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More blacks converting to Islam since Sept. 11
contracostatimes ^ | Mar. 24, 2007 | Ramit Plushnick-Masti

Posted on 03/25/2007 5:18:59 AM PDT by Flavius

Pittsburgh among cities to see increase after terror attacks as religious leaders try to paint positive image By Ramit Plushnick-Masti ASSOCIATED PRESS

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Allahu Akbar, the Muslim call for prayer, rings out on a recent Friday and a group of black men and women gather to celebrate the Islamic day of rest.

The wooden house in Pittsburgh's rundown Homewood neighborhood looks like any other on the block. But the sign at the door, Masjid Mumin, and the rows of shoes lined up inside on gray, plastic shelves hint of the brand of Sunni Islam its members practice.

The mosque is one of seven in Pittsburgh, home to a vibrant community of about 8,000 to 10,000 Sunni Muslims -- some 30 percent of them black.

Following what appears to be a trend in cities nationwide, religious leaders in Pittsburgh say there has been a rise in black conversions to Sunni Islam since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

No national surveys have been taken to confirm the increase, but Islamic religious leaders in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit have also reported growth, said Lawrence Mamiya, a professor of religion and Africana studies at Vassas College in New York. Experts estimate that 30 percent of the 6 million to 7 million Muslims in the United States are black, with only South Asians making up a larger number at 33 percent.

The Sept. 11 attacks have "cut both ways, positively and negatively," Mamiya said.

The dynamic is obvious, another expert said.

Since Sept. 11, Muslims have been attempting to "disseminate positive information about the religion, so the obvious outcome of that would be more conversions," said Richard Turner, coordinator of the African-American studies program and an expert on Islam among blacks at the University of Iowa.

Sunni Islam is the world's most prominent branch of Islam. The Nation of Islam and the Moorish Science Temple, other Muslim groups that attract many blacks, believe in prophets after Muhammad, making them anathema to Sunni Islam.

Rashad Byrdsong, an elder in Pittsburgh's black Muslim community, hopes the rise in interest in Sunni Islam will help the Mumin Mosque collect money to expand its small house of worship into a larger community gathering place.

The new mosque, still in the planning stages, will look more like a community center than a traditional minaret-topped Muslim place of worship found in the Arab world.

The expanded Homewood mosque will have a daycare facility, a re-entry program for released inmates, a health clinic and a program for entrepreneurs -- features that are in great need in the downtrodden neighborhood.

"First, the spiritual aspects, the dawa, but also basic, physical, fundamental needs," Byrdsong said.

In the fourth year of its seven-year expansion plan, Pittsburgh's tight-knit Muslim community has raised much of the $1.5 million needed in the project's first phase through book sales, telephone fundraisers, auctions and banquets. It has purchased all but two lots it will need and already has the sketches for the future mosque complex.

"Building the mosque has always been a goal, idea, vision," said Yusef Ali, 63, emir of the Mumin Mosque. "But as a community grows ... it's (become) a solid goal with strategic objectives."

A growing number of Muslims in America, especially blacks, are building mosques that offer a variety of community services, partly because the federal and state governments do not answer to many of their social needs, Islamic experts say.

These complexes take the religion back to its roots before the modern-day state began providing services to the population.

"What you have here is the creation of a true American Islam," said Edward Curtis, a religious studies professor who specializes in African-American Islam at IUPUI. "Islam has been a part of this country from its beginning, and the forms of Islam that are successful here are indigenous forms."

"The African-American mosque has made itself different in this way from other mosques around the world," Mamiya said. "Religious institutions in the black community have always been their strongest institutions and have always done more than religious functions."

Pittsburgh is home not only to black Muslims, but also a broad community of immigrants who practice the religion. However, until Sept. 11, the two communities were largely isolated.

After the attacks, immigrants -- subject to FBI surveillance, police raids and other scrutiny -- began to reach out to black Muslims in Pittsburgh, whose persecution they could suddenly relate to, said Sarah Jameela Martin, 64, an active member of the city's black Muslim community.

"It really was a time for us to come together," Martin said.

But Sept. 11 also put an end to any hopes the black Muslim community had to collect money for their mosque project from Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries overseas because new U.S. laws put Islamic charities under greater scrutiny.

Now, as immigrant and black Muslims in Pittsburgh try to improve the religion's image and separate it from global terrorism, blacks are paving the way, Martin said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aboriginal; australia; india; islam; israel; muhammadsminions; muslim; pakistan
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1 posted on 03/25/2007 5:19:03 AM PDT by Flavius
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To: Flavius

Once again, losing no opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to advancing the cause of blacks in America.


2 posted on 03/25/2007 5:20:32 AM PDT by Darkwolf377 (Anti-socialist Bostonian, Anti-Illegal Immigration Bush supporter, Pro-Life Atheist)
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To: Flavius
Given the role Muslims played in the slave trade, this always puzzles me.
3 posted on 03/25/2007 5:20:37 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: Flavius

That's because they all watched "Roots" and, although it's been some years since the last broadcast, they want to do the heritage thing. I doubt if most people really know what they are getting into when they seek out Islam.


4 posted on 03/25/2007 5:23:14 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: Flavius

It's hard to see why they are attracted. Since 911 was apparently the cause, a cynic might say they are attracted to the violence.


5 posted on 03/25/2007 5:23:52 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Flavius
Islam has been a part of this country from its beginning,

Wonder what his source for this statement is?

6 posted on 03/25/2007 5:25:10 AM PDT by johniegrad
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To: Flavius

How any self respecting black could associate with the religion of the slave traders who were front and center in the slave trade, and are taking slaves today is a mystery to me.


7 posted on 03/25/2007 5:25:56 AM PDT by tkathy
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To: Beckwith

"Given the role Muslims played in the slave trade, this always puzzles me."

How so? The Dim's were the slaveholders; the Confederates; the segregationists; etc. -- and black folks seem to love them for it.

Maybe there's a message here.


8 posted on 03/25/2007 5:30:27 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: vetsvette

The South may have purchased the slaves, but it was Connecticut and Massachusetts shipping that ran the store.


9 posted on 03/25/2007 5:32:33 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: Flavius
Allahu Akbar, the Muslim call for prayer

Allahu Akbar, loosely converted to English, means TAKE COVER!!!

10 posted on 03/25/2007 5:33:57 AM PDT by Living Free in NH
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To: Flavius
More blacks converting to Islam since Sept. 11

More like.....More blacks loosing their minds since Sept. 11.

I suppose the blacks figure they don't have a hard enough life...so they are going to do some self abuse.

11 posted on 03/25/2007 5:38:22 AM PDT by B.O. Plenty (Give war a chance...)
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To: Flavius

Life is hard. It is really hard if you're stupid.


12 posted on 03/25/2007 5:43:28 AM PDT by Leisler
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To: vetsvette
How so?

Educate yourself!

What also amazes me in your post is that you identify a period in the new world's history of slavery exclusively to the period between 1776 and 1864 and the United States of America.

One must remember that not all states were slave states, either.


Slavery existed in the new world since the Spanish introduced it in the 15th century.

3 November 1493:

On his second voyage, Columbus again reaches the New World (modern Dominica). On this voyage he initiates the first transatlantic slave voyage, a shipment of several hundred Taino people sent from Hispaniola to Spain. There are doubts about the legality of their enslavement in Spain.

It's easy to identify a public school education.
13 posted on 03/25/2007 5:48:13 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: Beckwith
By the way, that's European slavery.

The politically correct crowd have no problem with indigenous or 3rd world slavery.

Hell, they got no problem with 21st century Muslim slavery.
14 posted on 03/25/2007 5:50:46 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: vetsvette

Good Morning Vetsvette,
Respectfully, please do not exclude that Notherners(Repubs) also owned slaves as well at one time.

Muslim: just another name for a person who walks around, full of hate, mad at the world and a likely terrorist who wants America to fall.

Sincerely,
NSNR, A Vet as well


15 posted on 03/25/2007 5:52:14 AM PDT by No Surrender No Retreat (Xin Loi My Boy!!!!)
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To: Beckwith
Did I say anything about states?

My point was the Dim's and their predecessors were the slaveholders and segregationists. My only reference to location, and it was indirect, was the "Confederates", who were also Dim's.
16 posted on 03/25/2007 5:54:13 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: Beckwith

"It's easy to identify a public school education."

How true!! But, take heart, it's not too late for YOU to learn to read.


17 posted on 03/25/2007 5:55:33 AM PDT by vetsvette (Bring Him Back)
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To: Beckwith; All

First they flock to the party of slavery(democrat) Now they are attracted to the cult of slavery


18 posted on 03/25/2007 5:55:33 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (RATs...nothing more than Bald Haired Hippies!)
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To: Flavius
This may be popular because it is perceived to be a shortcut to power.

I used to watch Farrakhan on Sunday mornings before church. I now believe that the Nation of Islam does NOT worship allah, but rather civil rights.
19 posted on 03/25/2007 5:56:44 AM PDT by Cyclops08
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To: Flavius
This may be popular because it is perceived to be a shortcut to power.

I used to watch Farrakhan on Sunday mornings before church. I now believe that the Nation of Islam does NOT worship allah, but rather civil rights.
20 posted on 03/25/2007 5:56:45 AM PDT by Cyclops08
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To: Cyclops08

sorry about the double post.


21 posted on 03/25/2007 5:57:29 AM PDT by Cyclops08
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To: Flavius

Why is aboriginal and Australia in the keyword place? Obviously, you didn't necessarily put it in there--it isn't directed only at you.


22 posted on 03/25/2007 6:00:54 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Cyclops08

Wait till the Imans start demanding equal time on TV. There will be mass conversions by the secular left. At last a religion they can embrace!


23 posted on 03/25/2007 6:01:33 AM PDT by ABN 505
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To: BuffaloJack
islam is like Hotel California... you can check in... but you can NEVER leave. islam needs to be legislated as a death cult, and outlawed in the USA and all of her territories!

LLS
24 posted on 03/25/2007 6:03:59 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: Beckwith
It is puzzling, but "Christians" also participated in the slave trade (incidentally, today is supposed to be the two hundredth anniversary of the British abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire).

Furthermore, American slaveowners almost unanimously identified themselves as "Christian."


Is American of African descent turning from Christianity unfounded?
Yes.

Can it be seen where it comes from?
Yes.

25 posted on 03/25/2007 6:05:27 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Beckwith; vetsvette

Pretty harsh, especially since vetsvette is all but agreeing with you.


26 posted on 03/25/2007 6:07:27 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: LibLieSlayer

I would totally suport your suggestion.


27 posted on 03/25/2007 6:09:12 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: Beckwith
Given the role Muslims played ...and continues to play... in the African slave trade, this always puzzles me.

====================

Amen!

Question: Given the above re: slavery, has anybody ever heard an explaination -- by a black -- explaining why American blacks are converting? To defy the white man? But Arabs are white...

28 posted on 03/25/2007 6:09:48 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: tkathy
"How any self respecting black could associate with the religion of the slave traders who were front and center in the slave trade, and are taking slaves today is a mystery to me."
Don't these same people consistently vote for the political party that wanted to continue slavery?
29 posted on 03/25/2007 6:13:05 AM PDT by JLGALT (Don't put down Muslims. They're just like everyone else - if everyone else is a mass murderer!)
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To: vetsvette

Relax, that wasn't a slam against you -- but the public schoolm system.


30 posted on 03/25/2007 6:15:09 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER
Not all of African descent do those things.

Look at the vast majority of environmentalists and non-Muslim anti-war activists: they are predominantly of European descent. Are these people representative of all Americans of European descent? Definitely not.

So, are Americans of African descent who are Democrats or have become Muslims representative of all Americans of African descent? Definitely not.


Furthermore, some of the condescending attitudes which could be asserting itself on this thread could drive away Americans of African descent from the Republicans.

31 posted on 03/25/2007 6:16:09 AM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( What is your take on Acts 15:20 (abstaining from blood) about eating meat? Could you freepmail?)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
It is puzzling, but "Christians" also participated in the slave trade

Absolutely true -- but I don't remember where Jesus said slavery was a good idea -- Mohammed encouraged it ans said it was a good thing. Holds true to this moment.

There's a lot of "Christians" running around today that say homosexuality is a good thing. That doesn't infer that Christianity says it's a good thing.

I love moral relativism (/sarcasm).
32 posted on 03/25/2007 6:19:45 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: Beckwith

Did you know that the NORTHERN State of New Jersey did NOT outlaw slavery until 1846? Did you know that even after that date, a provision was passed that allowed the remaining slaves to be retained as slaves and even sold as personal property. The hypocrisy of the North is evident in redacted and rewritten history.

http://www.slavenorth.com/newjersey.htm

"In 1830, of the 3,568 Northern blacks who remained slaves, more than two-thirds were in New Jersey. The institution was rapidly declining in the 1830s, but not until 1846 was slavery permanently abolished. At the start of the Civil War, New Jersey citizens owned 18 "apprentices for life" (the federal census listed them as "slaves") -- legal slaves by any name.

"New Jersey's emancipation law carefully protected existing property rights. No one lost a single slave, and the right to the services of young Negroes was fully protected. Moreover, the courts ruled that the right was a 'species of property,' transferable 'from one citizen to another like other personal property.'

Thus "New Jersey retained slaveholding without technically remaining a slave state."

Sounds to me like a clintoon wrote that law!

LLS


33 posted on 03/25/2007 6:20:13 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Preserve America... kill terrorists... destroy dims!)
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To: Flavius
Nation of Gods and Earths/Five Percent FAQ (frequently asked questions)

There were more converting in prison way before 9/11 when I worked at the Metropolitan Opera in the early 90's.

There were what was called 5 Percenters, they were polite young men who mama's rasied them as Chirstians and some how they got involved in this group.

The prisons are filled with 5 percenters and the schools also got to these black children.

Islam in the Mix: Lessons of the Five Percent

34 posted on 03/25/2007 6:20:22 AM PDT by restornu (Accept Nothing Until It Is Verify)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: JLGALT

Absolutely. The GOP was formed by religious people who were against slavery while the dims fought to continue slavery.


36 posted on 03/25/2007 6:22:56 AM PDT by tkathy
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To: johniegrad
The more things change the more they stay the same and only a few have learned the lessons of the past. Link below.

Ruthless, unconventional foes are not new to the United States of America. More than two hundred years ago the newly established United States made its first attempt to fight an overseas battle to protect its private citizens by building an international coalition against an unconventional enemy.

37 posted on 03/25/2007 6:28:52 AM PDT by this_ol_patriot (I saw manbearpig and all I got was this lousy tagline.)
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To: Beckwith
Given the role Muslims played in the slave trade, this always puzzles me.

Same here, until it was correctly observed that islam is the religion of revenge.

38 posted on 03/25/2007 6:29:36 AM PDT by banjo joe (Work the angles. Show all work.)
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To: Beckwith
Yes, Muslims were big in the slave trade. Those who become hysterical over a flag and a minor word as offensive because of some obscure relationship to slavery, should place their attention on Muslims.
39 posted on 03/25/2007 6:31:03 AM PDT by Jane Austen
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To: Beckwith
"...Given the role Muslims played in the slave trade, this always puzzles me...."

Of course, that would imply that any pre-existing discussions around guilt, reparations and the long term effects of slavery on blacks in America had anything to do with logic. They are all emotionally based, and as such appear puzzling to anyone who views them rationally, as you apparently do.

Thomas Sowell is brilliant in his analysis of this issue in his excellent book "Black Rednecks and White Liberals".

40 posted on 03/25/2007 6:32:06 AM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu
Not all of African descent do those things.

Maybe not, but most of them are democrats. Islam is the fastest growing "religion" in the prison population, because "crime is ...OK"

Look at the vast majority of environmentalists and non-Muslim anti-war activists: they are predominantly of European descent. Are these people representative of all Americans of European descent?

No, they are representative of European philosophy.

So, are Americans of African descent who are Democrats or have become Muslims representative of all Americans of African descent?

Who said they were? But in the case of the democrats, yes, pretty much they are. There are some exceptions in a current minor trend towards conservativism.

In the case of islam, it's significant enough to be a problem if they go active.

41 posted on 03/25/2007 6:34:25 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (RATs...nothing more than Bald Haired Hippies!)
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To: Flavius

The media absolutely loves stories like this; it's one of their favorite media templates. But is there one MSM outlet anywhere that has covered the large amount of conversions from Islam to Christianity in Africa?


42 posted on 03/25/2007 6:36:10 AM PDT by denydenydeny ("We have always been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France"--Wellington)
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To: Beckwith

I could see where she took it that way. Just the way you wrote it, I think.


43 posted on 03/25/2007 6:36:42 AM PDT by rlmorel (Liberals: If the Truth would help them, they would use it.)
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To: johniegrad
Islam has been a part of this country from its beginning,

That statement also caught my eye

I'm sure Islamic people has always immigrated here in very small numbers since our founding, but being "part" of the county would imply more than .001 (if that) % of the population post 1776.

That statement probably falls under the same category as the black Egyptians knew how to fly, but the white man stole the idea

That is what is called a: a myth

44 posted on 03/25/2007 7:03:50 AM PDT by Popman ("What I was doing wasn't living, it was dying. I really think God had better plans for me.")
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu; All

(incidentally, today is supposed to be the two hundredth anniversary of the British abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire).

Celebrate by seeing the movie AMAZING GRACE. It's fabulous and about this very thing.


45 posted on 03/25/2007 7:54:55 AM PDT by SnarlinCubBear ("Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil." -- Thomas Mann)
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To: Flavius

Fear not the enemy at the gates.

Fear the enemy within.

These conversion are part and parcel of the enemy within, and it will get worse before it gets better, unless our current immigration laws and policies are changed to our Founding Fathers' intent.


46 posted on 03/25/2007 8:00:07 AM PDT by baubau (BOYCOTT businesses that hire 3rd world illegal aliens.)
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To: BuffaloJack

I doubt if most people really know what they are getting into when they seek out Islam.




If they decide they don't like it they can just quit. Right? /S


47 posted on 03/25/2007 8:06:32 AM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Beckwith

It really is pathetic and sad that many in the black communities throughout the USA feel, think that the white man, America, its heritage is so alien to their 'experiences' that they would want to join a religion , a ethos, even a radical departure from Western Civ. The OJ trial set the two communities, black and white apart on guilt. I can still remember that %. In spite of so many great contributions and accomplishments in the USA, that so many blacks would want to depart from their nation(though they would say they are not)is actually frightening. The Black Muslim movement of yesteryear is not exactly a peaceful organization and joining mullahs and imans in some mosques in cities like Pitts., Detroit, and Phila. which have been known for their radicalism, does not portend good things for blacks in general.


48 posted on 03/25/2007 8:10:29 AM PDT by phillyfanatic
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To: tkathy

"How any self respecting black could associate with the religion of the slave traders who were front and center in the slave trade, and are taking slaves today is a mystery to me."

I suppose many American blacks have bought into the idea that contemporary Islam is empowering. They have been long fed a steady diatribe that "Chuck" has been keeping them down by the likes of Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. It's no wonder to me.


49 posted on 03/25/2007 8:15:09 AM PDT by Gum Shoe
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To: Beckwith
Given the role Muslims played in the slave trade, this always puzzles me.

Their racist hatred of white people overwhelms their rationality.

50 posted on 03/25/2007 9:07:32 AM PDT by rogue yam
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