EXAMINING THE BLACK MUSLIM MOVEMENT, "NATION OF...
Written by: Abba II Posted on: 04/24/2003
Category: Cults / Sects / Non Christian Religions and Topics
EXAMINING THE BLACK MUSLIM MOVEMENT, "NATION OF ISLAM"
In our study, we are going to be going in great detail in
what I believe is one of the most important and rapidly growing
non-Christian cults of our day. It is known as the Black Muslim
cult, or, as some have termed it, the Nation of Islam. But,
whatever name we wish to apply to it, it is here, and it is
penetrating many of the ghettoes of the United States, and it is
holding out hope to many black people who are seeking some relief
from the great oppression which has descended upon large segments
of our populace.
In the furor of racial tensions in Africa, and in the United
States--so characteristic of our time--a new force is stirring
throughout the Negro world. And it is one to be reckoned with by
responsible persons of all races.
This is designated, as I said, the Black Muslim movement.
Its membership is conservatively estimated at more than 150,000
persons--all of them Negro. Now, there is good evidence that the
hard core of the Muslims in the United States does not exceed
35,000. But they have more than 84 temples, and a membership
goal of 20,000,000 in the United States. Muslim real estate
holdings and investments are scattered across America, and they
are sufficiently solvent to propose the erection of an Islamic
center in Chicago, Illinois, at a cost of $20,000,000.00.
It is quite obvious, therefore, that we are dealing with a
well-organized group of individuals who have specific goals and
are moving forward towards their realization. There can be
little doubt that the Black Muslim movement is propelled by a
fervent nationalistic spirit on the part of black people. And
the most disconcerting feature of its growth is the fact it has
capitalized upon the Christian churches' apparent reticence, in
some quarters, to support vigorously the rights of Negroes
guaranteed under the Constitution.
Church Not Interested
Now, at the risk of getting into political conflicts and
racial tensions, let me point out that the Christian church never
really seriously got interested in the plight of the black man
until long after the fact has been attended to by other agencies-
-whereas the church ought to have been in the forefront of the
crusade for minority groups in the United States.
That does not mean that the Christian church has not done
many things. That does not mean that the church has not extended
herself charitably and in the spirit of Christian love in many
areas--for she has. It does not mean that the church has not
cared for the black man. For, quite obviously, the evidence is
clear that the church has. What I am trying to say is that the
Christian church did not make a basic thrust of leadership in
this field. Because of this, it left the door wide open for
other groups--cultic and otherwise--to come along and to charge
the church with negligence.
Surely ours is the task of being the good Samaritan. Who is
my neighbor? Obviously the man who needs me. And the church
should have been directing her activities in this area long
before she was forced to by the exigencies of the day.
Christianity "the White Man's Religion"
Now, listen to this: The Black Muslims make the consistent
charge that Christianity is "the white man's religion"--ignoring
totally the fact that Jesus Christ was an Asiatic, a Semite, a
descendant of Isaac, half-brother of the Arabs through Ishmael.
And, if anyone reads carefully Genesis 16:1-12, it becomes
apparent that the whole story is spelled out for anyone to read,
including those who are devotees of black Islam.
This Christianity claims closer ties to any supposed Islamic
brotherhood than any Negro Muslim movement ever could.
Christianity is certainly NOT the "white man's religion." It is
the religion of the Jew and the Arab through Judaism. Any
national connection with the Negro race of either a black Judaism
or a black Islam is totally foreign to the Bible, the Koran, and
all the available evidence of anthropology and genetics.
Yet despite these facts the Black Muslims move forward with
a militant, vitriolic and denunciatory spirit against all white
people, merely because they are white--NOT because they belong to
a religion other than Islam. Any student of comparative
religions will tell you immediately that Islam launched its great
crusade against the religions of the world on the basis of a holy
war to establish that there is one God--Allah--and Muhammad is
the prophet. Islam was not concerned with "racial" issues.
She's not concerned with it today. That is true of historic
A Racist Form of Islam
But when we deal with Black Islam, we are dealing here in
America with a group that IS concerned with the color of one's
skin, and therefore it is a racist form of Islam. The official
view of the Muslim religion concerning Elijah Muhammad, prophet
of the Black Muslim movement, is one of outright disdain. The
Muslim religion takes--if we may use the phrase--a very dim view
of Elijah Muhammad. The Koran forbids anyone to discriminate
against another on the basis of his skin. It's an open fact that
there are millions of Muslims who are neither black nor brown,
and who are indeed yellow and white, in many quarters of the
The Federation of Islamic Association, the official Muslim
organization in this country, has repudiated the Black Muslims,
claiming "...that it is not affiliated and is not recognized as
This Black Muslim movement, therefore, is characterized by
militant, vigorous racism, which describes all white men as
"devils" and enemies of the black race by nature. They
vigorously reject any form of integration under the Constitution
of the United States, or of any other country, preferring an all-
black state of their own. They have not hesitated to suggest
that seven or eight of the states of the United States be
allotted to them for the creation of their own separate nation.
The Black Muslims are also vigorously opposed to intermarriage
between the black race and the white race. They are
segregationists par excellence, surpassing even white extremists
of certain sections of our country.
A Black Ku Klux Klan
In the Black Muslim movement we can see emerging the
outlines of what is most certainly a black Ku Klux Klan which
wants, not equality with the white race, but which maintains
instead the intrinsic superiority of the black race. It is a
swing of the historical and anthropological pendulum, liberally
seasoned with a hatred which defies description. It's a movement
borne of many centuries of slavery and degradation, and,
unfortunately in the United States, a hatred not totally
This is seen in the light of the exploitation of the Negro
by unscrupulous and unprincipled white men, who have nodded to
the Emancipation Proclamation, but have subtly disobeyed each of
its precepts, and those of the Supreme Court, in favor of the
segregation of the black man, both racially and socially. We are
reaping the fruit of this today. Christians must become
concerned, because the Gospel is both salvatory and social. We
have a dual responsibility, not only to proclaim Jesus Christ and
live the Christian life, but also to minister to the needs of a
world which is perishing--black, white, brown, and yellow--
independent of pigmentation or the absence of it--a world that is
perishing without the Son of God--a world that God so loved that
He was willing to send Jesus Christ to save.
Promise of a "Pan-Negro Brotherhood"
Black Islam presents the awesome spectacle of a growing,
black funnel, engulfing potentially millions of black people in
the United States, who, though they have no sympathy for its
religious fervor, know that in a number of areas it speaks the
truth concerning the exploitation of the black man. Many Negroes
support the Black Muslim movement because it is the voice in
defense of their rights. The voice speaks with increasing
frequency and intensity throughout the major Negro population
centers of America--New York, Washington, Detroit, Chicago, Los
Angeles. And the Black Muslim movement sweeps into its hold
daily--by the annunciation of a militant nationalism--those
underprivileged and exploited Negroes who are promised the
eschatological dream of a "pan-Negro brotherhood" in which, at
last, the white man will have to recognize their independence--
and, if the Black Muslims have their way, their superiority.
This is important: Many Negroes, though non-Muslim, give
aid, comfort, and support to Elijah Muhammad's growing kingdom as
a type of protest vote against race-shy politicians and
segregationists of all varieties, Christian as well as non-
It is sad to have to admit that such occurrences as Little
Rock, Birmingham, Watts, Rochester, and Memphis have only served
to pour fuel upon the fires so zealously fanned by the Black
Muslims. Every instance where they can legitimately show
persecution of the black man, violation of his constitutional
rights, and his privileges as an American citizen, only serve to
demonstrate the validity of their basic charge that the white man
intends to always be the "slave master" of the Negro race.
Through this type of psychology, they are penetrating
ghettoes where people are looking for a ray of hope in the midst
of ever deepening darkness. Even though these things are
demonstrably false, even though they can be refuted from numerous
sources, it still serves the propaganda purposes of Elijah
Muhammad. There is a new spirit abroad today among the Negro in
America, aided and abetted by the ignorant, the uninformed, and
the lawbreaker, whatever his apparently legal maneuver may be.
It is forging a solid wedge of discontent, unrest, and antagonism
toward the white man--and even, in some instances, toward Negro
leaders who have attempted a moderate approach, fully aware of
the grave dangers inherent in any Negro insurrection.
The Black Muslim movement is a fuse which could ignite
racial, cultural, political and economic explosions that could do
irreparable damage to our country and to its image abroad. This
image has been marred and scarred by the excesses of a few on
both sides of the racial controversy. These seem willing to
sacrifice the future welfare of our nation for a continuance of
something we fought one of the bloodiest wars in all human
history to eradicate--a war in which white brother faced white
brother as enemies in order to free black slaves that they might
become black brothers and citizens of a truly United States of
America, free from bigotry, slavery, exploitation, and
oppression. In the words of the Great Emancipator, a just
government, "with malice toward none, and charity for all."
We may not have fully attained these things because we are
limited and sinful, and because these things will always limit
the development of the ideal, no matter how high that ideal may
be set by mankind.
Black Islam is Un-American
The Black Muslim movement, by its insistence upon a separate
black state within the United States, will not add constructively
to the picture, but instead will divide further the federal
union. It is therefore untenable because it is un-American. If
the black race were given its own state, what then of the yellow
race? And the brown race? Would they too not have a just claim?
And if these be granted, what then of the union?
The answer to all this, of course, is that the Black Muslims
will never get their state. For the cornerstone of American
government is, as Lincoln once put it, "the federal union--it
must be preserved." There can be no doubt that it will be.
The danger, however, has not been removed, and will not be,
until the general public and Christians in particular become
aware of the challenge of the Black Muslim movement.
Black Islam, then, is not an insignificant cult. It is not
a cult that the Christian church can afford to become complacent
about or ignore. Instead, it directly challenges the very
foundation of historic Christianity. Paradoxically, it attempts
to do this in terms taken from Scripture itself.
Elijah Muhammad's "Knowledge of Self"
To better evaluate the Black Muslims, some understanding of
the historical and theological roots from which the cult sprang
is necessary. Such an evaluation, I believe, is necessary to
gain an understanding of the psychological and spiritual
motivations and drives which seemingly compel these zealous and
sincere people upon a course even they cannot fully understand.
That neither they, nor those who oppose them, can accurately
predict what the outcome will be gives pause for thought, in the
light of the growing tensions of racial conflict so apparent in
There can be little doubt that the American Negro has been
exploited, oppressed, and suppressed by the white man in not a
few states of our country, in the North as well as in the South.
Emerging as they have from slavery and denied their civil rights
in far too many instances, the American Negro has by and large
been forced into a ghetto-like existence. This is evidenced by
his concentration in such places as New York's Harlem, and its
equivalents in Detroit, Chicago, Washington, and Los Angeles.
Elijah Muhammad has capitalized upon this, emphasized what
he called "the knowledge of self," and stimulated pride in the
black man, pride in his race, his heritage, and his abilities.
Riding the crest of this wave of racial pride, the Black Muslims
have made enormous strides. According to the late Louis Womack,
distinguished Negro journalist, who made an intensive survey of
the Black Muslim movement, the following observations should be
carefully weighed by anyone who wants to know what's really going
on in the mind of the American Negro today. Wrote Mr. Womack:
"The same general approach, teaching race, pride as knowledge of
self, accounts for the success the Black Muslims have among low-
income Negroes. These people are in something of a prison tomb.
They see themselves as failures and need some accounting for what
they are and what they do, why they are not and what they are
not. These needs are met when a wave of the downtrodden proclaim
the divinity of the black man. Blame the white man for his sins
and lawlessness, and then go on to herald the impending
destruction of the white 'devil.'"
Negroes Beginning to Listen
In other words, what Womack is saying, is that Elijah
Muhammad has gotten to the crest of this wave, and he has
proclaimed the divinity of the black man--blaming the white man
for all the black man's sin and lawlessness, and blaming the
white "devil" for all the difficulties which the black man faces.
Because of this, a large, growing segment of the Negro populace
is beginning to listen, and some have accepted and believed
fervently. Womack went on:
"Thus it is that a growing segment of the American Negro
population, beset with economic, psychological pressures, and
remembering only too well the history of slavery, limited
emancipation, and Jim Crow discrimination in the realms of
education, economics, and civil rights, is beginning to listen if
not to follow the exhortations of Elijah Muhammad. Goaded by a
groundswell of nationalism prevalent throughout the world, and
badgered by cries of brotherhood within the black race to the
exclusion of all others, the American Negro finds himself at the
crossroads in an era when crises have become the common place.
Should he trust the United States government, dominated by white
legislators, in which he feels he has little voice to guarantee
him the rights and privileges legally afforded him a hundred
years ago but never fulfilled? Or shall he cast his lot with the
nationalistic movement, founded in racial pride and promising him
dignity and a life of equality, coupled with the respect of all
races? This is the dilemma in which many Negroes find themselves
And the psychological appeal cannot be underestimated, especially
among a Negro populace which has suffered much and is today
striving for recognition and justice."
Mr. Womack has, of course, performed a great service for
those interested in studying the Black Muslim movement. He, in
company with Eric Lincoln, whose classic volume, The Black Muslim
Movement in America, is by all odds the finest objective
evaluation of the work of Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X now in
print, has carefully pinpointed many of the difficulties which
face us--and particularly the church of Jesus Christ--who would
reconcile the black man to God, recognizing that all men,
regardless of the color of their skin, are in need of that
The history of the Black Muslim movement began with Wallace
Fard, an Islamic Negro who in 1930 appeared among the Detroit
Negro community. He spoke softly and intelligently and appealed
to the Negro mind about proper living and civil rights. At that
particular time, he utilized the Bible and the study of the
Koran, and rejected the teaching of Jesus Christ that one should
turn the other cheek to one's enemy. He built quite a large
following, and then Fard disappeared. He was referred to as
"the Prophet," but his disappearance was not apparent until he
had trained one Elijah Poole, now known as Elijah Muhammad.
Fard left behind him two manuals, The Secret Ritual
Relation of Islam and Teachings for the Lost, Found Nation of
Islam in a Mathematical Way. The first of these works was and
still is orally transmitted. The second is written in symbolic
language requiring translation and interpretation by the prophet.
Fard founded the University of Islam and the Muslim Girls
Training Class, and a militant organization for the protection of
Muslims known as the Fruit of Islam. At the end of 1933 this
organization was progressing so well that Fard withdrew from its
leadership. Shortly thereafter, he disappeared.
No one knows where Wallace Fard went. But he was "deified"
shortly thereafter by Elijah Poole, nee Elijah Muhammad today,
and was called the "incarnation" or the "manifestation on earth
There was an interesting interview between Elijah Muhammad
and the New York Herald Tribune, which attempted to penetrate
Muslim theology, not too long ago. I'd like to give some
documentation as to Muslims' theological views, because a great
deal has been said about it, but not from authoritative sources.
This is from Elijah Muhammad himself, the highest voice in black
A New York Herald Tribune reporter said, "I asked Mr.
Muhammad about this (about Fard and the early work of the
movement). I said, `Is there a mystery about what happened to
Mr. Fard?' `No sir, there is no mystery about what happened to
him,' he answered. Did Mr. Muhammad say what happened? He is
just waiting for the proper time to deliver speeches. Did Mr.
Muhammad consider Mr. Fard to be not only a holy man, but
actually a divine person? `He is God himself. He is the one
that we have been looking for for the last two thousand years to
come. He is the one, and his word bears witness to the fact that
he is the one.'
"`And you know him?' I asked.
"`I do know him,' he answered.
"Is Mr. Muhammad in touch with him now? `Yes,' he replied,
"I asked him about a successor. Did he have in mind the
identity of his own successors, and see himself, as known, as the
inspired messenger of Allah. His answer to this was a swift one.
`No, that is not my job to do anything like that. This work has
been put upon me to do the will of almighty Allah, who has
appointed me. There will be no such thing as a successor, because
everything will be guided according to the will of Allah. And
whatever he reveals will be carried on. It is like today; we
have the sun and moon and stars up there, and they are not
changed for others.'
"I asked him about the membership figures in his
approximately 80 temples around the country, saying that law
enforcement officers seemed agreed that the hard core membership
of the Black Muslims is between 5,000 and 6,000 members, with a
less attached number of followers between 150,000 and 300,000.
"He answered, `I don't even know that, because we don't have
a record showing the figures.'"
In the theology of the Black Muslim movement, Wallace Fard,
then, was God--or Allah--himself. And it is no exaggeration to
state that the Black Muslims worship a black god whom they say is
awaiting the proper time to return and proclaim the triumph of
Of course, should a death certificate and the discovery of a
grave identifying Wallace Fard's remains ever be found, this
would doubtless embarrass the Black Muslim movement considerably,
though the wily Mr. Poole would no doubt explain that
resurrection was imminent.
It was Mr. Fard who taught the Black Muslims that they did
not owe any allegiance to America or the American flag. After
Elijah Muhammad's break with the movement following Fard's
disappearance, he abandoned this philosophy--at least outwardly.
Eric Lincoln has described the condition which followed the
split. He said, "Fard became identified with the god Allah,
being thus deified. He was worshipped with prayer and sacrifice.
Muhammad, who had served Allah, naturally assumed the mantle of
prophet, which Allah had worn during his mission in Detroit.
Today Muhammad is referred to both as a prophet and, more often,
as the messenger of Allah."
The Black Muslims have come far under Muhammad. He has
given them temples and schools, apartment houses and grocery
stores, restaurants and farms. Most important of all, he has
given them a new sense of dignity, a conviction that they are
more than equal to the white man and destined to rule the earth.
It's interesting to note also that on February 26, in the
calendar of black Islam, the notation is for Savior's Day--the
birthday of Wallace Fard. And cards and presents are exchanged.
He is recognized, therefore, as an incarnation of divinity.
It ought to be pointed out that the movement had about 8,000
adherents when Fard departed. Elijah Muhammad then moved the
headquarters from Detroit to Chicago, and there set up new
headquarters and changed the emphasis into a militant movement of
black people. Fard's approach was slightly different; Elijah
Muhammad's was direct, and produced fantastic results, as Mr.
Lincoln has pointed out.
Jail Yesterday, Luxury Today
It should also be drawn to the attention of students of
black Islam that Elijah Muhammad was jailed between the years
1942 and 1946 for sedition and for inciting his followers not to
register for the draft. We also ought to take into consideration
the fact that he lives today in an 18-room mansion and owns two
Cadillacs and one Lincoln Continental. His six sons and entire
family are involved in the operation of black Islam, and his
oldest son is alleged to be in line for inheritance to the
Today the disciples of Elijah Muhammad propagandize in major
Negro population centers throughout the United States. Their
methods of evangelism are visiting jails and places where Negroes
congregate in their particular areas and ghettoes. They hand out
fliers on street corners; they sell Elijah Muhammad's paper which
tells about Muhammad speaking and proclaiming to the world the
message of black Islam. They utilize radio spots, and they are
very, very adept at working together through communal usage of
properties in attracting the attention of the community to the
success they have managed to attain by working together as black
people for a common goal. They have attracted the media's
attention this way.
The Late Malcolm X
And none was more successful in this than the late Malcolm
X, a man who had been involved in drug traffic and in pimping and
in every conceivable kind of crime, virtually, before his
"conversion" to black Islam.
Muhammad had made a great convert in Malcolm X, and Malcolm
went forth to become the chief spokesman for black Islam in the
United States. Cassius Clay, better known as Muhammad Ali, is
today the best public relations man for black Islam. But it was
Malcolm X who really put the movement on the road or in the eyes
of the public for everybody to see it with his publications and
with his tremendously powerful apologetics for the Negro.
I'd like to give a few quotations to demonstrate just how
effective Malcolm X was, and just what the theology of Islam is,
as Malcolm X explains it, because he was Elijah Muhammad's prize
pupil. Questions were addressed to Malcolm X in a taped
interview shortly before his death. I have a copy of that
transcript, and I'd like to give you some excerpts from it,
because I think they reveal more about black Islam than one could
get from reading 100 of the newspapers and 20 or 30 books on the
Question: "What is the ambition of the black Muslims?"
Answer: "Freedom, justice, and equality are our principal
ambitions, and to faithfully observe and follow the honorable
Elijah Muhammad is the guiding goal of every Muslim. Mr.
Muhammad teaches us the knowledge of ourselves and our own
people. He cleans us up morally, mentally, and spiritually, and
he reforms us to the vices that have blinded us here in the
Western society. I don't know when Armageddon is supposed to be,
but I know that the time is near when the white man will be
finished. The signs are all around us. Christ wasn't white;
Christ was black. The poor, brainwashed Negro has been made to
believe Christ was right to maneuver him into worshipping white
men. Mr. Muhammad says that Allah is going to wake up all black
men to see the white man as he really is, and see what
Christianity has done to them. The black masses that are waking
up don't believe in Christianity any more. All that's done for
black men is to help keep them slaves. Mr. Muhammad is teaching
that Christianity as white people see it means that whites can
have their heaven on earth, but the black man is supposed to
catch his hell here. You must understand that the honorable
Elijah Muhammad represents the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy
to us. In the Old Testament Moses lived to see his enemy Pharaoh
drowned in the Red Sea, which in essence means that Mr. Muhammad
will see the completion of his work in his lifetime, that he will
live to see victory gained over his enemies."
And then, of course, Malcolm was asked more questions. One
of the questions: "How do you reconcile your disavowal of hatred
with the announcement which you made last year that Allah has
brought you the good news that 120 white Atlantans had just been
killed in an air crash en route to America from Paris?"
Answer: "As I see the law of justice, it says, `As you sow,
so shall you reap.' The black man's true god, Allah, to defend
us, and for us to be joyous, because our god manifests his
ability to inflict pain on our enemies. We Muslims believe that
the white race, which is guilty of having oppressed and exploited
and enslaved our people here in America, should and will be the
victims of God's divine wrath. All civilized societies in their
courts of justice set a sentence of execution against those
deemed to be enemies of society, such as murderers and
kidnappers. The presence of 20 million black people here in
America is proof that Uncle Sam is guilty of kidnapping. Because
we didn't come here voluntarily on the Mayflower, and 400 years
of lynching condemn Uncle Sam as a murderer. Islam is a religion
that teaches us never to attack, never to be the aggressor. But
you can waste somebody if he attacks you. These Negro leaders
have become aware that whenever the honorable Elijah Muhammad is
caused by their attacks to level his guns against them, they
always come out on the losing end. Many have experienced it.
Another thing to think of in the 20th century is that the
Christian church has given us two heresies--fascism and
The Jew in Black Islam
Then Malcolm went on to discuss something else which black
Islam has very definite views on--the position of the Jew. Let
me quote once more: "Where did fascism start? Where is the
second largest Communist party outside of Russia? The answer to
both is Italy. Where is the Vatican? But let's not forget the
Jew. Anybody who gives even a just criticism of the Jew is
instantly labeled anti-Semite. The Jew cries louder than anybody
else if anybody criticizes him. You can tell the truth about any
minority in America, but make a true observation about the Jew,
and if it doesn't pat him on the back, then he uses his grip on
the news media to label you anti-Semite. Let me say just a word
about the Jew and the black man. The Jew is always anxious to
advise the black man, but they never advise him how to solve his
problems the way the Jews solve their problems. The Jew never
went sitting in, and crawling in, and sliding in, in freedom
riding, like he teaches and helps Negroes to do. The Jew stood
up and stood together, and they used their ultimate power, the
economic weapon. That's exactly what the honorable Elijah
Muhammad is trying to teach black men to do. The Jews pool their
money and bought the hotels that bogged them. They bought
Atlantic City and Miami Beach and anything else they wanted. Who
owns Hollywood? Who runs the garment industry, the largest
industry in New York City? But the Jew that's advising the Negro
joins the NAACP, CORE, the Urban League, and others. With money
donations the Jew gains control and he sends the black man doing
all this wading in, boring in, even burying in--everything but
buying in. He never shows him how to set up factories and
hotels, never advising him how to own what he wants. No, when
there's something worth owning the Jews got it. All these things
dangled before us by the white liberal posing as a friend and
benefactor have turned out to be nothing but bait to make us
think we're making progress. The Supreme Court's decision has
never been enforced. Desegregation has never taken place. The
promises have never been fulfilled. We have received only token
substitutes, trickery, and deceit."
I think that after one listens to words like this from
someone like the late Malcolm X and realizes that this same
material is found consistently in the literature of black Islam
today, that the so-called "party line" has not altered. And we
are reminded of the words which appear in God's great discourse
with Abraham as recorded in the book of Genesis: "I will make of
thee a great nation. I will bless them that bless thee. I will
curse them that curse thee. And in thee will all the nations of
the earth be blessed." What is God saying? Don't touch Israel.
Israel is the apple of my eye. That's how sensitive Israel is to
God. Leave the Jew to God's judgment, because God will deal with
his own people.
A Virulent Form of Anti-Semitism
And what we are seeing here is a virulent form of anti-
Semitism. Some truth is involved in it, to be sure, as there is
always truth involved when one is making accusations. But
blanket condemnation is what leads to the Dachaus, the
Buchenwalds, and the Ravensbrooks. It is this type of thinking
which brings upon nations the shame that we have seen in the
past, particularly under fascism and now in Russia, where
persecution of the Jew is beginning to rear its head once more
with great force.
I think once we grasp these things we can understand the
threat of black Islam, because they are moving out and binding
people together in the Negro community, not on the basis of love,
compassion, or brotherhood, but on the basis of hate--a hate for
others instead of a love for one another and for one's fellow
The Scripture gives us an important dictum, Leviticus 19:18:
"...thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord."
Now, if we're going to take seriously what the Scripture says, we
have to believe that loving our neighbor as ourselves is a divine
command. This places Christianity and the teachings of Elijah
Muhammad at direct conflict with one another, because in effect
what we are seeing here is the command from him that those who
oppose black Islam are not to be loved, but to be opposed
themselves. One need only read the literature to understand that
they are to be thoroughly and consistently hated.
The White Man is the Devil
Now the question was asked by the Herald Tribune which I
thought was quite interesting. Question: "You seem to have based
your theses on the premise that all non-white races are
necessarily black." Answer: "Mr. Muhammad says that the red,
the brown, and the yellow are indeed all part of the black
nation. Which means that black, brown, red, yellow--all are
brothers, all are one family. The white one is a stranger. He's
the odd fellow. And white people who also are seeing the
pendulum of time catching up with them are now trying to join
with blacks, or even find traces of black blood in their own
veins, hoping it will save them from the catastrophe they see
Of course here we are seeing emphasis upon black
superiority. One of the things we ought to keep in mind at this
particular juncture is that, if Malcolm X could be swept into
this--and he was a highly intelligent man--think of all the
people in the black community who do not have Malcolm's acumen
and capacity, who have not only been swept into this but are
today vigorously projecting these teachings and proselyting in
the name of Elijah Muhammad, believing these things.
Elijah Muhammad's statement, from Malcolm X: "The white man
is the devil. I'm a good example of why Islam is spreading so
rapidly across the land. Mr. Muhammad's teachings brought me
from behind prison walls and placed me on the podiums of some of
the leading colleges and universities in the country."
What is Malcolm saying? I listen to Elijah Muhammad; he
gave me self-respect. He taught me how to survive in a white
culture. I banded together into this particular protest
movement--which is exactly what it is--and what happens? Other
people are listening to me now--and the black people are
The Death of Malcolm X
You know, I think it's a tragic comment, but true, that
people often destroy their greatest leaders and their potential
good without recognizing it. Malcolm X went to Mecca to make a
pilgrimage because official Islam rejects Elijah Muhammad and
rejects Wallace Fard as an incarnation or manifestation of
Allah, since Allah is spirit and cannot take human form. And so
he went over there to Mecca in order to have a spiritual
experience, an awakening, something that would be meaningful to
him. When he got over there, Malcolm found that there were white
people there and black people there and brown people there and
yellow people there, and they all were followers of Islam, all
devotees of the Koran. And here he was exposed to true historic
Islam. And when he came back he tried to communicate this to
Elijah Muhammad, who has never been there.
What was the result? There was a split in the organization;
Malcolm changed his view about the "white-eyed devils," and all
white men being evil, because he couldn't adhere to that and be a
good follower of Islam, and started to talk more moderately and
in a conciliatory tone. It wasn't long after that, that Malcolm
X--who could have been one of the bright conciliatory stars in
the firmament of bringing black and white together in many of
these situations--was brutally assassinated by his own kind, and
by a member of black Islam.
I think this speaks very, very pointedly of the inherent
danger of believing too much in the authority of one leader and
swearing allegiance to him as a manifestation of the divine.
We also have to face some other facts. "The entire American
economy is based on white supremacy," say the Black Muslims.
"Even their religious philosophy in essence is white supremacy.
A white Jesus, a white virgin, white angels, white everything,
but a black devil." That's from black Islam; that's what they
believe. You see how everything is put in terms of the black and
Blacks Ruled the World Before Adam
And then this quotation: "Mr. Muhammad is warning this
generation of white people that they too are facing a time of
harvest in which they will have to pay for the crimes committed
when their grandfathers made slaves out of us. The honorable
Elijah Muhammad teaches that it is now God's intention to put the
black man back at the top of civilization where he was in the
beginning before Adam, the white man, was created. The world
since Adam has been white and corrupt. The world of tomorrow
will be black and righteous. In the white world there has been
nothing but slavery, suffering, death, and colonialism. In the
black world of tomorrow there will be true freedom, justice, and
equality for all. And that day is coming sooner than you think."
The Black Muslim movement speaks more eloquently for itself
than any of its interpreters or critics. And they have made
their position abundantly clear.
Now, let me sum up in a practical way what this means where
Christianity is concerned. Where do the black Muslims stand
concerning basic theological truths? I don't think it's
important--and I think we waste a great deal of time going into
it--to discuss a general outline of Christian theology, because
black Islam simply rejects it out of hand. They certainly don't
accept the Trinity, the virgin birth, deity of Jesus Christ, His
vicarious atonement for our sins, or His bodily resurrection from
That's just for openers. And we could go on from there with
one negation after another.
What we want to know is what they believe for themselves.
What is the theology of black Islam? What are some of their
basic tenets? First, that the black man is the original
creation. He was created approximately 66 trillion years ago.
This, of course, creates a number of problems for the people who
are trying to support this position. To the best of our knowledge
and all of the information available to us, anthropologically and
geologically, and from every other science that we can possibly
draw upon, man has been on the earth--that we know of--
approximately 2 to 2-and-a-half million years. Some have tried
to push it up to 4 million years, but they haven't been too
Two million years is probably a very liberal figure for the
age of man on the earth. I think if we went into the analysis of
fossil man and so forth we could probably spend a great deal of
time discussing various ages, and some people would accept it,
and some people wouldn't. But the only important thing that I'm
trying to bring out is this: 66 trillion years? Definitely not.
The earth itself is between 6 and 8-and-a-half billion years old.
Therefore, it would be very difficult to populate the earth with
a super-black race a considerable number of aeons before the
earth was created. Therefore, 66 trillion years does pose
problems for the theology of black Islam.
Secondly, they maintain that Allah did not create the white
man. Instead, a genius called Yacoub, or Adam--an evil genius--
did and was expelled from paradise. That all took place 6,000
Thirdly, Allah appeared as W.D. Fard, and appointed Elijah
Muhammad to carry on the work of Islam and to deliver the black
man from Christianity, which is an alien and inferior religion,
and restore the true religion of Islam.
This, of course, makes it very difficult to understand,
because Christianity antedates Islam. How one can restore the
true religion, when the other religion antedates that religion,
will take a considerable amount of stretching the facts. But,
nevertheless, this is one of the planks in the platform of Black
I think also that we can recognize here that Fard
represents the Lord Jesus Christ in Christian theology, and
Elijah Muhammad is quite obviously the one who is carrying on the
work for him afterwards. And that would probably be a prophet or
head of apostolic authority. We couldn't say it would be John
the Baptist, because we would have to reverse it. But instead,
Fard would represent God incarnate, and Elijah Muhammad would be
the chief prophet of the religion, or the chief apostle of the
religion, and himself moving onward--I think, from all evidence--
We are of course confronted with the words of Jesus Christ
at this juncture: "For many shall come in my name, saying, I am
Christ...go ye not therefore after them." And many have come in
His name, and those who have clung tenaciously to Him have known
the liberation that Christ alone can give, "For if the Son will
make you free, you will be free indeed."
Man Has No Immortal Soul
Then another plank in the platform of Muslim theology is
that man has no immortal soul. Only Allah is immortal. This
they derive from the theology of Jehovah's Witnesses, because in
the 1920's Wallace Fard was a devotee of the writings of J.F.
Rutherford, who was then the president of the Watchtower Bible
and Tract Society. And his literature reflects the influence of
the Jehovah's Witnesses at that particular time. You wouldn't
know that unless you did an analysis of the history of it, but
once you get into the theology of it, you find Watchtower
theology ingrained in different places in this particular
theology of black Islam. And it's strange that the Watchtower
theology and Fard's theology at this point are identical. And I
don't think that we have too much difficulty finding out where he
derived it from.
"The black will inherit the earth after Armageddon."
Malcolm X said he didn't know when Armageddon was. They were
postulating Armageddon around 1970. 1970 has now passed by, so
Armageddon is now a distinct problem in their eschatological
scheme. But so far as black Islam is concerned, the black will
inherit the earth, the white will be judged for their oppression
of the black, and heaven will be on earth, for heaven and hell as
we understand it in Christian theology do not exist in Black
Malcolm X put it this way: "The black man is supposed to
keep believing that when he dies he'll float up to some city with
golden streets and milk and honey on a cloud somewhere. Every
black man in North America has heard black Christian preachers
shouting about tomorrow in good old Beulahland. But the thinking
black masses today are interested in Muhammad's land; the
promised land that the honorable Elijah Muhammed talks about is
right here on this earth."
Now, as we have analyzed so far the teachings of black
Islam, we can see that we are dealing with a socioeconomic and
religious phenomenon. We are dealing with those who have firm
convictions concerning the future and the part that they feel
that they must play in it. We are dealing with those who feel
that they have been persecuted and oppressed, and we are dealing
with those who feel that they are the instruments of God for the
restoration of a new era, and Elijah Muhammad is to be the
vehicle for the ushering in of that great era.
The establishment of a black state, the isolation of the
Negro from the cultural and racial complex of our times in the
American Republic, is not the answer. But instead, his full and
complete integration as intended by the Founding Fathers and the
Great Emancipator must be the continued goal. Such responsible
leaders as the late Martin Luther King and others, who invoke
Christian ethics and resistance to evil within the boundaries of
the law, will in the end lead the black man, through love,
patience, and faith, into his rightful heritage. I believe it is
very significant that thinking black leaders such as Thurgood
Marshall, Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, James Farmer, Martin Luther
King, and Dr. Ralph Bunch, have all repudiated the excesses of
black Islam, and have all, as responsible leaders should, pointed
their people toward the freedom and justice which is to be
obtained under the American Constitution. In the light of holy
Scripture, we can expect the testimony of history to say that the
black Islam cult and all movements based upon hate and revenge
have disappeared under the sands of time, as have Wallace Fard,
Malcolm X, and Elijah Poole--to whom the words of Hosea were
fittingly applied when he said, "If you sow to the wind, you
shall reap the whirlwind."
The Apostle Paul's fitting comment upon this statement was,
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap."
This speaks of divine judgment for the Black Muslim movement
and its misguided followers, who are willing to love their
neighbors, if their neighbors are black, and to hate their
enemies, those who are non-black. The Christian attitude in the
midst of all this must be one of patience, love, and a firm
resolve. We must turn the other cheek to their abuses, and
strive to guarantee for them and for all Americans regardless of
race their just rights under the laws of our land. In this way
we shall indeed demonstrate to them the love and the teachings of
the Lord Jesus Christ.
In stark contrast to the teachings of their black Allah must
be the words of the Son of God, who warned us that many would
come in His name claiming to be Christ, and would deceive many.
"You have heard that it has been said that thou shalt love thy
neighbor and hate thine enemy," said Jesus Christ. "But I say
unto you, love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. Do good
to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you and persecute you, that you may be the children of your
Father which is in heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the
evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the
unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward do you
have? Do not even the publicans the same?"
I believe, as we analyze black Islam, we must recognize that
it is a challenge to the Christian church. It characterizes
Christianity as the white man's religion, when in reality
Christianity does not discuss the color of one's skin ever, but
instead recognizes the fact that God is color blind, and that he
looks only upon the nature and condition of the soul, and whether
or not that soul has had an encounter with the person of His Son,
who bore in His own body our sins upon the tree. Let us put all
of these things in their proper perspective, and looking at them
as they ought to be looked at, in the light of holy Scripture,
let us remember the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "Come unto
me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and
lowly, and you will find rest unto your souls."
The target of Jesus Christ was the reconciliation of lost
men to God. The targets of black Islam are white men,
Christianity, the Jews, and whoever stands in the way of the
realization of a black empire. Christ said, "Blessed are the
meek. The meek shall inherit the earth." We have a parody on
that today in black Islam. "The black shall inherit the earth."
The message of the Scripture is that God couldn't care less
about the color of men's skin. He is interested in the condition
of their soul.
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