Nation of Islam

Chris Burford cburford at
Thu Sep 14 21:23:12 MDT 1995

Louis cross posted a report on the Nation of Islam, which started

Hi all,

What is the Left to make of Farrakhan and his organizing.  He just
addressed 6000 Bay Area folks, overwhelmingly African-American, in his
promotion of his "Million Men March."

The question is why the Nation of Islam succeeds?  We can talk about
message but I am curious if anyon on the list is familiar with their
organizing method in the community.

When I bought their paper from a reserved polite member of a group
of 4 sellers on a Saturday afternoon near the barbers shop where
Jesse Jackson had a trim in Tottenham's West Green Road, north
London, what most struck me was how like the fundamentalist
church groups of the nineteenth century and early twentieth
century they were.

The clue?

Read the small ads in the paper.

Pride, self-respect,
self-reliance, "family-values", religion as a cement.

Forget the Islam bit. Try thinking of them as assertive Methodists.

Marxist analysis has many examples of how religion was a representation
of economic and political forces.

Why, after all, dear comrades, could this list come out of the United
States of America and converse in English, without those self-
righteous exclusive Dissenters?

Chris B, London.

(Anyway I thought I would throw in my impression if only to give some
people with more intimate knowledge of the NOI a laugh to think of them
as a bunch of Methodists.)

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