Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Honor of Our Black Muslim Pioneers

This is a photo of Al-Hajj Wali Akram. I haven't forgotten about his struggles, and those of the other Black Muslim faith pioneers. This is a large part of the reason why I'm so disgusted with what has gone wrong among Sunni African-American Muslims. I said the following in response to a reader's comment to the post Demographics is Destiny: What Went Wrong with Sunni ("Orthodox") Black Muslims:

"Greetings, Aphrodite!

I'm speechless about the entire situation. When I think about the mental and spiritual journeys some of the early (1930s-1940s) Black Muslim pioneers took to escape from the clutches of a White supremacist version of Christianity...with HUGE obstacles placed in their path by racist Whites AND some immigrant Muslims......

This isn't the first generation of problems between AA Muslims and these Muslim immigrants. Here's a quote from the book Black Pilgrimage to Islam by Robert Dannin:

'Many new [AA] Muslims adopted a tabula rasa approach and absorbed whatever teachings came their way...Competing influences ranged from the diverse opinions of immigrant Muslims to American-style evangelists who supposedly had all the answers. In the first case, the immigrants themselves were in the agonizing throes of assimilation.

Much of the counsel they gave to their American brethren reflected Old World views that were being repudiated by their own children, indeed views they might ignore completely themselves when it came to personal or family business.' pg. 53. [emphasis added]

It's 70 years later and Sunni AA Muslims have come full circle back to having this sort of servile, subordinate relationship with these immigrant Muslims. Again. After our predecessors broke free of them. Mr. Dannin's book also described how foreign (Indian) Muslim immigrants from the Ahmadiyya sect financially exploited poor AA pioneer Muslims in the 1930s.

These pioneers were avidly interested in learning about the faith, and Indian Ahmadiyya officials took advantage of them until they broke away. One intrepid AA Muslim pioneer [Al-Hajj Wali Akram] declared independence from the Indian Ahmadiyya parasites in 1936 and founded the First Cleveland Mosque.

Our steadfast AA Muslim pioneers went through all of THIS...... Only to have their spiritual descendants dive head-first back into the vomit of Black self-hatred, Black inferiority, and docile servitude to non-Blacks. Words cannot express how disgusted I am with these slaves.

Peace, blessings and solidarity."

*Reader's Note*: Please leave any comments to this post in the original Demographics is Destiny comment section. You can read an interview with one of Imam Akram's descendants here: