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NOI is more about social struggle than religion

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

Submitted by P. (France), Oct 31, 2002 at 17:40

Dear Mr Pipes,

...You know very well that NoI is an ethnically oriented organisation rather than a religious one. Has anyone even bothered ask the question why all NoI members are exclusively African-Americans?

The roots of NoI go back to a time where African-Americans indeed did not feel like Americans because they were not regarded and treated as such either by their fellow citizens nor by the US law. Conversion was a way of differentiating themselves and a kind of rebirth, a break from a past where the oppressors happened to be Christians. So you see, this is not about Islam, it is more about social struggle. In fact, I am sure you know that NoI's "Islam" is regarded as heretic by all serious Muslim authorities (as your July 2, 1984 article in the Washington Post suggests).

Let's not make a religious issue out of a social one. The rejection feeling for one's country by a minority can be generalised to almost any country where minorities exist. The East Timoreans never felt like Indonesians, the Lebanese Christians do not regard themselves as Arabs, the Jews in Europe do not feel they belong to their countries...the list can go on forever. ..

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