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Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam is a figure as current as todays headlines but the movement of which he is a nominal spokesman has a continuous history of over sixty years in this country The Nation of Islam NOI as it is officially known came to the attention of the general public in the 1960s as the Black Muslims 1 It is well-known for its doctrine that the White Man is a devil but what is probably less well known is another part of its teaching - that the Black man is god Outsiders have done little in-depth research to trace the NOIs doctrinal predecessors The NOI itself has denied its connections with previous movements specifically the Moorish Science Temple of Noble Drew Ali Ali who was born as Timothy Drew in North Carolina in 1886 taught among other things that Blacks are descended from the ancient Canaanites Legend has it that he was the reincarnation of Muhammad the Prophet of orthodox Islam Eventually relocating to Chicago Ali built an organization that numbered perhaps 30000 adherents at its peak 2 On March 15 1929 Ali was arrested after factional violence resulted in the death of a rival Sheik Claude Greene Arrested and held in the county jail Ali was eventually released on bail but died July 20 1929 under mysterious circumstances 3 Master Fard Muhammad The story of the NOI itself starts with a man variously known as Wali Farrad WD Fard Wallace Fard Muhammad and Farrad Muhammad but who is best known as Msater Fard Muhammad 4 According to his sucessor Elijah Muhammad He came alone He began teaching us the knowledge of ourselves of God and the devil of the measurements of the earth of other planets and the civilizations of some of the planets other than the earth He measured
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