Nation of Islam

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The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a religious and political organization founded in the United States by Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1930 with a declared aim of "resurrecting" the spiritual, mental, social and economic condition of the black man and woman of America and the world.

Louis Farrakhan is currently the leader of The Nation of Islam and lives in Chicago. The Nation of Islam's headquarters in Chicago known as The National Center, houses Mosque No. 2 now known as Mosque Maryam in dedication to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus, or Isa in Arabic, is respected and honored by the Islamic faith as a prophet and holy man.

The Final Call is the official newspaper of the NOI in the United States.



NOI: 1930-1975

The original Nation of Islam was founded in the U.S. in 1930 by Wallace Fard (1877- 1934?), whom NOI adherents believe to be God incarnate.

One of Fard's first disciples was Elijah Poole, whose name Fard later changed to Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975). Elijah Muhammad began preaching that W.F. Muhammad was literally God in person.

Elijah Muhammad was born in Georgia, but later moved to Detroit, where he came into contact with Fard Muhammad and accepted his teachings. He eventually traveled the country, setting up mosques, and named them according to his sequence of arrival. In New York to this day, the mosque there is still referred to as Mosque No. 7, because it was the seventh mosque Elijah Muhammad visited. 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 a independent, parochial school in various cities, calling each one the University of Islam. This move led to confrontations with the government. 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 truant. 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 Muhammed, 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. While serving a prison sentence for robbery, Malcolm was introduced to the Nation of Islam by his brother Philbert. 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.

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 Saviours' Day convention in Chicago. Walcott accepted Elijah Muhammad's teachings that day and became "Louis X" before years later being renamed "Louis Farrakhan" by Muhammad. After the assassination of Malcolm X in 1965, Farrakhan became imam of Mosque No. 7 and the official spokesman for the Nation. In the wake of a doctrinal schism in the organization after Elijah Muhammad's death ten years later, Farrakhan would become the leading voice of a "purist" faction, which sought to adhere to Muhammad's teachings and the black nationalist dogma.

One day after Elijah Muhammad's death in February, 1975, the succession of his son Wallace was approved unanimously during the annual Savior's Day celebrations February 26. Wallace Muhammad had been 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. [1] (

Muslim American Society: 1975

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 Muslim American Society, and many of his followers assimilated into mainstream Islam. Wallace Muhammad publicly shunned his father's theology and black separatist views, accepted whites as fellow worshipers and attempted to forge closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities in the US. Wallace later changed his own name to Warith Deen Muhammad.

A new NOI: 1978

At the outset of Wallace Muhammad's leadership of the Nation, many members were disturbed at the movement's new, moderate direction; and a minority of them years later formed more doctrinaire splinter groups. The most important of these was Louis Farrakhan, who, in a 1990 interview with Emerge Magazine, expressed his disillusionment with the changes and decided to "quietly walk away" from the organization in 1976, rather than cause a schism among the membership. In 1978, after wrestling with the changes and consequent dismantling of the NOI, Farrakhan and his supporters decided to rebuild the original Nation of Islam upon the foundation established by W. Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad.

In 1979, the Nation of Islam's newspaper, Muhammad Speaks was reestablished by Farrakhan under the name, The Final Call.

In 1981, Farrakhan publicly announced the restoration of the Nation of Islam and went forward with Elijah Muhammad's teachings.

In 1988 the resurgent Nation of Islam repurchased its former flagship mosque and headquarters in Chicago and dedicated it as Mosque Maryam, the "National Center for the Re-training and Re-education of the Black Man and Woman of America and the World".

In October 1994, a 2,000-member delegation from the United States traveled to Accra, Ghana, for the Nation of Islam's first International Saviours' Day convention on the African continent. Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings officially opened and closed the five-day convention.

In December 1997, the Nation of Islam sponsored a world tour referred to as the World Friendship Tour III. [2] ( A delegation of Muslim and Christian clergy from America, led by Minister Louis Farrakhan, visited the Caribbean and almost 40 countries, as well, including Canada, Mali, South Africa, South Korea, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Russia, Arabia, Libya, Cuba, Egypt and the Phillipines. Using the themes of the Million Man March held two years earlier, Farrakhan declared the mission of the tour to "spread the message of atonement, reconciliation and responsibility."

The Million Man March: 1995

In 1995 Farrakhan convened what his followers say was the largest march in U.S. history, the Million Man March.

Reconciliation: 2000

Marking 70 years since the Nation of Islam was founded in America, in 2000 Imam Warith Deen Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan publicly embraced and declared unity and reconciliation at the annual Saviours' Day convention.

In comments to the audience, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad said:

"Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, it is not difficult for Minister Farrakhan and Wallace D. Mohammed to embrace each other. That’s easy for us. When I first met him in the early ’50s, I liked him on first sight, and I became his friend and his brother. And I have not stopped being his friend and his brother. Maybe he has not understood ..., but I have always been his friend and his brother. For me, this is too big a cause for our personal problems and differences. Allah-u Akbar ("God is great"). Final Call Online, 2005 (

Farrakhan and Muhammad have continued to promote unity between their communities with prayer services and joint projects. Final Call Online, 2005 (

Beliefs and theology

The official beliefs as stated by the Nation of Islam have been outlined in books, documents and articles published by the organization as well as speeches by Elijah Muhammed, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and other ministers. Many of Elijah Muhammad's teachings may be found in "Message to the Blackman in America" and "The True History of Jesus as Taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad" (Chicago: Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah, 1992). Many of Malcolm's X's teachings of NOI theology are in his "The End of White World Supremacy", while a later more critical discussion of those beliefs can be found in his "The Autobiography of Malcolm X", co-written with Alex Haley.

Passed down via lessons written in 1930 from W. Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam 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 world's people of all races and faiths 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". These 85% of the masses are said to be constantly manipulated by 10% of the people who are referred to as "the rich slave-makers" (mental and otherwise) of the masses of the people. Those 10% rich "slave-makers" manipulate the 85% masses of the people through ignorance, the skillful use of religious doctrine and the mass media.

The third group referred to as the 5% "poor righteous teachers" of the people of world (from a general perspective) who know the truth of the manipulation of the 85% masses of the people by the 10% and that 5% "righteous teachers" are at constant struggle and war with 10% in an effort to reach and "free the minds" of the masses of the people.

Black experience of slavery was Bible prophecy

The NOI teaches that black people constitute a nation and that through the institution of the Atlantic slave trade they were systematically denied knowledge of their past history, language, culture and religion and in effect lost control of their lives. Central to this doctrine, NOI theology asserts that black people's experience of slavery was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and therefore, black people are the seed of Abraham referred to in the Bible, in Genesis 15:13,14:

Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

And Acts 7:6:

And God spoke on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.

Relations with Whites

The Nation of Islam teaches that black people were the original humans. Louis Farrakhan has stated that "White people are potential humans…they haven’t evolved yet." (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/18/00)

The Black man is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red and black people. By using a special method of birth control law the Black man 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 6000 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, Message to the Blackman in America, Muhammad's Temple No. 2, 1965 & Dorothy Blake Fardan, Yakub & The Origins Of White Supremacy, Lushena Books, 2001)

In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Louis 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 mankind 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." Final Call Online, 1997 (

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."

While Malcolm X was a member of the Nation of Islam he also preached that black people were genetically superior to white people. He later repudiated this belief.

Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to black people. Even Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant (The Playboy Interview: Malcolm X, interviewed by Alex Haley, Playboy Magazine, May 1963)

Beliefs about God and creation

The Nation of Islam teaches that the universe was created seventy-eight trillion years ago. At this time the first God was self-created on this planet, Earth. "He was the only One in the whole entire dark Universe. He had to wait until the atom of life produced brains to think what He needed. How long was that? I don't know, Brothers. But He was a Black man, a Black man! (Our Saviour Has Arrived)

In contrast to the beliefs of all other monotheistic faiths, Elijah Muhammed taught that the original physical manifestation of God in man died however the essence of God is infinite. Since then our entire universe has been ruled by a council of twenty four black scientists, the head scientist being known as Allah or the Supreme Being. (Elijah Muhammed, Message to the Blackman in America) One god would come after another, and every 25,000 years these successive gods would create a new civilization. These gods themselves were finite, and would eventually die however their infinite essence or spirit is ever-living and does not pass away. Elijah Muhammed writes "Allah . . . taught me that there are not any gods Who live forever. Their wisdom and work may live six thousand or twenty-five thousand years, but the actual individual may have died within a hundred or two hundred years, or the longest that we have a record of, around a thousand years." (Muhammad, Our Saviour p.96) There have been a succession of gods, each a black man, and in our current time the Supreme God incarnate is W.D. Fard. Fard disappeared in 1933, but is believed to be still alive, and will return with a final holy book.

The Mother Plane

Elijah Muhammad taught about a belief in the "Mother Plane", a UFO. This plane is linked to the visions seen by the prophet Ezekiel in the Book of Ezekiel, in the Hebrew Bible. Louis Farrakhan commenting on this teaching said the following:

"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Motherplane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekial, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Hon. 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 dollars 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 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 (1.6 km) in and then explode. The bombs these planes have are timed to go one mile (1.6 km) down and bring up a mountain one mile (1.6 km) 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 he atmosphere, just with a sound, she can crumble buildings."
Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Divine Destruction of America: Can She Avert It?, Final Call Online, 1996 (

Mythmaking and history

Like many religions, the NOI teaches its adherents its theology and beliefs through sermons, lectures, and in-house publications (such as newspapers.) Like many religions, the method in which NOI teachers develop and teach their beliefs is not in accord with modern critical historical methods.The first book analyzing the Nation of Islam was The Black Muslims in America (1961) by C. Eric Lincoln. He describes how religious services use myths and over-generalizations to indoctrinate NOI adherents.

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 which his hearers are challenged to check for themselves. A single documented statement, however, may become the basis of a wide range of generalized non-sequiturs.The fact that a North Carolina slaveholder had an Arabic-speaking Moslem slave of unusual mathematical ability may be offered as evidence that all slaves brought to America were Moslem, Arabic-speaking and learned. Similarly, historical facts may be indiscriminately mingled with myths and countermyths (The Black Muslims in America, pp. 120-121)

Divergence from mainstream Islam

NOI is viewed by many Muslims as a heretical cult. The reason cited most often by traditional Muslims is that the NOI has taught that God would manifest himself in a human being (Fard Muhammad) -- in Islam, the most central article of faith is the statement, "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet," -- and that one race (the black race) is superior to other races, whereas Islam believes in the total transcendence of God, and that people of all races are created as equals and viewed as such by God.

Many Muslims reject and disapprove of this group because of its divergence, sometimes extreme, from the teachings of mainstream Islam. Some Muslims refer to NOI with the pejorative term Farrakhanism in order to distinguish themselves from it.

Like mainstream Islam, the Nation of Islam preaches adherence to the "five pillars of the (Islamic) faith": salat, or prayer, five times daily facing due East, toward the holy city of Mecca; zakat il-fitr, charity to the poor; fasting during the holy month of Ramadan; and that every Muslim who is physically and financially able must make Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once in his or her lifetime. The NOI also teaches morality and personal decorum, emphasizing modesty, mutual respect and discipline in dress and comportment. NOI adherents do not consume pork, stress a healthy diet and physical fitness, and the consumption of alcohol and tobacco is frowned upon. In these respects, the NOI is in general agreement with mainstream Islamic tradition. However, the Nation of Islam argues that because of the unique experience of the oppression and degradation of slavery, Elijah Muhammad used unique methods for introducing Islam to his people.

In other matters, NOI teachings diverge markedly from traditional Islam.

  • God's incarnation
    • NOI: Teaches that "Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited Messiah of the Christians and the Mahdi of the Muslims."
    • Mainstream Islam: Teaches that it is heretical and blasphemous to believe that God would manifest Himself in human form (or any material form). God is incorporeal.
  • Resurrection of the dead
    • NOI: Teaches the resurrection of the dead—not in physical resurrection—but in mental resurrection. They believe that the black man and woman of America are most in need of mental resurrection; therefore they will be resurrected first.
    • Mainstream Islam: teaches that there will literally be a physical resurrection of the billions and billions of dead people worldwide, and that resurrected souls (or bodies) will be sent to paradise or hell.
  • Relations with Caucasians
    • NOI: Teaches that the black man is the original man of the planet Earth and that Caucasians were created by a grafting (selective breeding) process devised by a scientist called Yakub. They teach that Caucasian Muslims are their brothers in the faith of Islam and should be honored as such.
    • Mainstream Islam: Teaches that all races are created equal in the eyes of God. Islam recognizes a biblical and Quranic figure, the patriarch Jacob, but this Jacob is viewed by Muslims as a prophet, and is not connected to the Yakub of the NOI.

Actions and programs

The NOI has a "Do for self" philosophy, which resulted in the NOI owning and operating hundreds of businesses nationwide, employing thousands of people. The NOI has purchased and now operates food industry services, bakeries and restaurants. It owns a large amounts of farmland in Georgia, USA. It owns and operates hair care shops. Some of these business ventures have been success stories. Others have been criticised as Amway-style marketing schemes that have not benefited most of their employees.

The NOI has worked to clean up drug addicts, reform prostitutes, and keep black youth out of gangs. It has helped some newly released ex-convicts make a new start and stay out of jail.

In The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin wrote:

"Elijah Muhammad has been able to do what generations of welfare workers and committees and resolutions and reports and housing projects and playgrounds have failed to do: to heal and redeem drunkards and junkies, to convert people who have come out of prison and to keep them out, to make men chaste and women virtuous, and to invest both the male and the female with pride and a serenity that hang about them like an unfailing light. He has done all these things, which our Christian church has spectacularly failed to do." (James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, Vintage International, 1963)

During the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic, The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development employed several private firms run by members of the Nation of Islam to provide security in housing projects in black neighborhoods. The Anti-Defamation League was successful in lobbying congress to sever the HUD contracts.[3] (


Labeled a hate group

In 1998, the Southern Poverty Law Center declared the Nation of Islam a hate group. The Anti-Defamation League has also made similar claims.

Relations with other ethnic groups, other faith communities

Relationships with Christian groups

The NOI has criticized Christianity as insofar as it's interpretation has been a tool for the enslavement and oppression of black people. At various times NOI ministers have criticized Christian theology and one former minister referred to the Pope as a "cracker" before being publicly reprimanded by the organization for using such language.

Some Christian leaders and churches, particularly black clergy and black congregations throughout America have a history of close relations with the Nation of Islam, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Rev. Al Sampson. United Pentecostal Churches of Christ Bishop Travis Grant, in explaining his willingness to work together with the Nation of Islam, said:

We brought Brothers from all over the country to meet with Minister Farrakhan, so we could go in his home to begin that process of dialogue. Our Bible teaches us, “In all of our getting, get an understanding.” Our Bible says a friend will stick closer than a Brother. Minister Farrakhan has not only been a Brother, but he’s been a friend to our community. Many of our Brothers have seen Minister Farrakhan through the lens and eyes of people who want to misinterpret and misrepresent his words, spirit and heart. ..A tremendous segment of our community loves Minister Farrakhan, but does not have an understanding of Islam. They love our Christian Brothers and do not have a true understanding of what all of us believe. We could all do a great service to our community in putting down our differences and highlighting our similarities and common ground, and allowing our people the freedom and right to choose whatever they want to believe. Final Call Online, 2005 (

Relationships with Jews

According to most Jewish groups, some humanist groups, and many Christian groups, the Nation of Islam has a history of anti-Jewish rhetoric. They accuse the Nation of Islam of claiming that Jews financed Nazi Germany, of describing Jews as "blood suckers", and insisting Jews played a key role in the Atlantic slave trade. In response, the Nation of Islam has argued that it stated that only some wealthy Zionist Jews (such as Goldman Sachs & Company of New York) participated in the financing of Nazi Germany, and that only some Jewish, Asian and Arab merchants in predominantly black, inner-city neighborhoods in the United States have been described as "blood suckers" for alleged profitting from the communities without giving back to those communities. See Nation of Islam and anti-Semitism for detail.

The secret relationship between Blacks and Jews

In the 1990s the Nation of Islam published an anonymous work, which at the time was presented as an academic, scholarly study of the historical relationship between blacks and Jewish people. This book collectively accused the Jewish people of causing anti-Semitism, of having racist hatred towards blacks, and of being largely responsible for the slave trade. This book was widely accepted as factual among many NOI adherents and was sold on college campuses.

In a 1991 review of the book, Donald Muhammad writes:

The facts, as established by highly respected scholars of the Jewish community, are here exposed and linked by as sparse a narrative as is journalistically permitted.. Every fact was painstakingly footnoted. The research was matchless and worthy of commendation. Attempts to assuage this work as allegedly "anti-Semitic" or "anti-Jewish" falls on its face given the fact that the work contains the contributions of "respected scholars of the Jewish community. ..The power of this presentation is so strong that the facts cannot be refuted. Yet this work does not pretend to be the end-all on this subject of slavery. It provides a window to even more extensive research regarding slavery by its other co-conspirators, the white Christians of Europe, the Arabs of the Middle East, and the Black African leaders who sold their own people to the slave traders. ..In light of the recent allegations of "Black anti-Semitism," this book calls attention to the evil and immoral practice by the Jews in the Black holocaust of which many scholars estimate that 250 million or more perished at the hands of white people during the trade in Black slaves. (Donald Muhammed, Book Review: The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 1, Final Call, November, 1991)

This book was roundly criticised by Jewish groups as anti-Semitic. Many historians claimed that the book systematically misquoted individuals, falsified quotes, forged figures, and presented facts out of context.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., professor of the Humanities at Harvard University said:

The Secret Relationship itself is an invidious document of anti-Semitism; that is, it’s hard to think of any historical motivation for it other than the fomenting of hostility toward Jews and as a defense for anti-Semitic rhetoric. Unfortunately, its ‘scholarly apparatus’ is likely to impress lay persons who aren’t familiar with the relevant historiography...."Now, nobody who is familiar with the vast body of archival material on slavery is likely to be impressed by the book’s approach. … But that’s how this book works: the accretion of anecdotes, with no honest attempt to place them in an historical or demographic perspective.... And the generalizations it makes are unsupported by the ‘evidence’ it provides. "The Secret Relationship charges that Jews were ‘key operatives,’ incurring ‘monumental culpability’ in slavery; given its historical method, they could as easily have concluded the same about the left handers... or Scotsmen... or (had the tract considered the African side of the trade) Blacks themselves....

While the book is considered to be debunked by all mainstream scholars in American and European universities, Farrakhan still preaches the ideas in this book as factual. For instance,:

In my hands is a manuscript, brothers and sisters, that arose out of the controversy between myself and the Jewish community. I want to tell all of you I have never been antisemitic. I have never been a hater of Jews, nor am I now that. ..some Muslims in the Nation rose up to defend me and went into libraries and did research and compiled a manuscript of over 300 pages from their own writings not from us. And not one scholar that we quote is an antisemite. Here are Jewish rabbis, Jewish scholars, Jewish writers. They document their own hand in the slave trade.

Alleged relationship with dictators

It is alleged by the Anti-Defamation League that the organization at times has become dependent on funding by world leaders widely considered to be dictators, however many have rejected that notion citing the fact that the Anti-Defamation League has never substantiated the allegations.

In January 1996 Louis Farrakhan went on a 27-day world tour. Farrakhan met publicly and privately with leaders of Mali, the Palestinian Authority, Niger, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Cuba Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Nigeria, as well as meeting with former President Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The Nation of Islam's chronicalization of the world tour is documented online at the World Friendship Tour website (

Attitude to Hezbollah

According to an October 9, 1996 press release from the Anti-Defamation League, the Nation of Islam believes that Hezbollah are freedom-fighters, as do many governments around the world, including most of the Arab world and many Lebanese, while the U.S. State Department and several groups within the European Union view them as terrorists. According to the October 9, ADL press release, Farrakhan said the following:

They call them [Hezbollah] terrorists, I call them freedom fighters... No one asks why they would do such a thing. Why would they do such a thing? What has driven them to this point? That's what the UN, the U.S. and Europe doesn't want to deal with because the Zionists have control in England, in Europe, in the United States and around the world.
Speech at the District Council 33 Union Hall, Philadelphia, PA., (Source: ADL) 22 April, 1996 [4] (

Splinter Groups

Several splinter groups have formed since the passing of Elijah Muhammad. Farrakhan's NOI is the most prominent but the teachings continue in other groups.

See also


NOI publications

  • Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman in America (Chicago, Ilinois, Muhammad's Temple No. 2, 1965)
  • Elijah Muhammad, Our Saviour Has Arrived (United Brothers Communications Systems, 1969)
  • Elijah Muhammad, The Fall of America (The National Newport News and Commentator, 1973)
  • Louis Farrakhan, A Torchlight for America (Chicago, IL., FCN Publishing Co., 1993)
  • Jabril Muhammad, This Is The One, Volume One (Phoenix, Az., Book Company., 1993)
  • Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume One (Boston, MA., Latimer Associates, 1991)


  • Elijah Muhammad, The True History of Jesus as Taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah, 1992
  • Steven Tsoukalas, The Nation of Islam: Understanding the “Black Muslims,” (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P & R Publishing, 2001)
  • Dorothy Blake Fardan, Ph.D., Yakub & The Origins Of White Supremacy (Lushena Books, 2001)


  • Eric Pement, Cornerstone, vol. 26, issue 111 (1997), p. 10-16, 20
  • Desiree Cooper: Helping turn a sect into a nation, Detroit Free Press, March 31, 2005

External links

et:Nation of Islam id:Nation of Islam ja:ネーション・オブ・イスラム


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