But The Emperor Has No Clothes

May 13, 1993- W.D. Mohammed and his personnel arrived in Great Britain under tight security for the start of his proclaimed ‘Unification Tour.’ This ‘tour’ was intended to acquaint English Muslims with ‘the Spokesman for Human Salvation,’ and also to attempt to dispel British Muslims’ doubts regarding his repentance for his heterodox teachings. He and his personnel anxiously awaited the opportunity to see and photograph first hand who was responsible for bringing his teachings to the attention of the British Muslims. They had no idea that they were about to run into a hornet’s nest.

Due to the widespread knowledge of many British Muslims regarding the nature of W.D. Mohammed, his London based representative cleverly selected places he deemed ‘safe’ for the ‘Imam’ to deliver his talks, carefully avoiding areas of London where knowledge of W.D. Mohammed was well established. The representative deliberately waited until the last moment to announce the London venue, in an effort to minimize any possible embarrassing encounter with those Muslims who were aware of the real W.D. Mohammed and were not fooled by the sanctimonious smokescreen. Little did he realize that W.D. Mohammed’s arrival had been expected for months.

On W.D.’s day of arrival, his first stop was to have been an afternoon ‘press conference’, with members of the Muslim media held at London’s Islamic Cultural Centre. However, to the surprise of he and his personnel, the press conference was abruptly cancelled by mosque officials who had the opportunity to see copies of his statements from his own newspaper, My booklet, “The Truth Regarding Warith Deen Mohammed”, was released days before W.D. Mohammed’s arrival,[1] which caught both he and his personnel by total surprise, as they had been led to believe that British Muslims were naive and would greet them with a ‘heart-felt welcome.’

W.D. Mohammed’s entourage was next scheduled to deliver a lecture that evening at Whitechapel Mosque in East London, but it too had been cancelled by the resident mosque officials, who compared W.D. Mohammed to Ghulam Ahmad, and encouraged Muslims to expose him. As a result, his personnel hastily responded by arranging a press conference for him at the North London offices of the tabloid Q News, where his bodyguards nervously paced the outside corridor, not knowing what to expect.

The following day, W.D. Mohammed was scheduled to deliver a lecture entitled, ‘Malcolm X and I’ at Birmingham University. However, some days earlier in the same city, Muslims attended a different lecture entitled ‘Unmasking W.D. Mohammed, New Ghulam Ahmad?’ where they were exposed for the first time to his beliefs as expressed in his writings and recorded speeches. Thus the Birmingham Muslims not only had the rare opportunity to be aware of his teachings, but they were also exposed to his methods of veiling his beliefs from the general public. The stage was thus set for a showdown between the forces of truth vs. falsehood.

Early arrivals for W.D. Mohammed’s lecture were given copies of “The Truth Regarding Warith Deen Mohammed” as they entered the lecture hall, so that they too would be better acquainted with the lecturer. A the start of his speech, W.D. Mohammed was visibly rattled and nervously began to humble himself, hastily reading from a printed synopsis of Malcolm X’s life.

Frustrated and angry, some of his personnel then attempted to provoke violence by shouting racial slurs against some of the Muslims who passed out copies of the booklet or who raised questions about his beliefs. This caught the majority of the audience by surprise, many of whom had been lured by posters portraying W.D. Mohammed as the ‘Principal American Black Muslim Leader’ and expected a dynamic, charismatic speaker accompanied by well-mannered personnel.

The following morning, the entourage posed before the Leicester offices of the Islamic Foundation in a hastily prepared publicity photo session, thereafter whisking away to Manchester where W.D. Mohammed delivered a brief afternoon talk under watertight security before a small group of Braeilawis.[2] Meanwhile, his personnel took steps to avoid a recurrence of their embarrassment in Birmingham by requesting the presence of university student guards, bodyguards and a contingent of British police, in preparation for W.D. Mohammed’s Manchester University lecture, ‘The Racist Plague.’ The presence of security at the lecture hall, who selectively photographed and videotaped individual attendees, caused great confusion and alarm for many, who simply had never seen such a zealous display of security for anyone, except perhaps Salman Rushdie or the IRA.

Just prior to the talk, a member of the student body spoke on the request of W.D.’s staff, telling the audience of approximately 100 attendees, that after the talk, only written questions would be addressed. Added to this was an ominous announcement by Plemon T. El-Amin of Atlanta, a member of W.D. Mohammed’s entourage, who said that due to the previous nights’ incident, anyone not conforming to the ‘written question only’ rule, would be escorted out of the lecture hall by police. Thus, an atmosphere of fear, intimidation and confusion settled upon the majority Muslim audience, who were unaccustomed to threats of arrest for speaking out at a lecture.

Midway through his rambling speech, W.D. Mohammed insinuated that the past slavery of American blacks was voluntary rather than forced, thus causing a middle aged black man in the crowd to walk out exclaiming, “that‘s rubbish!” At the same time, a younger Muslim named Umar, called out to the older man, “Come back brother, he hasn’t started on his kufr yet”, unperturbed, W.D. Mohammed continued, stating that some people “have been taken advantage of by the Satan, and if you want to see the Satan in the real world, find those people who are capitalizing on sin… ” Thereupon, Umar and another Muslim named Abdul Haqq said to W.D., “like yourself?” W.D. responded, “He said ‘like me’, I’m going to ask somebody to take you out of here right now, I’ll deal with you myself… Come right here right now”, taunting, “Come right here…” The audience, noticing that W.D. was attempting to provoke the Muslims into a physical confrontation in the hope of spurring police arrests, told the brothers to remain calm. W.D. continued his taunts, commanding, “will the officers come and take this man out of here please.” A member of W.D.’s staff then commanded police to “remove anyone” who disrupted the talk. W.D. requesting the police to, “take these people out, they’re trying to start trouble in here.”

Police then moved in to arrest Umar who told the crowd as he was taken out, “This man (W.D.) claims to receive revelation from God, he claims to prophethood, he claims to be the Messiah, he also claims to be born of a virgin birth.” A brief exchange of words then followed between Umar and W.D. as Umar was led out; with Umar twice asking W.D., “You call yourself a Muslim?” and W.D. twice replying, “Why are you here?” Meanwhile, Abdul Haqq stood his ground as he was approached by police, asking them, “On what grounds are you going to arrest me?” It was obvious to everyone that W.D. was attempting to provoke arrests.[3] W.D. then refused to continue his talk until the police had finished. After several minutes of isolated discussion between Abdul Haqq and the authorities, order resumed as W.D. continued his speech, stating that he would later give people the opportunity, “to ask more questions for the purpose of disrupting the meeting.”

At the end of the speech, W.D. answered a few written questions sent up from the floor. When asked about the reasons for his being put out of the Nation of Islam, W.D. it was due to his making “Minister Malcolm aware of wives and children of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that he [Elijah] had kept secret…those wives were treated like loose women because they had children, nobody knew where the children came from; and the children were treated as you know, illegitimate children or children that was (sic) gotten out of marriage… ”[4]

Another questioner asked, “Some people say that you are an ‘Uncle Tom-House Negro’ as opposed to a ‘Field Negro’ what do you say?” He replied saying, “Uncle Tom was a better person than a lot of people who call me an Uncle Tom, I guarantee you that.” He was also asked whether one should cooperate with the United States government, to which he replied, “No matter how much evil there is in America, no matter how sinful the society is, if there is something excellent there and it (sic) must be… if there is something excellent in the government–and it (sic) is; then we should build on what is good and emphasize that, rather than tearing at what is bad.… Yes, we should help America, we should help the American government and if I was qualified I’d try to be President of America, if I thought I could get enough support. I’d probably be President of the United States.”

Finally, due to a prior promise given by W.D’s London representative, a single verbal question was allowed, a question which ultimately threw W.D. Mohammed’s entire tour into chaos, “Yes, Wallace, can I ask you just one question that a lot of us want to clear up, basically, do you recant all the statements that you previously made that go against what Allah has told us in the Qur’an, for instance, that Abraham, Prophet Abraham, peace and blessings be upon him, him being cast into the fire, didn’t really happen, it was metaphorical; do you also recant all the statements that offer similar to that… a lot of us want you to make it clear to the people, do you recant all the beliefs that you previously had before today including that you were the Mahdi, statements like that that we heard on tape, some of it was a long time ago, some of it was very recent… ?”

Clearly unaccustomed to such a frank and direct question, W.D. replied, “I know why you came here, I don’t answer anything you ask, you- I wouldn’t answer a question you asked.” To which the entire stunned audience cried forth immediately in unison, “Ohhh!” with cries of “Answer him, answer the man!” As if on cue, some of W.D. Mohammed’s bodyguards fanned out into the audience using racial slurs, while other bodyguards snatched copies of booklets out of the hands of seated lecture attendees in an attempt to incite violence.

After several minutes, during which W.D. Mohammed repeatedly stalled, saying, “I know why he’s here, [the questioner] came here only to make trouble for Muslims” repeating on five separate occasions,… I’m not answering [that] man, I’m answering only the Muslims” Many in the audience fell back in their seats shocked, not believing what they were seeing and hearing. A brother in the audience asked W.D., “Are you saying he’s a kafir? Are you saying that that brother is a kafir? Is that what you are saying?” W.D. only chuckled, and turned to answer another Muslim in the audience, saying, “Dear brother, I’m answering you, I’m answering you, I know you are Muslim, I know you’re Muslim, I know you came here not with them, and not for that purpose. I’m answering you.”

Continuing, W.D. stated, “What he has said, he said ‘recently’, my education in Islam has progressed since I came into the leadership in ‘75. As my education in Islam progressed, then I saw a need to drop certain language that I use just to hold my people with us until they could become real Muslims–ah, come into the real understanding of Islam. I don’t regret, I don’t regret what I did, what I did worked, what I did worked. Ahhh, what I did kept the people with me, they believed before, they believed me before and now they believe with me as I do. I don’t regret that… in the last three or four years he can’t find any such language he’s talking about. Maybe longer than that–maybe longer than that.”

At this point, a brother asked, “Did the Prophet Muhammad have to say kufr before saying Islam?” One of W.D.’s entourage immediately called out for the police to remove the brother. Shortly thereafter, in an attempt to throw confusion into the affair, while at the same time refusing to even answer the brother’s question, W.D. Mohammed stated the words of the shahadah and then immediately ended his question answering session,[5] allowing Plemon El-Amin to intervene for him.

The audience however, had had enough, and began to break off into individual discussions of what they had just witnessed. El-Amin launched into a racial and nationalistic diatribe, claiming that the masjids in W.D. Mohammed’s community were “not built by Saudi money, not built by Kuwaiti money,” and that W.D.’s community, “don’t have to wait for the Saudis to give us a masjid, and tell us how to run it,”[6] and that the masjid in his own city (Atlanta), had helped transform the whole community, so much so that “people feel safe there.”[7]

Noticing that he was rapidly losing his audience, with many people starting to read copies of the booklet, El-Amin hastily explained that when he heard W.D. Mohammed say that he was born from an ‘Immaculate Conception’, “never in my mind did I think that he was talking about that he didn’t have a daddy.” El-Amin (with W.D. Mohammed standing next to him), then attempted to explain away W.D.’s ‘Immaculate Conception’ boast by stating that what W.D. really meant was, ‘that Allah had blessed him to realize on his own nature’ and that ‘when you realize the Word of God you will have an Immaculate Conception… an Immaculate idea’.[8]

Visibly disgusted, the assembled crowd didn’t buy any of it and departed the lecture hall, wondering who was responsible for inviting such people to the UK for what purpose? W.D.’s entire entourage quickly disappeared through a side stage exit into the evening, yet the Muslims of the UK were thankful that their brothers who were aware of W.D. Mohammed, had stood up to face him and to warn their brother Muslims about the danger of his teachings. What they had witnessed with their own eyes and heard with their own ears was proof that what they had read was not slander, jealousy or false accusations.

 

AFTERWORDS

W.D. Mohammed and his entourage returned quickly to the US where his newspaper, Muslim Journal, attempted to offer its readers a rosy picture of his disastrous British ‘tour’ by claiming that he received a ‘heart-felt welcome’ from the English Muslims. Likewise, fearing that his followers may obtain copies of “The Truth Regarding Warith Deen Mohammed” and begin to question W.D.’s beliefs, W.D.’s staff warned Muslim Journal readers to ’beware’ of the booklet.[9]

Plemon El-Amin wrote a wild response to the release of the booklet, calling it “a savage, slanderous and cowardly attack… by an off-centered group of Muslims… they slander, lie, and attack the character of one of the most productive Muslim leaders, without any regard for truth, decency, and the law of Al-Islam.… A shameless group of people claiming to be Muslims who have obviously been devoured by jealousy, hate or at the very least extraordinary ignorance.”[10] Muslim Journal editor, Ayesha K. Mustafaa launched in a racial diatribe, claimed copyright violation, and stated “this Al-Sunnah group is like the Jews” who have “taken upon themselves this mission of slander.… not even Minister Louis Farrakhan has degraded us to this degree.”[11]

Obviously, W.D.’s personnel are under the delusion that the passage of time somehow transforms the haram into the halal, or kufr into iman; they defend their “Imam” by saying that what was quoted from him in the pamphlet is “ludicrous” and “mainly from 1975-78 and almost always out of context.” So it must be asked, what context can explain his public denial of the return of Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus, AS)? And what was so ‘productive’ in his referring to himself as ‘the Manifestation of God’? Are W.D.’s gang saying that it was a ‘lie’ to quote him verbatim when he declared, “If God does not answer the black American, we are then justified to say that there is no God”?

Was it “mainly from 1975-78” to quote him when he judged, “If sisters go out of doors with their hair uncovered, I don’t think we should make a big fuss about that.” Or when he proclaimed, “I have differed with shiekhs, I have differed with leaders of Al-Islam, I have learned by experience in this community, that there is no guarantee, that a Muslim marrying a non-Muslim woman is going to have anymore success in bringing these children to Al-Islam, than a woman will be marrying a non-Muslim man… ”

Is his staff willing to admit that according to Islam, the statements of their leader are all blasphemous? Or are they too obstinate to confess that W.D. Mohammed deliberately taught falsehood when he said these things? Are his personnel afraid that true Islam will expose and destroy the grip of his false teachings or that Muslims will take a second look at his teachings, thus they cast up desperate charges of “slander” in the hope of further deceiving people? Or are they claiming that he never said these things? Is this the reason why they doubt the Islam of anyone who even raises questions about ‘the Imam’s’ teachings?

Was it the Muslims of the UK or the personnel of W.D. Mohammed who resorted to mob psychology by issuing threats, using racial slurs and accosting curious attendees in the cities of Birmingham and Manchester “without any regard for truth, decency and the laws of Al-Islam”? Was it the Muslims of the UK or W.D. Mohammed and his personnel who are “shameless” and “like the Jews” in covering the truth with falsehood? Was it the Muslims of the UK or W.D. Mohammed and his personnel who have “obviously been devoured” by hate or at the very least extraordinary ignorance? In fact, W.D. Mohammed’s own admission and refusal to publicly retract or regret any of his past statements of kufr, can only leave one convinced that he still believes himself to be “Masih-Mahdi”– Indeed, he has only modified the title so as to be more palatable – “Spokesman for Human Salvation”.

The real tragedy however, is that he stands to gain so much, both in this world and in the Hereafter, should he simply admit and repent publicly for his past statements. Instead, he chooses to doggedly skirt the entire issue while attempting to use racial bias as an excuse for his actions. This is tantamount to claiming that he was forced to declare himself, ‘the Manifestation of God’. Finally, if we have “lied” concerning any of the aforementioned events, particularly those which took place during his UK speeches, then we put forth the challenge: Let W.D. Mohammed bring forth the unedited audio and videotapes of his Manchester speech so that the entire Muslim world can see and judge for itself whether we have lied or not.

The week following W.D. Mohammed’s UK visit, the London based The Muslim News featured a report on the press conference held for W.D. Mohammed when he first arrived in the UK, the following letter was addressed to the editor of The Muslim News following the report.

“Dear Sir–We would like to praise your reporting of W.D. Mohammed’s press conference in the article Imam Warith in London (The Muslim News, 28 May, 1993), as it shows a number of eye-opening factors regarding the man and his personnel which the general body of Muslims need to take note of and understand.

Take for instance, Mr. Mohammed’s claim that the US media was “mature and there was very little negative reporting against Muslims” following the bombing of New York’s World Trade Center. The reality of the matter is that newspapers like the Washington Times brandished the headline, MUSLIM ARRESTED IN NYC BOMBING and magazines like Time featured in its US editions a split cover showing David Koresh and Omar Abdel Rahman with the title, “In the Name Of God.”

Which Muslim community was Mr. Mohammed referring to which did not experience repercussions? What does he have to say to those Muslims in many American cities who experienced daily harassment from co-workers and employers directly as a result of the bombing. Where was he during the onslaught of venomous national television broadcasts which, contrary to his own assertions, made very little distinction between Islam as a religion and Muslims as a people?

More importantly however, he also claims in the article that he questioned his father, Elijah Muhammad, “… and found he was not perfect, but we still love him.” Without doubt, Mr. Mohammed is fully aware of the fact that his father said on Nov. 24, 1972 in his family’s newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, that he “would not give two cents for that kind of God” which Sunni Muslims believe. Indeed, it was Elijah Muhammad himself who professed for 43 years, up to the time of his death in February 1975, that he was “the Messenger of Allah,” and “the black man is God.” Who then is W.D. Mohammed hoping to fool by saying that “we still love him”?

What is even more amazing is Mr. Mohammed’s assertion that Louis Farrakhan, the present leader of the “Nation of Islam”, “is friendly toward us and we should be friendly toward him.” How can Mr. Mohammed justify any Muslim being friendly towards a man who believes unflinchingly in the false teachings of Elijah Muhammad? In fact, it was Farrakhan who recently published in the March 15, 1993 issue of his own paper, The Final Call, that “God is a Man and Man is God” and states on page 39 of the same edition that “We believe that Allah (God) came in the form of Master W. Fard Muhammad, Detroit, 1930.” Yet according to Mr. W.D. Mohammed, Farrakhan “does a lot of good” for Islam. One must wonder again, who is he hoping to fool?

Indeed, your article serves as the acid test for W.D. Mohammed’s London based representative, Bishara Diya Muradadeen, shown in your article in an accompanying photo, who is well known to have publicly stated on numerous occasions that Farrakhan is a kafir. One must wonder, will the latest assertions of “Imam Warith” now cause Mr. Muradadeen to alter his own views on Farrakhan? Yet all of these factors are merely “the tip of the iceberg” and W.D. Mohammed’s visit to England must be seen for what it really was; namely, a clever ruse used to mask his views which include the following statements he has yet to retract:

  • That he is “the Manifestation of God.”
  • That he can give sight to the blind, cure lepers and turn water into wine.
  • That he is “Masih-Mahdi.”
  • That he was born via “Immaculate Conception.”
  • That Jesus, son of Mary will not return.
  • That to believe in Jinns is “voodoo” and “superstition.”

The above are only examples of his beliefs, and to which he replied to a direct question regarding them in his final speech delivered and recorded in Manchester on May 14, 1993 before scores of eyewitness, when he replied, “I don’t regret what I did”. So much for his bold claim that “he and others helped to change and transform the followers of his father” to Sunni Islam. Let it be known, Muslims should not be fooled by the sanctimonious smokescreen displayed by Mr. Mohammed and portrayed by his personnel; we want the Muslims of Great Britain to know him as he is, not as he presents himself.


 

[1] Upon hearing confirmation of W.D. Mohammed’s arrival, I quickly put my booklet together in less than 12 hours using excerpts from my research. The original title was to have been ‘Believe it or Not’, taking a phrase W.D. used to declare himself, ‘Masih-Mahdi.’ It was changed just before printing.

[2] Braeilawis are a sect from the Indian subcontinent.

[3] W.D. was clearly unaccustomed to a British audience, where outbursts and heckling are commonplace occurrences. Likewise, it is highly unusual in Britain for any speaker to request the arrest of members of the audience to whom he came to speak.

[4] This is an example of W.D. Mohammed’s policy of historical revision which has also been adopted by Louis Farrakhan, in publicly recasting Elijah Muhammad’s teenage secretaries with whom Elijah had numerous adulterous affairs, as his ‘wives.’ See The Final Call, March 15, 1993, pp.1-2. According to Malik Shabazz, (Malcolm X), Farrakhan also referred to Elijah’s thirteen illegitimate children as ‘divine babies.’ W.D. Mohammed is well aware of this and is playing upon contemporary society’s tendency towards historical amnesia, by himself referring to his father’s paramours as ‘wives.’

[5] W.D. Mohammed’s reciting of the shahadah, or saying that Muhammad () is the seal of the Prophets, does not cancel the requirement upon him to formally retract and repent for his blasphemous statements. Like Ghulam Ahmad before him, W.D. Mohammed has been saying the shahadah for years, and it has not stopped him from declaring himself “Masih-Mahdi”.

[6] Plemon El-Amin’s boast is far from the truth, since Saudi Arabia donated $8.5 million to build a masjid for W.D. Mohammed’s followers in Los Angeles and committed themselves to building at least five more across the US. See The New York Times, May 3, 1993, p. A9; see also Muslim Journal, Feb. 11, 1994, pp.1,7,26; Oct. 14, 1994, p. 1.

[7] The harsh reality is that the East Lake Meadows area of Atlanta remains a crime-infested eyesore. The only visible effect of Plemon El-Amin’s masjid is that the drunks who used to congregate at the front door, now gather across the street.

[8] This clearly displays the extent W.D. Mohammed’s heterodox teachings continue to corrupt his follower’s beliefs (which he does not regret), and how he still insists on denying prophetic miracles, years after claiming to ‘openly’ fight deviations and being upon ‘the Sunni path.’ More graphically, it shows his persistent adherence to Qadiani concepts which claim, ‘…the illumination of the mind, or the inspiration of the mind of man with a certain idea…is only the lowest form of revelation…or the visions shown to them.’ See The Religion of Islam, p. 155. Two weeks after his UK ‘tour’, his newspaper, Muslim Journal, printed the transcript of a Jum’ah khutbah in which he teaches the same false concepts: “The coming of the Christ body into activity is the result of an exalted idea sown in the mind and matured by the soul (Mary).” See Muslim Journal, June 4, 1993, p. 12. Plemon El-Amin’s response is revealing, since he inadvertently admits that W.D. Mohammed did indeed proclaim birth via ‘Immaculate Conception.’ Similarly, one month later, El-Amin defended month W.D. Mohammed’s March 25, 1979 denial of the Return of Christ and claim of being ‘Masih-Mahdi.’ See Muslim Journal, July 9, 1993, pp. 7, 25. Likewise, in a February 1995 internet post, Edward Hasib, a long-standing, staunch supporter of W.D. Mohammed, defines the term “Immaculate Conception” in a similar manner. Taken together, Hasib and El-Amin’s words exemplify the effect of cult brainwashing: “…when Imam Mohammed was talking he made it plain he was speaking metaphorically. Specifically (sic) he was talking about his development as leader. If you were there, as I was, the Imam eloquently spoke about how all these self righteous immigrants and ignorant dupes condemded (sic) his father yet offered no help to alleviate the miserable conditions that brutal chattle (sic) slavery, and tortuous years of Jim Crow heaped upon us.”

“He explained that he was not taught how to come out of that darkness by those funny talking sheiks, or those inner city Negroes who wrap their heads up and try to talk with an arabic accent. You brother know who you are–no he had to be “born” as a leader without the aide of a mentor or a “father”. He had to come to his understanding wiout (sic) the potent germ of a alim, sheik, or what have you. Brother and sisters, this was made plain in his speech. At no time did any one in that audience think W.D. Mohammed was speaking of his physical birth being an immaculate conception. He has said over and over that he is the don (sic) of Elijah Muhammed and Clara Muhammed.”

[8] W.D. Mohammed’s warning to his community to ‘beware’ of books which may cause his followers to question his teachings is similar to the 1988 ‘Red Alert’ issued by him regarding the release of Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin’s The Muslim Belief. W.D. Mohammed labeled the Shaykh a ‘suspect of heresy’ and a ‘worse enemy on the Muslims than the Christian or Jew.’ See Muslim Journal, Nov. 11, 1988, April 21, 1989, p. 15; June 9, 1989, pp. 3, 4; June 16, 1989, p. 21.

[9] See Muslim Journal, June 11, 1993, p. 7.

[10] Muslim Journal, June 11, 1993, p. 7.

[11] ibid., June 18, 1993, p. 15.

Ten Excuses

Generally I am disheartened when someone gives W.D. Mohammed esteem, yet I’ve come to realize that outside of his followers, those who do esteem him are either misinformed and ignorant of him or are playing a game of hypocritical politics. Nevertheless, to explain their actions, the apologists almost always use the following excuses:

(1) “These are his mistakes, he changed and those things he said were a long time ago.”

First of all, since when does the passage of time transform the haram into the halal? There is no shariah axiom which states that an act of kufr yesterday becomes one of iman today. Besides, if it were true that, ‘he said these things long ago’, then why did his heresy continue year after year nonstop? And if these are ‘his mistakes,’ then why did they occur on such a consistent basis?

It is a clear contradiction indeed when someone is quick to make the excuse of ‘he said these things long ago’, yet we do not find the same excuse applied when Farrakhan himself regularly quotes Elijah from forty-five years ago.

(2) “At least he is better than his father.”

If only this were true. The sad reality is that he’s WORSE than his father. Unlike his father, Elijah Muhammad, who never recognized American Sunni Muslims nor was he ever recognized BY American Sunni Muslims (save a handful), W.D. Mohammed was in the years before his death, officially marketed as the “Spokesman FOR the American Muslims.”

(3) “He repented.”

This is simply inaccurate. There is no proof whatsoever, to indicate any repentance, retraction or remorse, either openly or secretly, from beliefs he held for over thirty years. As for those who allege that he “repented”, they are asked to bring forth their documented PROOF, yet this will be difficult for them, as none exists.

(4) “Letting him speak lessens his evil.”

HOW? This is misleading, as it implies a ruling. One needs to only observe the impact of his teachings on his blind followers, many of whom today are deprived from understanding even the basics of their faith and have lingering misconceptions. For instance, according to some of them, wudhu only has “symbolic meaning”; other followers retain the NOI concept that Paradise can be achieved by prosperity in this life.

(5) “He has a significant following.”

So does the Pope, so do the Hindus; large numbers do not indicate correct guidance.

(6) “I have read his paper and have never seen the things you claim.”

Then you haven’t read it well, nor have you looked at his books, tapes nor websites carefully because the heresy is OPENLY there.

(7) “I have attended his lectures and the man quoted Quran and hadeeth, I have never heard him say the things you allege.”

Perhaps. However, while much of W.D.’s pontifical utterances and serpentine, post-Elijah jargon have virtually disappeared from the pages of Muslim Journal, the fact remains that the man was a master of deception and a personality cult leader. For more than two decades of his leadership, he weaned followers on a weekly diet of modernist luminaries and heterodox concepts, while selectively highlighting ideas which reinforced his commingled, pseudo-Messianic dogma. Moreover, he is the son of Elijah Muhammad, a personality cult leader; W.D. learned a great deal from his father’s methods. So don’t expect to hear heresy at his speeches before large Muslim organizations, but rather observe and take notes of his attendance at “interfaith” gatherings or dinners for his “Muslim Pioneers.”

(8) “I know his people and they are all good.”

This is not far from the words of another so-called Muslim “official” who at a conference in 1991, made dua for W.D. Mohammed’s father and mother, and proudly remarked that he enjoyed eating dinner with them in 1967! Yes, some of WD’s people mean well. and this is not so much an indictment of the followers, but rather their leader.

(9) “But didn’t you say a handful of American Sunni Muslims recognized Elijah Muhammad?”

Correct. In 1993, Dr. Bilal Philips revealed in a Chicago lecture that days following the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, MSA officials (the forerunner to ISNA), fearing an NOI/Sunni clash, held a private meeting with Elijah Muhammad, formally agreeing to never openly criticize the NOI. This policy has persisted to this very day. For the record, Dr. Bilal himself was not a part of that 1965 meeting nor was he a member of MSA, yet he narrated from people who did attend.

(10) “Did you ever approach him about the things he said?”

Yes indeed. Recordings are available which prove how he REFUSED to make towbah when questioned. Therefore, our duty as individuals is to expose WDM and those who support him. His actual numerical support is more apparent than real. While his followers are decreasing, the influence of his ideas and clout is increasing. During the latter parts of his life, he would link himself with a wide variety of groups, promoting interfaith politics. Indeed, this included a ‘reconciliation’ merger with Louis Farrakhan’s NOI branch which has accelerated following W.D.’s death.

W.D. Mohammed’s Position on Palestine

The following transcript is taken from MUSLIM JOURNAL, April 14, 1995, p. 15. It is a speech of W.D. Mohammed at the North Shore Congregational Israel Synagogue, Glencoe, Illinois, March 26, 1995. He was a special guest along with Dr. Mohammed Cheema, President of the American Muslim Council (AMC), and Dr. Sulayman Nyang, Howard University.

Keep in mind the location of the speech, and carefully read and judge the content and context of his views on Palestine. Only minor abridgements have been made for the sake of brevity. It is being reproduced here practically verbatim, so as to leave no loophole of accusations and excuses of “quoting out of context”, “being unfair to the Imam,” or the favorite, “he was speaking symbolically”:

“As-Salaam-Alaikum; Shalom-Alaikum.

We thank God for this day, this occasion…We ask that He increase this desire in us for this meeting and for future meetings and bring us closer together as religious communities, Muslims and Jews. Amen….with God’s name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer…”

“I want to go to a concern that has been with me since I have matured enough in my mind to understand some of what was happening in the political world. That is the issue of recognition for the state of Israel or homeland for the Jews. In my opinion, studying the Qur’an and the life of the Prophet Muhammad, this was never an issue with our Prophet. Jews lived in Medina, the city of our Prophet; it is also called the city of enlightenment. They were protected as citizens of Medina with the same protection that was accorded other citizens of Medina. The Prophet mandated that the Jews of Medina, under the new government of Islam, would continue to practice their religion as they had practiced it before the establishment of the new government of Islam.”

“We know that that good relationship that obviously that mandate intended to serve did not continue. Problems occurred that we may say were of a financial nature and political nature, rather than of a religious nature. It was such problems that caused that good relationship with the Jews of Medina to be lost. I’m not at all suggesting that because there was not an issue at that time, we don’t have anything to stand upon to address this issue. Rather, it is right for Muslims to support a homeland in their midst for the Jewish people.”

“We are aware of the history of the Jews and the meaning of the territory to you. But I would rather point to something in the history and the language of Islam that I think should be given attention. That is, first of all our religion doesn’t recognize any human being as the owner of any part of the earth, only as trustees under God. We believe that God is always the owner of every bit of the earth. God is the Absolute Owner and our possession is temporary. In Islam we can lose possession of our land if we don’t respect it. In Islamic Law, we can lose possession of our land. The law recognizes your right to have temporary possession of it and to utilize it for your needs according to Islamic Law, as long as you respect the land.”

“I believe that Islam has recognized something here that civilized man has always known or has always stood upon. We know that the civilized will go in and take property and land from the savaged who are ignorant and don’t know how to develop the land or who don’t know how to make it useful for themselves or humanity. And we have tolerated that. We haven’t condemned man from taking over territories to better a situation for the lot of mankind.”

“This is not to say that we don’t have sympathy for those who are removed from their land, those who are crushed to the ground or defeated miserably. Certainly we have sympathy and we have love in our hearts for them…I’m not to question the right of the Palestinians to their land. That is to be discussed by the Palestinians and by the Israelis…For me the only justification is what transpired from day one for the Palestinian problem and for the Israeli problem. And if those people were not doing anything with their land and were neglecting their land, then God removed them from their land not you (the Jews).”

“…I have said something that may be disturbing some of my friends, but I want to be open. I want to be clear, and that’s where I am regarding the issue of a homeland for the Jews. There’s much I would like to say beyond that point. But I’d like to say it in Israel as a guest of the government of Israel. I would like to say it in the ears of the Palestinian leaders, if they would hear it.”

W.D. Mohammed- The Record Speaks

Editor’s note: I originally compiled and posted this essay as an email in the mid 1990s on AOL. That early version has since been copied and re-posted on a number of websites. This current version is more comprehensive and includes public statements up to the time of W.D. Mohammed’s death in 2008.

 

A consistent thirty-three year pattern

Chronicling a distinct, recurring pattern spanning from W.D. Mohammed’s 1975 NOI leadership ascension up to his death in 2008

1975- Publicly declares himself “The Manifestation of God“: “Yes, I myself am an Immaculate Conception. You say, “This man is crazy.” No, I’m not crazy… After we explain it to you, you’ll know that I’m not crazy. The world has just been in darkness. I can truthfully say that My physical father was not My father. I have never had a physical father…You say, “Who is your father?” Speaking in the language of the New Testament, My Father is God…I am the Manifestation of God.… All praise is due to Allah.”[1]

1976- Claims he is recipient of divine revelation: “The Book (Bible) says that there is another kind of water (sweet water) which is not salty, that comes from above that is divine revelation. The water that God gives is divine revelation and He reveals it to His prophets.”[2] “I am baptizing you with the water that God has given me. It is the water of revelation, of divine knowledge.”[3]

1976- Alliance with cult leader Jim Jones. W.D. Mohammed makes the statement in his book, Al-Islam, Unity & Leadership, “I have been called a prophet by Christian admirers. I will say, “I am not a prophet.” [See Al-Islam, Unity & Leadership, p. 159].What W.D. Mohammed doesn’t mention was which ‘Christian admirer’ called him a ‘prophet’-cult leader  Rev. Jim Jones.

Jim-Jones-WD-Muhammad

In 1978, Jim Jones led more that 900 of his ‘People’s Temple’ followers in a mass murder-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana. He and W.D. Mohammed co-produced and promoted the ‘First Inter-Religious Unity Meeting (Spiritual Jubilee)’ held in Los Angeles, California in May of 1976 .[See Bilalian News, June 4, 1976, pp. 1-3, 39-40]

This event is still listed as one of W.D. Mohammed’s ‘achievements’ in his book Challenges that Face Man Today–Vol. II, p. 151. W.D. Mohammed and Jim Jones jointly entitled the event, ‘A New Heaven and a New Earth.’ With more than 20,000 people attending, Bilalian News proudly stated Jim Jones’ praise of his ‘brother,’ W.D. Mohammed:

“The Rev. Jones called the Honorable W.D. Muhammad “a prophet” and declared: “With the alternatives I see on the horizon, I only wish he were running for President.”[See Bilalian News, June 4, 1976, p. 39].

1977- Declares Islamic plural marriage forbidden: “The teaching of Muhammad and the teaching of the Qur’an is that “one is better for you if you but knew.” No other Prophet did this for the polygamist mankind. It was Prophet Muhammad who worked against polygamy.”[4]

1978- Rejects miracles of the prophets: “Moses, being pursued by Pharaoh’s army, struck the water and the Red Sea parted, so the Book says, and Moses and his people walked across on dry land… Brother and sister, you will never convert intelligent people to religion today with unrealistic symbolical stories like that.”[5]

Sanctions prophetic claimant, Rashad Khalifa. Offers followers “20% discount” on purchase of Khalifa’s works.[6]

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Endorses Qadiani translation of Quran.[7]

1979- Denies Return of Jesus and proclaims himself, “Masih-Mahdi”: “Jesus did his work… he’s not coming back here­never! That’s not the way of God. But his type has to return, another birth like his has to happen, has to happen, to produce his type again. So that his type will be able to see, the lies that have been told concerning his birth. It’s not him but its the same as though he’s the original. I know how Jesus is born because I’ve been born that way! So you can’t tell me how Jesus was born, I’ve been born that way!” “…well then you’re a Prophet; no I’m not, well you’re a Messenger of God, no (laughing) I’m not, well what are you? I am Masih-Mahdi, I am the Christ-Mahdi believe it or not! … You know, for a long time people have been hoping to fulfill the prophecy. The prophecy of the return of Christ or the return of the son of Mary and the presence of a Mahdi who would bring the religion to its original purity… they’ve been looking for that, it’s here now, what they’ve been looking for is here now­But can they appreciate it?”[8]

1980- Proclaims himself, “the Mujaddid”[9] and formally rejects hadith as divine legislation: “If you want all the hadiths, then you should leave this community because I’m telling you, right now, I don’t accept all the hadiths. They have made too much trouble and confusion in the Muslim society.”[10]

1981-Claims those who desire plural marriage are, “cursed by God.”[11] Rules women’s hair is their hijab. “It is believed in the circle of learned scholars in the religion that the hair on women should be covered… Here in our community…we don’t make any big to-do about it. If some woman is seen with her hair uncovered we don’t raise the roof, because I understand that where there is some sex appeal in women’s hair, there is also religious symbolism attached. This symbolism is good but I don’t think we should enforce these laws too fanatically. If we do we might cause people of higher intellect to underestimate our intelligence. They might think we are superstitious or fanatical people and we don’t want them to think that.”[12]

1983- Claims Islam is not a precondition for salvation: “There are some scholars… I’ve heard some people who call themselves scholars in the religion say recently and I have heard this,… that the scriptures I quote referred to earlier times and later scriptures came and cancelled that. That now if anyone rejects our religion, he doesn’t go to paradise. I disagree. I simply disagree.[13]… I don’t feel that all Christians have to have my religion to improve their lives. I don’t feel that… I feel that some Christians are living very good lives. They have very good morals, they have a good sense of direction and I wouldn’t want to disturb that for them. As long as they are doing well I’d like to see them continue to do well.”[14]

Compares those who don’t follow him to dogs: “The word has come down from heaven follow Imam W. Deen Muhammad. Either do that or wear the dog collar and eat dog biscuits.”[15]

Claims: “If Jesus had lived to see 40, he would have died to Jesus and become Prophet Muhammad.”[16]

Claims: “The Quran doesn’t say that Prophet Muhammad is a messenger to the angels or Jinn, but to the people… Prophet Muhammad was sent to Naas, not to the Jinn.”[17]

1984- Calls for establishing his own school of thought: “…we are going to have a school of fiqh and that school is raising up, or growing up right now with the growth of this community, under the leadership of your Imam and my Imam Warith Deen Muhammad. Yes, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad.”[18]

20140929_041542

1986- Claims: “The Muslim community also has a community obligation to serve the best interest of other communities Christian, Jewish and even the Socialist community.”[19]

Denies existence of Jinn: “Muslims do not believe that there are some foreign worlds existing out there somewhere. We don’t believe that there are some foreign creatures sharing space with us. We don’t accept the notion of other creatures in another dimension whose nature is not like ours. We don’t believe that there are creatures who can do things to us but we cannot reach them unless we find some way to plug into their foreign dimension. The real Muslim cannot accept that kind of idea. You cannot work voodoo on a Muslim because the Muslim is not vulnerable to superstition.”[20]

1987- Declares: “But my position is this in our society, I have learned by experience, so I have differed with shiekhs, I have differed with leaders of Al-Islam, I have learned by experience in this community, that there is no guarantee, that a Muslim marrying a non-Muslim woman is going to have anymore success in bringing these children to Al-Islam, than a woman will be marrying a non-Muslim man… “[21]

Declares, “I have no problems with the Pope; I respect him and honor him.”[22]

1988- Denies existence of prophetic miracles: “We know that as much as man fears the fire, we know that Abraham was put in the fire. That not right? Yes, Abraham was put in the fire. And when they looked in the, when those who put him in the fire came to see how he was fairing, how he was doing there, whether he was ashes or not, they found him there unaffected. Fire hadn’t touched him, fire hadn’t bothered him a bit. Instead, instead of him experiencing heat, see God made the flame cool on Abraham. (laughter) Now we know that’s metaphorical, that’s symbolic.” [23]

1989- Proudly shows off grandchild from marriage of his daughter to a non-Muslim.[24]

1991- Says Muslims should not invite non-Muslims to Islam: “We (Muslims) are obligated to seek peaceful co-existence with Christians and people of Faith… the similarities are so much more important that we need not focus on the differences. We see Christians and Jews as people of the Book. We should not ask them to take their shahadah…”[25]

Endorses homosexuals during American Public Radio (APR) interview.[26]

1992- Endorses Farrakhan: “I will never denounce him as long as he says he wants to be a Muslim.”[27]

Declares, “We love our distinction as a people, our racial distinction…we want racial dignity and racial distinction. We want cultural distinction. We want that. Even within Islam we want that. We don’t want to copy the culture of another Muslim…we also stress that we owe an allegiance to the Christian people. Also we have to understand that our religion did not come to establish itself over everybody else.”[28]

Speaking at ISNA headquarters: “Mohammed says he does not favor intermarriage between indigenous and immigrant Muslims because African-Americans have suffered greatly at the hands of white America, and they need time by themselves as a race for the psychological scars of racism to heal.”[29]

1993- Claims anyone can be recipient of divine revelation: ‘If any revelation I receive, anybody else can get it, just read Qur’an and God will show us revelation if we’re sincere.’[30]

Claims Farrakhan ‘does a lot of good’: “Farrakhan respects Islam and he does a lot of good, he is friendly with us and we should be friendly with him.”[31]

Declares all non-Muslims Muslims: “If we look at the broad definition for Muslim, we have to say that even though a Christian may be worshipping Jesus the Christ Prophet more than he is worshipping Allah, he or she may be Muslim in their spirit. They may still be Muslim, though the orientation has now dominated their Muslim urge. The person carrying a heavy cross may be a Muslim inwardly. So it is for a Jew, or Communist, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu.”[32]

1994- Implies prophethood to Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, calling them: “men of divine wisdom” who predicted the future “in the name of God”.[33]

Denounces interracial marriage and women’s hijab: “Imam Mohammed said he would not encourage mixed marriages. “Marry your own race and people you are acquainted with.”…Covering hair in the mosque for prayer is needed, the Imam explained, but in the public when out shopping it is not a big deal. He noted that a sister can be more seductive with her hair covered than uncovered.”[34]

1998- Claims Paradise is on earth: “In the beginning, God put us in paradise and so shall it be in the end,” Mohammed said. And, pointing a finger to the sky, he added, “Not necessarily up there.”[35]

1999- Celebrates “Savior’s Day” with Farrakhan: “I couldn’t resist coming here knowing that (The Nation of Islam) was observing this day. I haven’t lost my friendship with Minister Farrakhan.”[36]

2000- Selected by MAS to lead Washington Area Muslims for Eid Al-Fitr Prayer at DC Armory.

2001- Claims revelation is continuous and shared between members of other faiths.[37]

Declares all non-Muslims, Muslims. “God created nothing but Muslims.”[38]

2002- Praises Elijah Muhammad and declares lasting brotherhood with Louis Farrakhan.[39]

Claims Jesus is “the second Adam”[40]

2008: “God blessed me with much that was hidden.” Irvington, NJ, July 6, 2008[41]

Aug. 29, 2008, he made what would be his last public appearance. He praised the teachings of Muhammad and Jesus and counseled, “We all … should be trying to be Christlike. He died a month later, in September 2008.” [42]


References:

[1] See Muhammad Speaks, May 23, 1975, pp. 17-19. His referral to himself as ‘The Manifestation of God’ has its links to Elijah’s teachings, as Elijah said that ‘after me will come God himself.’ See Message to the Blackman, p. 306. Thus, W.D. Mohammed labeling himself ‘The Manifestation of God’, is intended to be understood as ‘a fulfillment of prophecy.’

[2] See Lectures of Emam Muhammad, p. 48.

[3] See The Teachings of W.D. Muhammad, p. 13.

[4] See Bilalian News, July 8, 1977, p. 17. His statement “one is better for you if you but knew” is baseless. No such Qur’ânic verse nor Prophetic hadeeth exists that is even remotely close to what he claims.

[5] See Lectures of Emam Muhammad, pp. 118-119.

[6] See Bilalian News, April 21, 1978, p. 9.

[7] See Bilalian News, Sept. 8, 1978, p. 6.

[8] Recording and transcript excerpt from six and one-half hour speech broadcast nationally via ‘telephone hookup’ from Chicago, Ill. on March 25, 1979.

[9] See Bilalian News, February 15, 1980, p. 17.

[10] See Bilalian News, February 22, 1980, p. 24.

[11] See Bilalian News, June 26, 1981, p. 18.

[12] See World Muslim News, November 27, 1981, p. S5.

[13] See Religion on the Line, p. 61.

[14] See ibid. p. 67.

[15] See A. M. Journal, Mar 2, 1983, p. 23.

[16] See A.M. Journal, July 29, 1983, p. 9.

[17] See A. M. Journal, July 29, 1983, p. 2.

[18] See Challenges that Face Man Today, pp. 34-38.

[19] See Muslim Journal, May 16, 1986, p.2.

[20] See An African American Genesis, p. 9.

[21] See Muslim Journal, October 2, 1987.

[22] See Muslim Journal, November 13, 1987, p. 15.

[23] Recorded statements; Detroit, Michigan, March 27, 1988.

[24] See Muslim Journal, June 2, 1989, p. 15.

[25] See Muslim Journal, June 28, 1991, p. 5.

[26] Recorded broadcast, September 4, 1991.

[27] See The Washington Times, Feb. 7, 1992, p. A6.

[28] See Muslim Journal, Feb. 28. 1992, p. 24.

[29] See Islamic Horizons, Summer 1992, p. 8.

[30] Recorded statements, May 14, 1993, Manchester, UK.

[31] See The Muslim News, May 28, 1993, p. 4.

[32] See Muslim Journal, Sept. 10, 1993, p. 17.

[33] See Muslim Journal, January 7, 1994, p. 7.

[34] See Muslim Journal, June 17, 1994.

[35] See Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer-Times, Feb. 16, 1998.

[36] Transcript from NOI “Saviour’s Day” Rally, Chicago, February 26, 1999.

[37] See Muslim Journal, March 17 & 24, 2000; See also The Final Call, March 14 & 21, 2000.

[38] Recorded speech, San Francisco, Nov. 21, 2001.

[39] ibid.

[40] NOI Saviors Day ‘Family Reunion’ speech, Feb. 26, 2002, See Muslim Journal, May 3, 10 & 17, 2002.

[41] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyq6YiVDsds

[42] See http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/w-deen-mohammed.html

Brutal Legacy

 Editors note: This is an updated revision of my 1995 essay. The original version has for several years been re-posted on numerous websites without my knowledge or permission.
 Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jan. 12, 1995: Malik Shabazz’ daughter, Qubilah, is indicted by a federal grand jury on allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill ‘Nation of Islam’ leader, Louis Farrakhan, who Malcolm X’s family believes played a role in his 1965 assassination. The FBI announces in a press conference, that Farrakhan was kept informed for seven months of FBI progress in investigating the alleged assassination conspiracy.

The following day, in the wake of public suspicion regarding Farrakhan’s role in Malcolm X’s slaying 30 years earlier, the Nation of Islam moved quickly to shift the focus of public attention from Farrakhan to the government. Nation officials called a press conference and issued a press release which cryptically read, “The identity of the alleged plotters was said to be some members of a ‘Muslim extremist group’. We do not know Ms. Shabazz to be a member of any such group. We call on the FBI to explain their assertion.” Was this true, or was it simply another ploy in a NOI legacy of disinformation?

Indeed, a glimpse into the history and development of ‘The Nation Of Islam,’ shows a group which has traditionally marketed itself as dedicated to the brotherhood, benefit and American black social improvement, while the Nation and the media continually refer to the NOI as the premier American Islamic organization. However, the historical record of the group tells quite a different story. Over the years, a pattern of rampant deceit, manipulation and violence has prevailed; targeting Muslims, African-American critics, and even its own followers, which dates from the very beginning of the movement.

4 photos of Fard
The NOI Diety

For instance, on May 27, 1929, Wallace Dodd Ford, an immigrant New Zealander of Afghani/Caucasian/Polynesian parentage, was released from California’s San Quentin prison after serving three years for selling narcotics in Los Angeles. Upon his prison release, Ford moved to Chicago and then Detroit where he posed as a Bible-toting, itinerant silk and rug peddler ‘from the East.’ Ford attracted a following of poor, working class black migrants by blending an admixture of ideas adapted from Christianity, the Qadiani translation of Qur’an, and concepts from numerous Messianic, Depression-era cult ideologues, i.e. Father Divine, Marcus Garvey, Drew Ali, etc.

Using up to eighteen different aliases, among them, “W. Fard Muhammad,” and “W.D. Fard,” Ford variously identified himself as an Arab, a Hawaiian, a black and a white. He claimed to have been born in Mecca, of being the descendant of Prophet Muhammad, and finally, ‘the Apostle of Allah.’ In Detroit, he met Elijah Poole from Sandersville, Georgia. Poole, an unemployed assembly line worker and former follower of Drew Ali’s “Moorish Temple”, was mesmerized by Ford’s aura and became his devoted follower. Ford changed Poole’s name to Elijah Karriem, and on July 4, 1930, a little more than one year after his prison release, Ford with Karriem’s assistance, formed ‘the Nation Cult of Islam.’

Detroit News, Nov 21, 1932
Detroit News, Nov 21, 1932

For a fee of ten dollars, Ford gave Arabic names to cult members, Elijah and his family going through a series of name changes, finally settling on the name, ‘Muhammad.’ Among Ford’s teachings, was a call for followers to sacrifice whites in order for the person ‘to return to his home in Mecca.’ Followers were encouraged to believe in human sacrifice, ‘of himself or his loved ones if Allah requires it.’ In November of 1932, Robert Karriem Harris, one of the earliest members of ‘the Nation Cult of Islam’, was convicted of murder in Detroit in the sacrificial slaying of Nation follower, James J. Smith, amidst reports of other slayings. This event, referred to in Detroit as the infamous ‘Voodoo Murders,’ led to the confinement of Elijah Karriem (who at the time used the alias, Ghulam Bogans) to a Detroit mental ward and the banishment of his teacher, Wallace Dodd Ford from Detroit to Chicago.

Elijah and Fard ruled insane
Elijah and Fard ruled insane

The departure of Ford from Chicago in 1934, led to deadly power struggles within Elijah Karriem’s own family, as his brother Khallatt Muhammad threatened Elijah and forced him to flee from Detroit to Chicago. With Ford’s departure, Karriem changed his name to Elijah Muhammad, elevated his teacher to the status of ‘Allah in person’ and himself to ‘the Messenger of Allah.’ From the 1940’s onward, the Nation recruited its staunchest following from prisons, devolving into a violent gang-fueled reign of terror against both ex-‘Nation’ followers who renounced Elijah Muhammad and embraced Islam, as well as those who differed on issues with ‘Nation’ leadership. The practice of intimidation and fratricide reached a boiling point during the 1960’s and 70’s as a number of Nation leaders pitted ‘brother against brother’ as if a macabre chess match, this amidst reports of Elijah and his family’s immorality and widespread objections to his teachings.

For example, in 1964 Aubrey Barnett, a former Boston minister under Louis X Farrakhan, quit the group after being fed up with the deceptions. Barnett was soon after viciously assaulted on a Boston street by 13 of Elijah Muhammad’s men. On November 5, 1964, ex-member Kenneth Morton, died from internal injuries suffered when he was beaten by four members of ‘the Nation.’ During the same year, Malcolm X, former national spokesman for Elijah Muhammad, renounced Elijah’s organization, made Hajj and became a Muslim, and officially changed his name to Al-Hajj Malik Shabazz; openly declaring Elijah Muhammad to be a false prophet, thief and fornicator. This led to Elijah printing a series of articles critical of Malik Shabazz in issues of Muhammad Speaks written by Nation ministers, referring to Malik Shabazz as a ‘hypocrite,’ including a call for Malik Shabazz’ death written by Louis X Farrakhan.

Farrakhan calls for Malcolm's death
Farrakhan calls for Malcolm’s death

On January 6, 1965, ex-NOI member Benjamin Brown, who left ‘the Nation’ to establish an Islamic masjid, was shot in front of his masjid. This was followed by a series of repeated attempts on Malik Shabazz’ life by Nation members, culminating in his February 21, 1965 assassination in New York City. This was immediately followed up by the brutal beating in Boston of Leon 4X Ameer, a former bodyguard for Malik Shabazz. Shortly after Malik Shabazz’ assassination, Ameer’s picture was circulated in Muhammad Speaks newspaper as ‘wanted’ for expressing a desire to kill Elijah Muhammad in revenge for the death of Malik Shabazz. Left in a coma for weeks as a result of the beating, Ameer emerged from the hospital in a vegetative state with permanent brain damage. He died shortly thereafter.

In 1968, Hulon Mitchell, Jr. (Min. Hulon X Shah), a former Atlanta head NOI minister, abandoned the NOI with $50,000 sent from NOI Chicago headquarters, moved to Florida with friend Billy Steven Jones, and started their own group, mixing elements of Christianity and Islam. On the night of May 23, 1969, a hit team of three men entered Jones’ and Mitchell’s home/headquarters, opening fire on Jones who returned fire. Two gunmen and Jones died at the scene, the third gunman was captured in Chicago yet oddly, was never prosecuted. Mitchell, who was not present during the shootout, and whom many saw as the real target, later started the Black Hebrew Israelite, ‘Nation of Yahweh’, changing his name to Yahweh Ben Yahweh. Curiously, police never questioned Mitchell and he never afterwards spoke openly about the shooting.

In 1971, twenty-five Nation members walked out of Temple no. 2 in Chicago with the complaint that not enough money collected from members was reaching poor blacks. This led to the murder of one dissident in Chicago, while another who fled to Oakland was murdered there. Between 1970-71 Philadelphia’s ruthless ‘Black Mafia’ became the official extortion arm of the NOI. Operating out of Philadelphia NOI Mosque No. 12 headed by Jeremiah Shabazz, the criminal enterprise controlled drug trafficking, numbers rackets, stolen cars, counterfeit money, armed robbery, extortion, prostitution and a trail of over forty murders. On January 4, 1971, Eight Black Mafia members entered South Street furniture store, where they shot a janitor to death, looted the shop, beat and bound its employees, and set them and the store on fire. The Philadelphia Inquirer called it, “one of the most cold-blooded and inhuman acts in the long criminal history of this town.”
By 1973 the Black Mafia’s criminal web extended to Chicago, Detroit, Baton Rouge, Baltimore, New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC with key members making the FBI’s Most Wanted list.

Front Page from April 14, 1972 story on Fellow policeman salute as the body of Patrolman Phillip Cardillo is borne from Church of the Immaculate Conception in Astoria, Queens. Cardillo, wounded in a struggle in a Black Muslim mosque in Harlem April 14, died last Thursday. One thousand police attended his funeral today.
Front page from April 14, 1972 story

On April 14, 1972, NYPD Officers Phillip Cardillo and Vito Navarra, rushed to the Nation of Islam’s Harlem Temple No. 7 in response to a fake 911 call. The call alleged a police officer was in distress on the second floor. Temple leader Louis Farrakhan, had offices on the third floor. The two officers were met by six to sixteen NOI members, a melee ensued as more police arrived. Officer Cardillo trapped on the inside, was shot and killed. Investigators later named Louis Farrakhan’s driver, Louis 17X Dupree, as the main suspect. An unrepentant Farrakhan stated the officers had come “charging into our temple like criminals and were treated like criminals.”

On January 18, 1973 in Washington DC, the most gruesome of murders took place when several assassins were dispatched from Elijah Muhammad’s Philadelphia Mosque No. 12 to kill ex-follower Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, who had written dozens of letters to Elijah’s temples nationwide, calling Elijah a ‘lying deceiver who was stealing his followers’ money and dooming them to Hell’. The assassins entered Hamaas’ home, finding seven members of his family, all women and children. The assassins beat and shot the women and children numerous times, robbing and ransacking the house, then drowning two infants in a sink and tub. Hamaas’ daughter Amina, who survived despite being shot six times in the head at close range, recalled that one of the killers asked her, “Why did your father write those letters?” His last words to her were, “Don’t mess with Elijah.” The killers fled, but following a nationwide manhunt, all were captured and convicted, four of them sentenced to 140 years in prison. On May 1, 1973, author Hakim A. Jamal, a cousin of Malik Shabazz and like him an outspoken critic of Elijah Muhammad, was gunned down by four Nation members in his New England home. In June of 1973, career con-artist and gangster intermediary Major Coxson was found bound and executed in his posh Cherry Hill home, along with three others who were also bound and shot. The lead suspects were Black Mafia leaders Sam Christian and Ronald Harvey, both participants in the January DC Hanafi murders.

Between late 1973 and mid-1974, the city of San Francisco was terrorized by the ‘Zebra’ serial killings carried out by followers of Elijah Muhammad. Reviving the original 1930’s Nation teachings, the killers believed that godhood could be achieved by murdering non-blacks. For a 179-day period, the killers brutally assaulted, robbed, and sodomized a total of twenty-three persons, leaving fifteen dead, including Jordanian Muslim, Saleem Hassan Erakat.

Newark rampage
NOI Attacks Muslims

After Elijah Muhammad’s death on February 25, 1975, his son, W.D. Mohammed, ascended to the leadership; in the process, reshaping the NOI organization and its beliefs. Yet on November 22, 1975, twelve members of the Islamic Party of North America, which had written newspaper articles denouncing the son’s refusal to renounce his father’s beliefs, were attacked and beaten in broad daylight with clubs, claw-hammers, tire irons and pipes in Newark, New Jersey by followers of W.D. Mohammed.

In 1977, Louis Farrakhan, disgruntled with organizational changes under W.D. Mohammed, left W.D. Mohammed’s leadership to re-start the organization and beliefs of the former ‘Nation’. His group today commands a following which includes a variety of current and former street gang members, rap artists, and black nationalists. During Jesse Jackson’s 1984 Presidential campaign Louis Farrakhan issued a death threat against black Washington Post reporter Milton Coleman for Coleman revealing a private conversation Jackson had with campaign aides.

The violent pattern continued in 1988 as members of Farrakhan’s ‘Dope-Busters’ assaulted black NBC reporter Joe Johns and cameraman Harry Davis on April 18 in Washington DC while Johns and Davis videotaped a story on them. This was followed by a brutal attack in October 1990 on Howard University campus by fifteen Farrakhan members upon two Muslim university students following their public criticism of Farrakhan and Elijah Muhammad. In May of 1993, W.D. Mohammed, declared in a London interview with The Muslim News, that Louis Farrakhan ‘respects Islam’ and ‘he does a lot of good.’ He added: “He is friendly with us and we should be friendly with him.”

The Beltway Sniper
The Beltway Sniper

Over a three week period in October 2002, NOI member John Allen Muhammad murdered 10 people in what was known as the ‘DC Beltway Sniper’ rampage. In 1995 John Allen Muhammad had provided security for Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March, yet on Oct. 26 following Muhammad’s arrest, Farrakhan distanced himself and the NOI from John Allen Muhammad.

In recent years, Chicago, Illinois, has sadly become recognized as the murder capital of America. Yet during his February 2013 Chicago Saviours Day rally, Louis Farrakhan appealed to the cities’ ‘gangbangers’, saying they are “natural soldiers” who could be taught “the science of war” to become protectors of the Nation of Islam’s assets.

In the end, the NOI’s legacy from human sacrifices to assassination to gang-banger recruitment, remains its sordid trail that leads back to Elijah Muhammad’s doorstep.


 

REFERENCES

Braden, Charles Samuel, These Also Believe: A Study of Modern American Cults and Minority Religious Movements, (MacMillan, NY, 1949)

Breitman, George, Herman Porter & Baxter Smith, The Assassination of Malcolm X, (Pathfinder Press, NY, 1976)

Carson, Claybourne, Malcolm X, The FBI File, (Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. NY, NY 1991)

Evanzz, Karl, The Judas Factor, The Plot to Kill Malcolm X, (Thunder’s Mouth Press, NY, 1992)

———- The Messenger, The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad, (Vintage Books, New York, 1999)

Freedberg, Sydney P., Brother Love: Murder, Money, and a Messiah, (Pantheon Books, NY, 1994)

Friedly, Michael, Malcolm X, The Assassination, (Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. NY, NY, 1992)

Griffin, Sean Patrick, Philadelphia’s ‘Black Mafia’, A Social and Political History, (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 2003)

———-Black Brothers Inc., The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Black Mafia, (Milo Books Ltd. Preston, UK, 2005)

Howard, Clark, Zebra: the true account of the 179 days of terror in San Francisco, (R. Marek Publishers, NY, 1979)

Melton, J. Gordon, Encyclopedia of African American Religions, [with Larry G. Murphy & Gary L. Ward] (Garland Publishing Co., New York, 1993)

Perry, Bruce, Malcolm, The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America, (Station Hill Press, Berrytown, NY, 1991)

X, Malcolm, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (Grove Press, Inc. NY, NY, 1965)

———-Malcolm X, The Last Speeches, (Edited by Bruce Perry; Pathfinder Books, NY, NY, 1990)

———-February 1965, The Final Speeches, (Pathfinder Books, NY, NY, 1992)

 

MAGAZINE, JOURNAL, NEWSPAPER & INTERNET ARTICLES

Ansari, Zafar Ishaq, W.D. Muhammad: The Making of a “Black Muslim” Leader (1933-1961), (The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Jointly published by AMSS/IIIT, vol. 2, no. 2)

Barnett, Aubrey, The Black Muslims Are a Fraud, (Saturday Evening Post, February 27, 1965)

Beynon, Erdmann Doane, The Voodoo Cult Among Negro Migrants in Detroit, (The American Journal of Sociology, The University of Chicago Press, vol. XLIII, July 1937-May 1938)

Block, Merv, Elijah Muhammad –black paradox, (Chicago Sun-Times, March 26, 1972)

Black Leader Slain by Boston Gunmen; Muslim Feud Hinted. (The New York Times, May 3, 1973)

Muslim feud seen behind Boston death (The Washington Afro-American, May 8, 1973)

Daley, Robert; The Untold Story Behind the Harlem Mosque Shooting, (New York Magazine, June 4, 1973)

The Detroit News, Head of Cult Admits Killing (Nov. 21, 1932)

———-Leader of Cult Called Insane, (Nov. 22, 1932)

———-Leader of Cult to be Quizzed, (Nov. 23, 1932)

———-Cult Slayer Pleads Guilty, (Nov. 25, 1932)

The Final Call, Farrakhan addresses D.C.-area sniper case during press conference (Oct. 26, 2002)

Islamic Party of North America, ‘Black Muslims’ Still Unbelievers, (Al-Islam: The Islamic Movement Journal, vol. 4, no. 4 Rajab-Shaban 1395/July–August 1975 & Sept.-Oct. 1975)

———-Elijah and Fard Must Go!, (vol. 4, no. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1975)

———-Blood in the Cause of Allah, The Attack-Its Meaning (vol. 5, no. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1976)

Muhammad Speaks, Louis X Farrakhan: To Follow Malcolm is to be Doomed (December 4, 1964)

New York Amsterdam News, Gil Noble urges Farrakhan, Tell us about your role in Malcolm X’s murder, (November 16, 1985)

Time Magazine, Punish the Traitor: Milton Coleman, (Monday, April 16, 1984)

The Muslim News, Imam Warith in London, (London, May 28, 1993)

The Sunday Star-Ledger, Muslims attacked in Newark, (November 23, 1975)

Philadelphia Daily News, X Terminator? Farrakhan admits setting mood in ’65 (January 13, 1995)

Walsh, Edward, Farrakhan Says U.S. Concocted Plot Charge, (The Washington Post, Jan. 18, 1995)

Interview with NBC/CNN reporter Joe Johns, (Washington, DC, 1993)

Griffin, Sean Patrick, Requiem for a Gangster, (Philadelphia Inquirer, March 13, 2016) http://www.phillymag.com/articles/requiem-for-a-gangster/#qL61Z8i9e2A1ZcvS.99

http://thezebraproject.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-beltway-sniper-killings-equal-zebra.html

http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20130225/chicago/louis-farrakhan-gang-members-can-serve-as-protectors

http://nypost.com/2015/04/19/did-an-fbi-call-accidentally-kill-an-nypd-officer/

http://www.mythicdetroit.org/index.php?n=Main.VoodooMurdersCoverage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVohi61DcRM

 

 

© 2016 A. Idris Palmer