An Unholy Alliance: The Nation of Islam Discourse and The Vicious Circle of Racism

Authors

  • Ayesha Siddiqa Quaid-I-Azam University Author

Keywords:

Nation of Islam, Racism, Louis Farrakhan, Nationalism

Abstract

The Nation of Islam (NOI) was born amidst the political, cultural, and social strife that African Americans experienced during the Great Depression. The organization was a product of the early twentieth century social and political landscape of blatant racism, segregation, disenfranchisement, educational and economic deprivation, Ku Klux Klan, and peripheral citizenship of African Americans in a sovereignty based on the principles of freedom, and democracy. Whereas organizations such as The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (1909), the National Urban League (1911), and the African Methodist Episcopal Church (1816) resorted to an integrationist approach to confront the legally sanctioned system of racial subjugation and demand civil rights for African Americans, the NOI concocted a unique conflation of religion and nationalism in appealing to black agitation and defiance against white supremacy. Building on the pro-racist theology of the Southern white Churches, and a sense of double consciousness with which African Americans grappled, the NOI developed a peculiar religious mythology that provided an antidote for black people. This research analyzes the movement and its discourse as a repercussion of the racism and bigotry experienced by African Americans: like its Christian counterparts, the NOI exploited religious doctrines of Orthodox Islam in order to append religious legitimacy to its racist propaganda. The paper argues that although the Nation’s racist ideology is in conflict with all mainstream religions of the world, scholarship on the organization must expand beyond an outright condemnation of its ideology and leadership to account for the institutionalized racism that continues to engender cults like the NOI.

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Published

04/15/2024

How to Cite

Siddiqa, A. (2024). An Unholy Alliance: The Nation of Islam Discourse and The Vicious Circle of Racism. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 8(I), 205-215. https://jll.uoch.edu.pk/index.php/jll/article/view/283

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