More NOI(se)

The NY Times’ discussion of the Nation of Islam made me laugh this morning:

Imam Muhammad Siddeeq, an Indianapolis cleric and senior aide to Mr. Mohammed, said that for the Nation of Islam to survive, it must turn more toward mainstream Islam.
[. . .]

He echoes many others in arguing that the Nation should abandon some of its teachings. The Nation holds, among other teachings, that the group’s founder, W. Fard Muhammad, was the Mahdi, or savior, sent by God to Detroit around 1930 and that spaceships hovering above the earth will eventually play a major role in smiting sinners and rescuing the righteous.

“Those are ideas for kindergarten, a trip to Oz,” Mr. Siddeeq said. “Those are not ideas for people living in the real world.”

A savior in Detroit? Spaceships? BAAHAHAHAAA!! This is nothing more than the NOI trying to outdo Christianity and “normal” Islam. The Christian savior appeared on earth in a worse place than Detroit, and normal Muslims have their sacred meteorite they kiss (the more ancient version of NOI’s “spaceships”). The comedy is so good that I can overlook the confusion of having 99% of their leaders differentiated by only a single vowel (Mohammed vs. Muhammed). They quote someone later on who may as well be named Mr. Everymuslim: ” ‘We are not imitators of Arab culture; that would put us in an inferior position and make them our superiors,’ said Muhammad Muhammad, a 40-year-old adherent from Oklahoma City.”

Another choice quote, from the man who may succeed Farrakhan:

“There are a few black politicians and a few millionaires and a couple billionaires, but the fact is that our people are dying,” he said in an interview. “Our struggle to integrate and be accepted has left the masses behind.”

The article itself notes that NOI encourages black separatism. So what this guy means by his seeming paradox is that there are “masses” who want to be separate, and other “masses” who are the dreaded Other . . . the non-blacks, non-Muslims. NOI has been “struggling to integrate and be accepted” by the wrong masses, leaving the right masses behind.

The article also says that NOI is popular in prisons because of its “struggle against racism”. Here we have entered the realm of the New Liberal Vocabulary. In the NLV, racism does not mean the unequal treatment of all races; it means lack of preferencial treatment for blacks (or more generally, for ethnic minority groups–unless that minority happens to be white). By the way, nowadays “racism” is often applied to non-race issues as well. If you are suspicious of Islam, for example, because of the fact that 99%+ of suicide bombers happen to be Muslim, you are both “Islamophobic” and “racist”. Islamophobia is bad because fear of ideas, unless they are GOP policies or Christian teachings, is irrational and should be considered a medical condition. And why people say that so-called “Islamophobes” are “racist” is beyond me–race has nothing to do with it. I’ve been called racist in this respect before, but I’d be suspicious of anyone, regardless of skin color, who thought it was laudable to blow oneself up in a crowded marketplace.

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