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Zebra Murders - 1970s NOI association

Reader comment on item: [Beltway Snipers]: Converts to Violence?

Submitted by Bruce (United States), Oct 27, 2002 at 01:38

Dear Dr. Pipes - to add to the list of examples you have offered in your piece, a prominent marker on a list of violent (murderous) episodes occuring in America involving members of the Nation of Islam is the Zebra murders.

For reference, these sad events took place primarily in San Francisco in the mid-to-late 70s. The black-on-white nature of the crimes resulted in the media/police marker "Zebra" - more than 20 people were attacked over a period in excess of a year - many died.

Besides the awful specifics, the story is important because capture and conviction of 4 assailants (all members of the Nation of Islam - at the time, more commonly referenced as Black Muslims) was accomplished by (at the time?) extra-ordinary means - explicit profiling of young black males by police, and consequent random "stops" by police.

The association of NOI with repeated ultra-violent events on fellow Americans certainly does bear further inquiry into its roots and rationalizations.

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