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Elijah's 1959 haj

Reader comment on item: Louis Farrakhan Is Not a Muslim

Submitted by Paul Alkebulan, doctoral candidate in history, University of California, Berkeley (United States), Dec 31, 2002 at 14:18

Your article has many interesting points but you have one major error: Elijah Muhammad and his sons went to Mecca on December 24,1959. C. Eric Lincoln,"The Black Muslims in America", Louis Lomax, "When the word is given", and E.U. Essien-Udom, "Black Nationalism" all mention this in their books on the religion.

In fact Malcolm X himself acknowledged Elijah's mission to Mecca. It would have been hard for him not to know about because he arranged it during his FIRST trip to the middle east in 1959. You see Malcolm made a prior almost unknown trip before his famous 1964 haj. I refer you once again to the above books. Therefore your comment about Muslims not accepting him has a profound hole in it because the haj committee certainly did accept him and they are the final authorities on who is or is not a Muslim.

I agree that Elijah's version had almost nothing in common with 'orthodox' Islam but contrary to popular opinion that is not unusual with that faith. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839-1908)founded the Ahmadiyah movement, based in India and Pakistan. Ghulam also claimed he was the Mahdi and he was reviled by other Muslims for his blasphemy. Nevertheless, the Ahmadiyah are still around and are now accepted by others. The Sunnis and Shia in America reviled Elijah primarily because he refused to accept their claims to domination over American blacks be they Muslim or not. The Arab claim to superiority over blacks is nothing new however as their continued involvement in the slave trade conclusively demonstrates.

Malcolm, however, knew about 'other' Muslims long before he went to Cairo in 1959 because he had extensive contacts at the UN and he was very well read. Malcolm's problem with Elijah stemmed primarily from Muhammad's adamant refusal to become involved in the civil rights struggle and his sexual escapades.

For the most part though you are correct in much of what you say.
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Yes, the Saudis did allow him into Mecca, but my comment about Muslims not accepting Elijah Muhammad was a more general one.

The pattern was clear: The more remote the Muslims, the more likely to accept him as a Muslim. The closer, the less likely.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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