“The earth is our promised land” as Malcolm X instructed his followers, ” and we are going to take some of it.” The concept was the Black man was the original man; he is the wisest, most powerful, most beautiful. And, as Muslims found a sense of dignity in their African past, they avoid “being contaminated” by whites, and proclaim, “let us separate- but utterly.”
…The Nation of Islam, a black nationalist and religious organization was founded in Detroit, Michigan, in 1930 by Wallace Fard. Fard argued that African Americans could obtain success through discipline, racial pride, knowledge of God, and physical separation from white society. Fard disappeared in June 1934 and was replaced as leader by Elijah Muhammad. Under the leadership of Muhammad, Black Muslims purchased large areas of land in the Deep South, invested in business ventures and had its own paramilitary force. Members were also instructed to completely abstain from all drugs….
…During the Second World War Muhammad advised his followers to avoid the draft. This led to him being charged with violating the Selective Service Act and was jailed between 1942 and 1946. After his release from prison, Elijah Muhammad gradually built up the membership of the Black Muslims. He described African Americans as the chosen people and urged the adoption of a religion based on the worship of Allah. Muhammad also called for the establishment of a separate nation for African Americans. Read More:http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmuslims.htm
The black Muslims’ combination of an exotic religion and a passionate rejection of white America propelled them into a somewhat disturbed consciousness of America. Insisting that the original religion of the African-American was Islam, that their language was Arabic; Malcolm X became the most articulate and best known of the Muslim leaders. “The white man kidnapped us from our high culture and civilization in Africa, stole us and then stole our religion, our language, and our civilization and made us into animals.”
The black Muslims, despite what they may appear to a white observer to be exotic, aggressive and even destructive, pose for the African American the profound and not obvious response to their identity and their relation to America and the larger world; though the demonization of whites, as reaction to the white stereotype of the African-American might be a pretext for more confrontation, ultimately another exercise in nihilism
From the sixteenth century until the prohibition of the slave trade three hundred years later, ten to fifteen million Africans were exported to the Americas. Meanwhile probably other millions were forcibly removed to Asia, and still others, in untold numbers, perished in the mad competition between Europeans and Africans and Asians to capture slaves for the insatiable market. These doomed unfortunates came from various parts of Africa, but the vast majority were from the long stretch of land along the western coast from the Senegal River down to Angola and a few hundred miles inland.
A substantial portion of the people from this area had either become Muslims by the fifteenth century or were to become Muslims during the heyday of the slave trade.
It should not surprise us, therefore, if many of the slaves brought to the United States were really Muslim. But how many? This is a historical puzzle. We not only do not know even approximately how many Muslims there were, but we have only scraps of information about the questions we are asking. It is almost as if the black Muslims today were right – that the Africans were stripped of Islam, that there is a conspiracy to keep the whole subject from coming to light, that few wer
terested in the religion of the slaves or anything else that might have suggested that they were human beings. There were missionaries, of course, intent upon converting the slaves to Christianity, but they were interested only in the Negroes’ new religion, and they left little evidence of any religion brought along in the slave ships from Africa.
In the United States we have not tried so hard to eradicate to memory, or the evidence, of slavery, as has Brazil, where in1890, two years after abolition, an official decree declared the government was “under the obligation of destroying all traces of the system for the sake of the nation’s reputation…. “ The wonder in our own country today is that there is still no interest in or even awareness of the question of Islam among slaves. Read More:http://nuradeen.com/archives/Reflections/ThreeArticles3.htm