Black Muslims in the US: History, Politics, and the Struggle by Samory Rashid (auth.)

By Samory Rashid (auth.)

Black Muslims within the U.S. seeks to handle deficiencies in present scholarship approximately black Muslims in American society, from interpreting the origins of Islam between African-Americans to acknowledging the influential position that black Muslims play in modern U.S. society.

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Extra info for Black Muslims in the US: History, Politics, and the Struggle of a Community

Sample text

Even when large numbers of indigenous Americans embraced Islam, they were unable to assume leadership of the Islamic movement and even failed to integrate into it. 37 Black Marginalization in the Literature Black marginalization in this study refers to the systematic exclusion or omission of black Muslims from key parts of the literature on Islam in America, in marked contrast to their generous and, in some ways, prominent treatment in the history literature. This practice appears to derive from what appears to be the arbitrary and deliberate choice to limit the focus of inquiry to roughly 1900, which effectively ignores the history of Muslims in the United States prior to this time as well as those Muslims who have been a key part of it because they are not Middle Eastern immigrants and therefore not the subject of the predominant paradigm’s focus of attention.

The failure to observe the public displays of Islam among blacks alone offers weak and inconclusive grounds for WOI theory’s fundamental assumptions, and even weaker grounds for supporting its validity as a theoretical paradigm. Indeed, with no idea of the methods or strategies used to conduct their search, a myriad of explanations may very well explain one’s inability to observe the public display of Islamic practice among blacks during the period in question, without the need to resort to WOI theory as a presumed corrective device.

In another display of organizational obfuscation, a small number of black practitioners of mainstream Islam, especially after the late sixties, would practice mainstream Islam alongside their membership in the quasiIslamic NOI movement. Elijah Muhammad’s son W. D. Muhammad, an early Malcolm X ally, and leading proponent of mainstream Islam after the death of his father in 1975, is a prime example of this. Not only did W. D. Muhammad spend considerable time being ostracized from the NOI, he also ventured to teach the Quran and other mainstream Islamic practices during his years as minister of the Philadelphia Mosque.

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