warith Deen Mohammed
Warith Deen Mohammed (born Wallace D. Muhammad; October 30, 1933 – September 9, 2008), also known as W. Deen Mohammed, Imam W. Deen Muhammad and Imam Warith Deen, was a progressive African American Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher, Muslim revivalist, and Islamic thinker (1975–2008) who disbanded the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1976 and transformed it into an orthodox mainstream Islamic movement, the World Community of Al-Islam in the West which later became the American Society of Muslims. He was a son of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam from 1933 to 1975.He became the national leader (Supreme Minister) of the Nation of Islam in 1975 after his father's death. As a result of his personal studies and thinking, he had led the vast majority of the members of the original NOI to mainstream, traditional Sunni Islam by 1978. With this merger, he oversaw the largest mass conversion to Islam in the history of the United States. He rejected the previous deification of Wallace Fard Muhammad, accepted whites as fellow-worshippers, forged closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities, and introduced the Five Pillars of Islam into his group's theology.Splinter groups resisting these changes formed after Elijah Muhammad's death, particularly under Louis Farrakhan, who in 1981 would revive the name Nation of Islam (from Final Call) for his organization. Farrakhan's NOI and the previous Final Call claim direct continuity from the pre-1976 NOI.Yakub (Nation of Islam)
In the beliefs of the Nation of Islam (NOI), Yakub (sometimes spelled Yacub or Yaqub) was a black scientist who lived "6,600 years ago" and began the creation of the white race. He is said to have done this through a form of selective breeding referred to as "grafting", while living on the island of Patmos. Scientific consensus rejects the historicity of this figure.The Nation of Islam theology states that Yakub is the biblical Jacob. All other branches of Islam, as well as Christianity and Judaism, reject these assertions. The story has caused disputes within the NOI during its history. Under its current leader Louis Farrakhan, the NOI continues to assert that the story of Yakub is true, claiming that modern science is consistent with it.