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Nation of Islam

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The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a cult chimera and an extremist hate group [1] consisting of fringe Islam, black supremacism and Scientology-levels of crank magnetism. Basically, the Nation of Islam is to Islam what the Ku Klux Klan was to the Christian Identity movement.

While professing to be followers of Islam, they hold little to no connection to the beliefs of Sunni or Shi'a Islam.[note 1] Unlike other forms of Islam, the Nation is messianic, believing Muhammad to have been the Son of God rather than a prophet. They also think that a fellow named Wallace D. FardWikipedia was God himself.[2] It is safe to say the Nation of Islam owes as much to American history as the Middle East.

Nation of Islam has traditionally been xenophobic and black supremacist, to the point of naming all people of European descent "White Devils" and only "potential humans".[3] They believe the Jew is responsible for much of the evil done in this world; there are even off-the-cuff statements by members regarding AIDS being intentionally designed or administered onto the Blackman by Jewish doctors, saying that: "We know that the Jews are the most organized, rich and powerful people, not only in America, but in the world. They're plotting against us as we speak."[4]

In the "Aliens, Bigfoot, and Creationism" category, Nation of Islam teaches that a mad scientist created other races from the "Blackman" through a special method of birth control.[5][note 2] The scientist, Yakuba[note 3] decreed that his creations would rule for 6000 years over the Blackman.[5]

In the beginning...[edit]

Elijah Muhammad, alleged messenger of Allah.

In the 1930s a then-unknown preacher founded the Nation of Islam. Wallace D. Fard, a.k.a. Wallace Fard Muhammad (also believed to be American-born Wallace Dodd) spent three years in Detroit where he opened the first NOI mosque. Three years after he began teaching, he disappeared, passing along the leadership of the NOI to Elijah Mohammad, who then proceeded to deify the Master Fard Muhammad, claiming he was God's physical return to the earth from Mecca.

Elijah Mohammad[edit]

It was under Elijah Mohammad that the Nation of Islam fully realized its distinctly non-Sunni beliefs. His education was limited to four years of elementary school and his religious affiliations as a boy were traditional southern black Christian. He did not speak Arabic, nor view Arabic to be an important part of his Islam. His familiarity with the Qu'ran has been debated, and certainly he was not part of an Imam community to discuss its use at any length. Certainly, one of the appeals of Islam in the early 1930s-1950s was its threatening exoticness to white Christian Americans more than the actual theology of Islam.

Under Elijah Mohammad, the Nation of Islam became primarily a socio-political black activist and separatist group, guided and informed by the new religion. Elijah Mohammad taught that blacks were the first people, and were the original Muslims. He taught that the Blackman was not only tricked out of his place of power, but that a mad scientist, Mr. Yakub, separated the "brown gene" from the "black gene" and "grafted" it into a white — after 600 years of this, the White man was made.[6] The White man would reign over the Blackman for 6000 years.[5] Official Nation of Islam doctrine is that the most effective way for the black man to regain power is to build their own nation on separate land in the United States.[7]

Malcolm X[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Malcolm X

One of the most famous African American leaders began his religious teachings as a Nation of Islam convert. He was responsible both for popularizing the NOI and bringing it to the forefront of the American consciousness in the 1950s. Malcolm was a skilful public speaker, and soon won his own personal following, making Elijah Mohammed envious of him. In turn, Malcolm claims he began to nurse increasing doubts over the direction and message of the group.

After actually visiting Mecca itself, Malcolm soon realized that the NOI had nothing to do with Islam and began practicing Sunni Islam. He was eventually murdered for speaking out against Elijah Mohammed and attempting to form his own black Sunni Muslim group.

Louis Farrakhan[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Louis Farrakhan

After the death of Elijah Mohammad in 1975, his son, Warith Deen Mohammad, brought the organization to a more mainstream Islamic position, which came to be known as the American Society of Muslims. Louis Farrakhan led a group of supporters who chose to rebuild the Nation of Islam, returning it to the more extremist positions, including separatism, institutionalized racism, and anti-Semitism (they believe Jews to have been behind the slave trade, among other things.)

What most people know as the NOI today is Farrakhan's personal fiefdom.

Theology[edit]

Nation of Islam mosque in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Interestingly (or ironically), most of Elijah Mohammad's teachings about the Blackman and his role on the earth come from Biblical quotes, including the idea that the Blackman is in fact the seed of Abraham,[8] as mentioned in Genesis.

The Nation Of Islam officially follows the writings of Elijah Mohammad's works Message to the Blackman in America published in 1965, which contains two telling platforms What Muslims Want and What Muslims believe.[9] Under Elijah Mohammad, the converts followed the Five Pillars of Islam.[note 4] Modesty and abstaining from alcohol are also prohibitions gathered from traditional Islam. Prayers were usually in English, of course.

On the Bible: Quoted from What Muslims Believe: WE BELIEVE in the truth of the Bible, but we believe that it has been tampered with and must be reinterpreted so that mankind will not be snared by the falsehoods that have been added to it (this follows mainstream Muslim views).[note 5]

Cosmology: The NOI believe that the Sun and the Moon were once one source of light, and that the Earth itself is over 70 trillion years old. They also believe in UFOs, and claim that Ezekiel is describing a UFO in Ezekiel 1:15-18. Japan is the original source of the Evil Scientists and the UFOs.[note 6] No, seriously.

About a decade ago they published a book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, which blames international Jewry for the slave trade. The book is credited only to The Nation of Islam, with no author's name given.

Dianetics[edit]

Since 2010, Louis Farrakhan has been encouraging members of the Nation of Islam to waste their time and money by joining yet another cult study Dianetics.[10] He claimed it would be used as a tool for white people "to become 'civilized'".[11] To the surprise of nobody, Farrakhan later confirmed an official and ill-advised alliance with the Church of Scientology.[12]

Vaccines[edit]

Rizza Islam, notorious Nation of Islam antivaxxer.
See the main article on this topic: Anti-vaccination movement

During the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Nation of Islam spread many conspiracy theories and misinformation online about the virus and vaccines. In March 2021, Nation of Islam member Rizza Islam was named as one of the anti-vaccination "disinformation dozen" (e.g. individuals most responsible for spreading anti-vaccination information online) by the Center for Countering Digital HateWikipedia, alongside other noxious individuals such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Joseph Mercola, and Ty Bollinger. Some examples of the bullshit Rizza Islam tweeted that were referenced in the report included an incorrect conspiracy theory that the COVID-19 vaccine made women infertile and claims that the vaccine was produced for nefarious reasons by Bill Gates. [13] Rizza Islam has also claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine is part of a depopulation plot targeting Black people. These claims are echoed on other portions on the Nation of Islam website (reinforced by references to the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, an event that understandably may make members of the Black community distrustful of the American health care system). [14][15] In a January 2021 sermon, NOI minister Wesley Muhammad made anti-semitic claims that the "pestilence from heaven was called down by the sins of Israel". Muhammad also claimed, inconsistently, that the virus was a "pestilence from heaven that came through the laboratory of Satan", with the laboratory in question being the Israel Institute for Biological ResearchWikipedia. [15][16]

On July 22, 2021, the Twitter account of the Nation of Islam was suspended for promoting anti-vaccination bullshit. [17]

Socio-economic influence[edit]

The NOI is one of the wealthiest religious organizations in the African-American community. Their holdings include a 5000-acre farmland in Terrell County, Georgia and multiple grocery stores around the American South and Midwest. Louis Farrakhan’s net worth is estimated at around $3 million.[18] Due to this and its advocacy for self-determination, unity, and black economic empowerment, the Nation of Islam has gained a sense of legitimacy among African Americans, especially in impoverished black urban areas and among ex-felons in which they sometimes engage in charity work for. Like many cults, this has the unfortunate effect of compelling some into believing in some of their rhetoric about whites, Jews, and other conspiracy theories and potentially being recruited into the Nation of Islam out of racial pride.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Followers of more mainstream forms of Islam, better known as actual Muslims, regard the Nation of Islam with what might be charitably termed utter contempt.
  2. How this matches with the whole 'White man is a potential human being' theology, I have no idea. But since when did any religion remain internally consistent?
  3. YakubaWikipedia (sometimes spelled Yakub, Yacub or Yakob) are closely related to the Hebrew name Jacob, and is likely an indirect referent to Jacob the father of the 12 tribes.
  4. The profession of faith, 5 daily prayers, charity, Ramadan, and the hajj.
  5. Is Andrew Schlafly a secret member of NOI?
  6. This is often used as a justification for NOI's anti-Asian stance

References[edit]

  1. "Nation of Islam", Southern Poverty Law Center, splcenter.org
  2. Brief history on origin of the Nation of Islam, noi.org.
  3. Quotes from Louis Farrakhan, The Guardian.
  4. Pindyck, Lindsay. "Farrakhan Causes National Controversy". New York: Cold Spring Harbor High School. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman in America, Muhammad's Temple No. 2, 1965 & Dorothy Blake Fardan, Yakub and the Origins of White Supremacy, Lushena Books, 2001.

    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.

  6. Lost Found Muslim Lesson No. 2, archived from the original at thenationofislam.org.
  7. Of Land and Nation, archived from the original at seventhfam.com.
  8. The Nation of Islam — Yakub, though it's possible the term "seeds" is metaphorical.
  9. NOI's Official Platform, noi.org.
  10. Ashamed M. Muhhamad, Nation of Islam Auditors graduation held for third Saviours’ Day in a row. finalcall.com, 28 February 2013.
  11. Billy Hallowell, Shock Alliance: Farrakhan Praises Integration of Scientology Into Nation of Islam Theology, Says Whites Should Use it to Become ‘Civilized’ & to Avoid Being ‘Devil Christians’ & ‘Satan Jews’, archived from the original at theblaze.com, 8 July 2012.
  12. Eliza Gray, Thetans and Bowties -- The Mothership of All Alliances: Scientology and the Nation of Islam. The New Republic, 5 October 2012.
  13. "The Disinformation Dozen: Why platforms must act on twelve leading online anti-vaxxers", Center for Countering Digital Hate, 24 March 2021
  14. Rizza Islam, Anti-Defamation League profile, ADL.org
  15. 15.0 15.1 "The Nation of Islam and anti-vaccine rhetoric" by Jacquelyn Mason, First Draft, 2021 February 18
  16. "Nation of Islam’s Wesley Muhammad calls COVID-19 Punishment for “Sins” of Jews, Israel", Anti-Defamation League, ADL.org, 2021 January 15
  17. "Nation of Islam Twitter account suspended" by Jerusalem Post staff, Jerusalem Post, 2021 July 22
  18. Nation of Islam, Southern Poverty Law Center.