Journal Article

Mythmaking in the African American Muslim Context: The Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and the American Society of Muslims

Herbert Berg

in Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Published on behalf of American Academy of Religion

Volume 73, issue 3, pages 685-703
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0002-7189
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1477-4585 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jaarel/lfi075
Mythmaking in the African American Muslim Context: The Moorish Science Temple, the Nation of Islam, and the American Society of Muslims

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Two of the earliest African American Muslim movements, the Moorish Science Temple founded by Noble Drew Ali and the Nation of Islam founded by Wali Fard Muhammad and developed by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught that Islam was the original and inherent religion of African Americans. Each reenvisioned the origins of the races and of Islam. Drew Ali viewed African Americans as Black Asiatics and descendants of the kingdom of Moors. Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad saw African Americans as the descendants of the original Black humanity, who later produced the “wicked white race.” More recently, Warith Deen Mohammed, leader of the American Society of Muslims, has suggested that the mythology developed by his father, Elijah Muhammad, was part of some grand scheme to bring African Americans to orthodox Islam. These reinterpretations of the history are best seen as a product of the interrelated activities of social formation and mythmaking.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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