The Growth of Islam In the United States Islam is rapidly expanding in the United States. The growth of Islam in the United States is largely fueled by immigration. One- third of American Muslims are African- Americans who have converted to Islam during the last seventy years. Many of African- American leaders turned to the Islamic religion in some point in their life. Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan were once Christian, but then turned to Islam latter on in life. Seeing that many African- American leaders preached their Islamic beliefs led to the growth of Islam by African- Americans in North America.
Most of the Muslims who were born in the United States are African- American converts and descendants of converts. The majority of the movement of Islam in America has grown from recruiting African- Americans on college campuses, converting inmates in prison, and proselytizing Christians who have converted in an attempt to connect with and African- Muslim, religious- ethnic Identity. According to Sam Smith who wrote The Threat of the Nation of Islam to African- American Churches “Statistically speaking, African- Americans in the United States are two undred times more likely to convert to Islam than whites” (Smith ).
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Islam has become a powerful presence among the black population. Islam has destroyed the rich cultures and civilizations of many North African nations. Some people mistakenly believe that European missionaries brought Christianity to Africa when really Christianity was long established in Africa before it ever spread to Europe. “In Acts chapter 9, Philip the Evangelist baptized a member of the Ethiopian royal court and he is credited with starting Ethiopia’s first Christian Church”(Smith ).
American Islamic ideas and traditions have seeped into many African- American churches. A significant number of American Muslims are in Fact convicted inmates who converted to Islam in various state and federal prisons. The growth of Islam in North America is constantly increasing. Key leaders of the Nation of Islam were formerly Christians. Many of these leaders were not only once Christians, but were the sons of Christian preachers. Elijah Muhammad was the son and grandson of Baptist preachers. Elijah met his wife Clara Evans at a church meeting.
In 1929 Elijah and his tow brothers Joined Fard’s Islamic Temple in Detroit. After Elijah replaced Fard as the leader of the Nation of Islam in 1934, he assumed Fard’s title of “Prophet,” and added “Messenger of Allah” for good measure”(Alaikum ). Elijah Muhammad immediately continued his vehement attacks on Christianity and African- American churches. He also denied the divinity of Christ but yet he deified Fard. His followers to this day still believe that Wallace D. Fard is God. Elijah continued Fard’s relentless attack on Christianity with success.
It is estimated that four million African- Americans who converted to Islam did so after reading pamphlets and books written by Elijah Muhammad”(Alaikum ). Elijah Muhammad influenced millions of African- Americans to turn to Islam. Malcolm X was the son ofa Baptist preacher Earl Little. After the death of his a Muslim while serving time in Norfolk State Prison in Massachusetts. Malcolm’s inmates had nicknamed him “Satan” for his passionate hatred of God, the Bible, and religion in general. “Malcolm X was ordained as an NOI minister after he earned an arly release from prison.
Malcolm vented his rage towards white people, black Christians, and Christianity. Malcolm X ranted and railed in his newspaper articles against the Christian message of the black church”(Bio. com ). During one of Malcolm’s sermons he lifted a Christian Bible up in the air and dared God to verify its miraculous claims. He was known to stomp on the Bible during his sermons and denounce the verses as packs of lies. Malcolm X has since become a role model to many African- American youths and many have converted to Islam. Malcolm X nfluenced many African- Americans to take on the Islamic beliefs by denouncing Christianity.
Like Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X even Louis Farrakhan was once a Christian. Louis Farrakhan is the current leader of the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan was born into a Christian family and was apart of the Episcopal Church. Later in life Farrakhan left the Episcopal Church and Joined the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan prophesied that “Islam is to consume America. Islam is to consume England, and one day, these great nations will become servants of God”(Alaikum ). Louis Farrakhan has influence housands of African- Americans through the Nation of Islam.
Farrakhan once called for black Americans to renounce Christianity, which he called a “white man’s religion”, and to embrace Islam. He now preaches that believers can be both Muslim and Christian. The preaching of Islam by African- American leaders led to the growth of Islam by African- Americans in the Untied States. Islam is rapidly growing in the Untied States do to the fact of the many African- American leaders criticizing Christianity and influencing Islam. Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan were all born nto a Christian family and for most of them their fathers were preachers.
However, all of these men would later turn to Islam later on. Today millions of African- Americans practice the Islam traditions. Alaikum, Salaam. Bio Sketch of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. N. p. , 2013. Google. Web. 20 May 2013.. Alaikum, Salaam. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. N. p. , 2013. Google. Web. 19 May 2013.. Malcolm X Biography. N. p. , 2013. Google. Web. 20 May 2013.. Smith, Sam. The Threat of the Nation of Islam to African- American Churches. N. p. , 2007. Google. Web. 19 May 2013..