The trouble with Black Muslims

Even Obama cannot say it. But someone has to say it.

We cannot be talking about this season of hate without mentioning the steep decline into actionable hate by misguided black Muslims.

The first time I met a black Muslim in America was in the 90s. I had just arrived from England and this man wearing a bow tie and three-piece-suit approached me with a copy of the Final Call newspaper – the official mouthpiece of Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. He wanted me to buy the newspaper but I resisted. He told me it was the bestselling newspaper in America. I told him I was new in America but I was sure the Final Call could not be the bestselling newspaper in America.

"You’ve been brainwashed," the man said to me.

"By whom?" I asked.

"By the blue-eyed white devils who run the world."

"O’ yeah."

"They don’t want you to know the truth."

"Like what?"

"Like all the great things our forefathers did."

"Like what?"

"Bro, you have to open your eyes. We have to get on with the program of our forefathers."

"And what is that program?"

That was how we began a discussion about the world and the place of the black man in it.

"Why are you a Muslim?" I asked him at one point.

"Because my people were Muslims before the blue-eyed white devils bought us and brought us to America as slaves and forced us to be Christians and to worship a blue-eyed Christ."

"O’ yeah."

"Yes!"

"But I am from Africa and my grandfather was never a Muslim nor was he a Christian."

He was shocked when I said that.

"It is OK if you want to be a Muslim and follow Elijah Muhammed and changed your name to Muhammed, too. But don’t tell me you are trying to be like your forefathers," I said.

And for four years, we continued our debate. Like some members of the Nation of Islam, he became a convert to Muslim while in prison on drug charged. He had accepted the myths of the Nation of Islam. He told with all the seriousness in his bones that the white man was made in a laboratory in Egypt by a black scientist named Yakub. By the time I left Virginia where I met him, he remained unchanged.

I must say that the Nation of Islam does not advocate militancy. Though separatist in ideology, it does not encourage its members to bear arms. Many young black men coming out of prison have instead joined the mainstream Islam. None of the Muslim converts arrested in recent bombing plots have been linked to the Nation of Islam.

The recent plot by some Muslim converts to bomb the Jewish synagogue in New York and the killing of an army recruiter by another Muslim convert in Arkansas have muddled things up. Before then, there was a group of Muslim converts, mainly from Haiti, who planned to blow up Chicago Sears Tower from their base in Florida.

Some of these people are carrying their misguided and misrepresented history and anger out in the open and are even planning to act on them. It concerns me. And it should concern you, too.

First of all, I came from a country where there are Muslims. Those who have Arabic features assume superior position over those who are black. In many instances, the black Muslims are totally disregarded, treated as inconsequential.

I have asked black Muslims mad at how white people treated black slaves to ask themselves were the millions of slaves the Arab world took from Africa were? They disappeared. They were used and disposed of. If not, the Arab world would be booming with its own share of black men and women.

I have asked black Muslims mad at the "war" between the West and Islam to look at the genocide in Darfur and find out how Muslims treat their black brothers and sisters.

In Africa, the homeland of all black people, Islam came from the Middle East and Christianity came from Europe and they all exerted inordinate damage. But where Islam touched, there is no recognition of the ways of life of the people. Islam, being a way of life, swallowed all that was African in the people.

All black people must think before they jump from frying pan to fire. And before you pick up arms to fight for those Talibans dying in Afghanistan, spare a minute for two million children who die of malaria each year in Sub-Saharan Africa. Those are your people. For real!

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