The Growth of Islam among African Americans
An American newspaper said the unbelievable growth of Islam among African Americans will incite cultural and political tension.
The newspaper USA Today said that it seemed that the crisis of decrease in membership that had been the plight over the past 25 years for the main sects of Christianity and Judaism gradually reached the Black Church. The newspaper went on to say that presently there were more than 2,500,000 Black Muslims and if the rate of conversion of Blacks to Islam remained constant, within the two coming decades Islam would be the main religion of urban African Americans. The newspaper added that considering there were only a few Muslims in the 1930 decade, the growth of Islam at this rate seemed unbelievable. Nowadays in almost all urban areas populated by Blacks in America, one can find mosques, Islamic cultural and educational centers and butcheries where animals are slaughtered according to Islamic rituals. And although the followers of Islam formed only a part of the African Americans, you could seldom find a Muslim community where individuals did not show proper and decent behavior.
Daniel Pipe, Secretary to the Islamic Association in the Middle East and an Islamologist believed that the spread of Islam among urban African Americans was originated from the message of Elija Muhammad, founder of this group. The message’s essential components were hope and hatred. He believed that the Black race were the first rulers of the world some 6,000 years ago simultaneous with the emergence of the white race to whose rule the insurgent Black scholars put an end. The rule of the White race was to be terminated in 1914. In an article published in the Commentary magazine, Pipe said he believed that the Blacks attributed their failure to have their aspiration fulfilled to “White Satan” and upon such belief strove to encourage order and hard work among Black Muslims.
Carl Ellis, Christian vicar and head of a program named “Yussuf” whose objective was to prevent the Blacks’ tendency towards Islam said that the weakness of the Black Church accounted for the spread of Islam in their community. He added that traditional churches had lost their moral and cultural leadership. Instead the group of Islamic followers encouraged an order that the youth of any race were in need of.
USA Today said that according to Pipe the positive social outcome of the standards of the growing population of Black Muslims gradually bears fruit and the narcotic drug campaign and the sexual decency among the followers of Islam had driven many former criminals to repent their sins. Black leaders lay great emphasis on paternal role and the responsibilities emanating therefrom. Whereas many Christian churches and their Black followers disregard it altogether. Moreover the message of Black Muslim leaders emphasizing self-dependence would improve the economic status of individuals. The USA Today brought it article to conclusion by saying that many effects of the foregoing religious changes in the Black American community were beyond anticipation and control and that it was hoped the Black Muslim leaders who showed a sense of responsibility and religious forbearance led their increasing followers to where the right conduct ruled. The paper gave the statistic of the followers of different religions among African American in mid-year 1998 as follows:
Christians: 1,94 million
Muslims: 1,16 million