MUHAMMAD: Islamic Radicalization 101 on U.S. Streets

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (Courtesy of BET)
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan (Courtesy of BET)

There is an Islamic movement, organizing openly on the streets and even in the prisons in this country. The group openly recruits disaffected young men and women from the streets, and in the prisons, indoctrinating them with Islamic teaching.

The leader of this militant, multi-national group has called for “10,000 fearless” to join him in the streets to demand “Justice or Else.” He is none other than Minister Louis Farrakhan, and he is leader of the Nation of Islam. They are “homegrown” Islamists.

There is no one, whose message is more caustic, more unsettling to the American way of white world dominance than Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

I infiltrated the group to find out what was going on, on the inside. And boy did I find out a lot. I got my bundles of newspapers to sell, and my “bean pies,” and set out among the people of East Palo Alto, California, where I lived at the time, and determined to learn the secrets of The Black Muslims.

I attended meetings at “Mosque No. 26” in San Francisco every Wednesday and Friday evening, and every Sunday afternoon. Every Saturday I went to men’s class — Fruit of Islam (FOI).

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings we held meetings at The Women’s Club in East Palo Alto. Although just five miles, East Palo Alto could have been culturally a continent away from Stanford University and from Foothill College where I was employed.

Then one day, the regional “lieutenant,” “Brother Benjamin 2X” invited me to come to his house on a Monday! At last, I was going to a secret, called meeting on the one night of the week when we did not have official mosque meetings.

I was ecstatic. I had finally earned the trust, and was being brought into an upper, secret committee. I just knew we were going to strategize over secret street and sewer maps, and practice our escapes. It was the moment I had been waiting for.

I made certain I was not followed to Brother Benjamin’s. I parked around the corner from his house. I arrived right on time. At the door, I greeted him with the password: “As-Salaam-Alaikum.” It’s an Arabic phrase which means “Peace be unto you.” He gave me the reply: “Wa-Alaikum-Salaam”—”and unto you be peace.”

I was in. I was escorted into the kitchen where Brother Benjamin’s wife, Sister Ida, had the stove covered with stainless steel pots. I didn’t want to appear too curious, so I just watched, and waited to find out what was going on.

And then Brother Benjamin revealed that the pots were full of custard, not chemicals, and that we were there to make ice cream, not Molotov cocktails.

It wasn’t called “radicalization” then. Rather it was the orientation class for new Muslim converts. But the induction process into the Nation of Islam often involves radical changes in the behavior of black folks in America. Regular prayer. No smoking. No alcohol. No drugs. No criminal behavior. Assume personal responsibility. Word is bond. Prayer is better than sleep. Charity is second only to prayer.

Those are just some of the radical ideas the Nation of Islam imposes on its adherents. So, my question is: Who is going to do something about this open Islamization happening right before our eyes? Shouldn’t @POTUS and @RealDonaldTrump be tweeting up a storm about this?

More people should be looking into this Islamic movement which is prospering, growing businesses and transforming neighborhoods into decent places to live.

And have you seen the women and the girls? For decades, they have been walking around with those long, flowing, dresses and garments and scarves covering their hair. Before we knew anything about the word “hijab” in this country, we were accustomed to seeing NOI women in head scarves.

And what may turn out to be even more complicated, should some “final solution” to the homegrown Islamic radicalization, is that shipping these Muslims back to their lands of origin would mean sending them back to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi.

Despite the enormous challenges in trying to deal equitably and justly with Islamic radicalization among blacks and Latinos in the inner cities, the potential for an eventual successful outcome outweigh the chances for defeat.

Islam is not the source of America’s problems. Islam is the answer to America’s problems.

About Askia Muhammad 57 Articles
WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.