A bit more excerpting...THE NEW MECCA
The Newark temple became so successful that the Prophet opened branch temples in Harlem, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toledo, Flint, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Norfolk, and Louisville, Kentucky.6 In 1925, Drew relocated to Chicago, where he established the central shrine of the movement on Indiana Avenue. Chicago, Illinois is going to be our new Mecca, he said.7
By 1926, when the Moorish Science Temple became a legal corporation, the movement had garnered more than 32,000 adherents. Within the next three years, a host of other temples - - 36 in all - - were established throughout the country. The temples were governed by Grand Sheikhs and Grand Sheikhesses [sic] who had been appointed by Noble Drew. One such Grand Sheikhess turned out to be Pearl Jones Ali, the aunt of one of the Noble Drews wives.8
By 1929, the Chicago branch of the Moorish Science Temple boasted 12,000 members; the Detroit branch 10,000. The movement operated grocery stores, clothing shops, and The Moorish Voice, a national newspaper.
A Muslim from the Middle East, who happened to stumble into one of Drews Moorish Temples on a Friday night, would have thought that all Bedlam or Parnassus had been let out. The temple members with their red fezzes, yellow pantaloons, and curled slippers, knew nothing of the five pillars of Islam. They prayed standing upright with two fingers lifted on one hand and five on the other. They were ignorant of the exordium and even the basmalah. They claimed that the Prophet Muhammad was a black man, even though various hadiths spoke of the whiteness of the Prophets skin. They fancied that the holy city of Islam was Morocco, not Mecca. They upheld shocking shirks, such as their insistence that Noble Drew was the divinely ordained prophet of Allah - - a heresy in Islam which taught that the age of the prophets had ended with the death of Muhammad. And they presented themselves as angelic gods, even though the words of the shahadah - - Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Llah (”I testify that there is no God but Allah”) - - represented the basis of Muslim belief.
FAME, FORTUNE, AND POLYGAMY
Such matters appeared to be of little concern to Drew and his followers in October 1928, when the first national convention of the Moorish Science Temple took place in Chicago. By this time, Drews movement boasted more than 100,000 followers, and his annual salary was listed at $36,000, a fortune at the time.9 The Prophet received additional stipends for his living expenses, including the mortgage payment for his luxurious trappings on Chicagos south side, and the salaries for his chauffeur, maid, butler and other domestic attendants. He kept several wives, a host of concubines, and fathered, at least, twenty children.10 When he tired of one wife, he would quietly divorce her and marry another. He also kept four women at the same time and paid for each to live in separate homes
MURDER AND MADNESS
On March 12, 1929, Claude Greene Bey, Drews personal chauffeur, staged a coup by pronouncing himself the Grand Sheikh, stripping Drews headquarters of all files and furniture, and setting up a rival temple at the Unity House on the north side of Chicago, where he began to call for assassination of all whites and all Moors who objected to his leadership. Drew imported some thugs, including Ira Johnson Bey, from Pittsburgh to quell the rebellion. Three days later, Greene was shot and stabbed to death in the alleyway behind Unity House.11
Drew, while hosting a party to celebrate Greenes demise, was arrested as an accessory to homicide. Released on bail, Drew hastily promoted David Ford-el, a.k.a. Master Fard Muhammad, as the acting head of the movement on July 20, 1929. It was not a prudent move. Fard was a criminal with 58 aliases. He had served three years in San Quentin before gaining release on May 27, 1929.12 He purchased a one-way ticket to Chicago, where he joined the Moorish Science Temple.
One month later, Noble Drew Ali was found dead at his home. The cause of his death has never been determined. Several of his followers speculated that he died as a result of injuries sustained in beatings from the police; others insisted that he had been murdered by his rivals. An autopsy was never conducted and a full-scale police investigation never conducted.
What do we file this information under?
FYI Origins of black muslim communities in US
One of the five pillars of Islam: Lie big; lie often.
I hadn’t really been aware of this earlier history leading into the Nation of Islam.
Nor did I realize that the Koran refers to blacks as “raisin heads,” although I knew that Muslim Arabs generally look down their noses at Muslim Africans.
Interesting! There is so much US history we don’t know. I was surprised to find out in the 1800’s that my Cherokee ancestors were Masons.
One fascinating thing is how often and for how long, Moors have been thought to be Negroes when they were in fact closer kin to the Irish.
Er... is this gentleman aware that the banana is not a native to the Americas and was not growing anywhere near the Mississippi before the arrival of the white man?