Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Muslim Teachers College

The Gates of Vienna blog posted a piece a few days ago, Jamaat ul-Everywhere, on another curious location in rural Virginia, near Randolph. The site, now seemingly abandoned, used to be a Muslim Teachers College.

At the end of the post, Baron left a few questions unanswered. Among them, "Was there any interaction between the college and the MOA compounds in Red House and Meherrin?"

An informed source tells me that the Randolph site was not part of MOA/Fuqra and that there was no affiliation.

The site was actually run by a rival group led by W.D. Muhammad. W.D. is the son of Elijah and Clara Muhammad.

These individuals have a long history as leaders of the Nation of Islam (NOI).

W.D. succeeded his father as head of the NOI in 1975. He diverted from his father's racist emphasis and stressed a more orthodox Islam in the Sunni tradition. He renamed the organization the World Community of Al-Islam. He emphasized religious education.

Louis Farakhan served as spokesman for the NOI under W.D. until he broke away in 1977. He then revived the NOI and returned the group to its racist traditions.

This Beliefnet article describes W.D. Muhammad as the "most important Muslim you've never heard of." He gave the first Muslim opening prayer on the floor of the U.S. Senate in 1992. He also made attempts to reach out to Jewish and Catholic audiences. He has met with a number of dignitaries, including the Pope and even addressed a crowd at the Vatican once.

He founded the American Society of Muslims(ASM), but stepped down as its head in 2003, although he remains their spiritual leader.

His father, Elijah Muhammad, assumed leadership of the NOI in 1934, following the mysterious disappearance of his predecessor, W.D. Fard, who had started the organization in 1930. Malcom X served as the spokesperson for the NOI under Elijah before parting ways later on.

UPDATE: I suppose I should clarify that I believe the Muslim Teachers College was operated by the ASM, not the NOI.


Jesse Clark said...

Sheesh. This whole thing's a mess. I'm getting dizzy trying to sort everything out.

Baron Bodissey said...

CP -- good detective work. I'll give you a link when I get a chance. I sure am curious about the identity of your "informed source"...

Always On Watch said...

Good wor, CP!

The web gets so entangled that one can imagine that sometimes I imagine connections which don't truly exist.

Always On Watch said...

Typo! "work"