“The Nation of Islam is a black supremacistnew religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930, stating their goals to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States. The movement teaches black pride and principles of Islam, while at the same time advocating for anti-Semitism. They teach that their founder Wallace Fard Muhammad is a Mahdi.
After Fard’s departure in June 1934, the Nation of Islam was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established mosques called Temples, Schools named Muhammad University of Islam, businesses and large real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “[t]he Nation of Islam has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, offering numerous programs and events designed to uplift African Americans. Nonetheless, its bizarre theology of innate black superiority over whites — a belief system vehemently and consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims — and the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders, including top minister Louis Farrakhan, have earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
The Nation of Islam’s notable leaders are Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan and Warith Deen Mohammed. The Nation of Islam’s headquarter mosque, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2) is located in Chicago, IL and its leader is Minister Louis Farrakhan. They publish an African American newspaper, The Final Call. The Nation of Islam does not publish its membership numbers; the core membership of the Nation of Islam is estimated between 20,000 and 50,000, but their following is believed to be larger. Most of the members are in the United States, but there are communities in other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, France and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit, Michigan in July, 1930 by Wallace Fard Muhammad, also known as W. D. Fard Muhammad (1877–1934). The N.O.I. teaches that W. Fard Muhammad is both the “Messiah” of Christianity and the Mahdi of Islam. Within one year, he had approximately 25,000 followers who knew him as Prophet W.D. Fard, at Mosque of Islam #1.
Fard’s assistant minister Elijah Muhammad succeeded him as head of the movement in 1934. Because of dissension within the Detroit temple, he moved to Chicago where he established Mosque No. 2. During World War II, he advised followers to avoid the draft, as he said the US did nothing for blacks. He was charged and convicted of violating the Selective Service Act and was jailed (1942–46).
Muhammad slowly built up the membership of the Black Muslims through recruitment in the postwar decades. His program called for the establishment of a separate nation for black Americans and the adoption of a religion based on the worship of Allah and on the belief that blacks are his chosen people.
During this time the Nation of Islam attracted Malcolm Little. While in prison for robbery from 1946 to 1952, Little joined the Nation of Islam. He was influenced by his brother, Reginald, who had become a member in Detroit. Little quit smoking, gambling and eating pork, in keeping with the Nation’s practices and dietary restrictions. He spent long hours reading books in the prison library, even memorizing a dictionary. He also sharpened his oratory skills by participating in debate classes. Following Nation tradition, he replaced his surname, “Little,” with an “X,” a custom among Nation of Islam followers who considered their surnames to have been imposed by white slaveholders after their African names were taken from them.
Malcolm X rose rapidly to become the minister of Boston Temple No. 11, which he founded; he was later rewarded with the post of minister of Temple No. 7. Elijah Muhammad named Malcolm X the National Representative of the Nation of Islam, his second in rank. Under Malcolm X’s lieutenancy, the Nation claimed a membership of 500,000. Malcolm X left the Nation in March 1964 and in the next month founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., claiming, “I never left the Nation of Islam of my own free will. It was they who conspired with Captain Joseph here in New York to pressure me out of the Nation.” 
In 1955, Louis Walcott joined the Nation of Islam. Following the custom of the Nation, he replaced his surname with an “X”. Louis X first proved himself at Temple No. 7 in Harlem, where he emerged as the protege of Malcolm X. Louis X was appointed head minister of Boston Temple No. 11, which Malcolm X had established earlier. He was given his Muslim name, Farrakhan, by Elijah Muhammad.
After Malcolm X’s break with the Nation in 1964, Farrakhan replaced him as head minister of Harlem’s Temple No. 7 and as the National Representative of the Nation, the second in command of the organization. Like his predecessor, Farrakhan was a dynamic, charismatic leader and a powerful speaker with the ability to appeal to the African-American masses.…”
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