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to ahmad zafire

Reader comment on item: King of Pop Michael Jackson and Black Converts to Islam
in response to reader comment: african-americans conversions

Submitted by Sidda (United States), Mar 8, 2006 at 09:45

Dear Ahmad, I agree with much of what you said. Many people when facing a crisis in their lives turn to religion. I think it is then that you understand that you are not the "big shot" that you thought you were and realize that there is something greater than yourself out there. Some people who are not religious see that as a weakness, but I don't see it that way.

The problem comes when unscrupulous people, for their own selfish purposes, take advantage of those who are in a vulnerable point in their lives. And I do believe that there are unscrupulous people who claim to represent all different belief systems.

I think the Nation of Islam is really counterproductive for black people in America. Now, I believe it has done SOME good as they preach self reliance and provide some structure for people who often come from very chaotic circumstances. However, (and this is a big HOWEVER), they are doing a disservice because their message is divisive instead of unitive.

I am against any ideology, whether it presents itself as a political one or religious one, which teaches a supremacist message. The KKK or Ayran Nations message is destructive and so is the messages of hate and division from Louis Farrakhan or extremist Islamists. I look at Mr. Farrakhan as the David Duke of the African American community.

Yes, there were grave injustices done to black people in the past in this country. There were injustices done to all kinds of people in all different lands all throughout history. It is a sad fact of the human condition. But you do not right those wrongs by preaching hatred and division. That only engenders more resentment and mistrust among all people and continues a vicious cycle. That's why I have so much respect for Martin Luther King; he preached tolerance and unity while striving for justice. He brought people together instead of pushing them apart.

I think some people and groups want to keep people at odds with each other because they have made a cottage industry out of it. If everyone comes together and there is no more division, these people would have to go out and get "real jobs." So, it benefits them to keep stirring the pot of resentment, envy, hatred, and division. Who are the winners? Nobody but those who are fostering the division. Who are the losers? All of the rest of us.
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