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Before Farrakhannists, came Palestine's Mufti's fan, Islamic 'BLACK HITLER' in NY

Reader comment on item: Prophet of Rage: A Life of Louis Farrakhan and His Nation

Submitted by Ee (United States), Jun 30, 2020 at 09:51

'BLACK HITLER' JAILED TO AWAIT SENTENCE; Gorgeous Array of Sufi Abdul Hamid Avails Nought -- Found Guilty in Pamphlet Sale.

January 16, 1935, Page 7

A gorgeously arrayed, dusky- skinned man stood before Magistrade Thomas Aurelio yesterday in Harlem Court. His name, he said, was Sufi Abdul Hamid. A year ago he was acquitted in the same court when the police accused him of urging his Negro followers to drive the Jews and Italians out of Harlem.
https://www.nytimes.com/1935/01/16/archives/black-hitler-jailed-to-await-sentence-gorgeous-array-of-sufi-abdul.html

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Page 12-A
The Jewish Floridian/Friday, January 10, 1986
Farrakhan In Top Echelon of America's Blacks

... Yet Nazi Germany in 1935 had no monopoly on anti-Semitism, nor was black America immune. The Louis Farrakhan of that era was Sufi Abdul Hamid. New York's self-styled -Black Hitler."
Born plain Eugene Brown in Philadelphia. Sufi as a youth went to sea. where he picked up a smattering of exotic languages, and then landed in Chicago where during the late 1920's he caused a sensation by draping his massive frame in a combination of jackboots, diamond-studded belt, flowing cape, and fez. First posing as a Bhuddist mystic, he soon claimed to be an African disciple of Mohammed, divinely ordained to redeem the South Side from Jewish merchants. His "Don't Buy Where You Can't Work Campaign" shook loose few jobs in the depressed economy of the 1930's; but the shakedown payments he extracted from frightened businessmen financed his pur- chase of the private plane that flew him to New York in 1933.

IDENTIFYING himself from a soapbox on Harlem streetcorners as "the man that Jews fear, and arescared to death of." Sufi ranted against "Zionist colonialists" in Palestine, as well as "them Jews in Washington who rule us all."
An admirer of Haj Amin el Husseim. the notorious Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sufi also courted both the German- American Bund and the Christian Front. His tirades hurt rather than helped efforts to win more and better jobs for blacks in Harlem's white-owned department stores. On the other hand, he could claim some credit for helping spark the Harlem Riot of 1935. If one knows about Sufi's antics in the 1930s, it is hard to escape a sense of history repeating itself in Farrakhan's rise during the 1980's. However, there are important differences between "then" and "now."
These explain why Sufi's decline came swiftly, while Farrakhan's isn't yet on the horizon. For one thing, that was a time when group libel wasn't necessarily considered protected free speech. Jewish organizations did more than damn Sufi "in the court of public opinion'; they were able to put him on the defensive by repeatedly having him hailed before police magistrates for incitement to violence and disturbing the peace.

FOR ANOTHER thing, black organizations forthnghtly condemned Sufi at the same time as they sought reconciliation with the Jewish community. By the late 1930s. New York's blacks and Jews were cooperating in an ambitious drive for equal employment opportunity.

Amidst wartime social tensions Harlem again erupted in the 1943 riot, but no anti-Semitic demagogue emerged, and the developing black-Jewish civil rights alliance worked to contain the damage to intergroup relations. Why is it unlikely that Louis Farrakhan our contemporary Sufi will quickly go the way of his predecessor, who was a spent force politically several years before his death in a plane crash in 1938? The overriding reason is that the current generation of black leaders is legitimizing him through their indifference to. and sometimes tolerance of anti- Semitism TAKE THE case of Mayor Marion Barry of Washington. D.C. Despite being implored to speak out. he waited seven weeks before he delivered one word of criticism of Farrakhan's July 22 anti-Semitic tirade in the Capitol. Fear has something to do with this silence but, I fear, cynicism also plays a role. The kind of cynicism that Molotov voiced about fascism in justifying the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939: "It's just a matter of taste."

The most troubling finding of the Wiesenthal Center's public opinion poll taken over the past 20 years is not the significant incidence of anti-Semitism in the ghetto; its the surprisingly high levels among younger, better- educated blacks on college cam- puses and in the professional world. The current generation of black leaders came of age during the 1970's. when their youthful mood of radical expectation often made them impatient with, and suspicious of. Jews associated with the traditional or "moderate" civil rights agenda. Now. these leaders have carried this negative attitude into the 1980's. ..

Dr. Harold Brackman is visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department of the University of Kansas.
He is a special consultant on black- Jewish Relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles.
https://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/AA/00/01/00/90/02971/00069.txt

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Reader comments (3) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Before Farrakhan, there was the Islam convert 'BLACK HITLER' Sufi Hamid... [31 words]LuisaJun 30, 2020 21:50259467
Before Farrakhannists, came Palestine's Mufti's fan, Islamic 'BLACK HITLER' in NY [781 words]EeJun 30, 2020 09:51259462
continue your good work for God [72 words]Adama SarnorAug 15, 2005 13:3424674

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