CHRISTIANITY THE OPPRESSOR’S RELIGION? Part II: Islam The Part They Don’t Tell You About

learning-quran7In the first part of this series I demonstrated how Christianity had a presence in Africa long before White Supremacy come into existence and long before chattel slavery. But what I want to address in this segment is that many in Conscious Community propagates is that chattel slavery took away the African’s original faith/religion or spirituality. That Christianity was foreign to the African mind along with its concepts and principles. Now to this I have to differ for the reason that what many describe as the sole West African faith i.e. African spirituality did not reign supreme in the fashion they believe. Many in the Christian faith may find my approach problematic but that is not my concern at this time.

Going forward my argument is that what was “forced” on them in many instances was not too far from what they already held to prior to enslavement. According to Sylviane A. Diouf:

When the first Africans were deported to the New World, beginning in 1501, Islam were already well established in West Africa. The religion revealed to the Arabian trader Muhammad between 609 and 632 C.E. had been introduced to North Africa as early as 660. South of the Sahara it had been known since the eighth century through contacts with merchants from the north. Islam in its orthodox Sunni form started to spread, however, after the conversion of the two rulers War Diaby, from Takrur in northern Senegal—which by applying the . . . . Islamic law, became the first West African Muslim state—and Kosoy, from Gao in present-day Mali. Both conversions occurred at the beginning of the eleventh century. Within fifty years, Islam had expanded from the banks of the Senegal River in the west to the shores Lake Chad in the east. (Diouf; 20).

As mentioned the first Africans that was shipped to the so-called New World occurred in the year 1501. But Islam entered the northern part of the African continent in the year 660 and it became a huge facet by the eleventh century. So it can be safely stated that a large segment of our West African ancestors was Muslims. Therefore when they arrived in the new world they was Muslim until forced conversion to Christianity. But was it as difficult as many make it out to be?  How does Muslims view Christianity and how different was it from Islam?

In answering this question the work Islamic Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures, states:

Muslims do not view themselves as the only community to have received revelation from God. In many passages, the Koran affirms that what has been revealed to Muhammad is nothing new, but a confirmation of the same divine message of old. The Koran states that every civilization has had prophets who introduced divine books. In addition to the Koran, these include the Torah (al-Tawrat) of Moses, the Psalms (al-Zabur) of David, and the Gospels (al-Injil) of Jesus (Marshall Cavendish Corporation; 68).

One must take note also that while Islam respects these revelations they do “believe that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospels have all been altered in some way, and that only the Koran is the word of God in its purest form” (Ibid.). Yet even in light of this “the Koran honorifically labels Jews and Christians as “Peoples of the Book” and thus Muslims share a special bond with both religions. Jews and Christians are the only groups with which the Koran explicitly permits interfaith marriage” (Ibid.). It would be safe to say that our Islamic ancestors would not see Christianity as being vile and against their religion or spiritual worldview.african_muslim_making_dua_in_desert

Now let it be clear that there was resistance on the part of our ancestors and forced conversion to anything is iniquitous. Also the form of Christianity that was employed was a bastardize form to pacify Blacks and far cry from authentic Christianity. Rather the purpose of this article was to demonstrate that some of the narratives floating around from “Black” sources is antiquated, fantastical and apocryphal in nature. What many claim we lost was not even relevant to the degree that they claim.

Ultimately going back to the grand intangible i.e. African spirituality will not change our situation. Nor will Islam or Christianity unless those things propel is to take action and create tangibles. We do not want to be stuck in the past and we do not want to become static waiting on the future but we want to be active in the present learning from the past and building towards the future.

Works Cited:

Marshall Cavendish Corporation, Islamic Beliefs, Practices, and Cultures, Muslim World. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish Reference, 2010.
Sylviane A. Diouf, Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, 15th ed. New York: New York University Press, 2013.

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CHRISTIANITY THE OPPRESSOR’S RELIGION? Part II: Islam The Part They Don’t Tell You About

Minister Louis Farrakhan vs The Average ‘Christian’ Pastor: A Condemnation of Cowardly Christianity

I have changed a lot over the last few years in many aspects of my life. Not in the sense lufarawhere my inherent personality has done a 180 but I have changed in my tastes, my perspective of society and how I approach religion. I am still where I was years ago after my bout with atheism as far as religious allegiances go.  My evidential and intellectual reasons are as still as solid as ever (so this is not a condemnation of Christianity proper). Yet I have trained my ear to recognize and receive truth wherever I hear it. And one new found place has been in the Minister Louis Farrakhan. A place where a few years ago I would never have looked until my Awakening to the conscious reality of who I am as a Black man and the very real plight of my people.

The cause of why I did not see the substantial truth spoken by Louis Farrakhan on many instances was because of my association with a weak and cowardly form of Christianity. A Christianity where Blacks are to ignore a person that is bringing to everyone’s attention the demonic presence and actions of White Supremacy solely for the purpose of maintaining a false sense ‘Christian unity’ engineered by the very White Supremacists Farrakhan tried to warn Black people about.

This White Supremacist from of Christianity formulated a tradition of weak and cowardly ministers that would rather create walls to keep out truth based on fear of making the dominant society uncomfortable. The Bible is employed to create a contrived sense of being united in Christ instead of facing something that is threatening the very lives of those they call their brothers and sisters. This is not something that only Black ministers engage in nor just White but all groups participate in this.

Many of the excuses provided are that the Nation of Islam (going forward NOI) and Christianity are two opposing faiths. Well that is fine but truth is still the truth. If a Muslim or someone from any other faith tells me water is wet and a professed Christian says it is not I am siding with the non-Christian. I am not looking to Louis Farrakhan for religious lessons I am looking to him for lessons in survival as a Black man in America.

Another excuse is found in outright lying. The White media see Farrakhan and the NOI as being genuine threats to White Supremacy so they fabricate lies along with such entities as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to silence them. Its amazing how if a person really looks into what is claimed that  Louis Farrakhan has taught on a number of different issues they was either outright lies, taken out of context or he was speaking the truth that White America can’t stomach. Yet ‘Christians’ believe these things.

In the end it is shameful that Black Christians have to look outside of their faith at times in order to find truth and individuals brave and bold enough to speak truth concerning White Supremacy and its devastating effects on Black people. Yeah you have some in Liberal or Progressive Christian circles but they are too busy doing the very thing that the White Conservative or Fundamentalist aspect does and that is centering everything on Whiteness. The White narrative and the White inclusive and diverse model has to be in play. You move away from that and center the conversation on Black instead of Black and gays, Black and feminists or Black and this group and that group you have no place with them.

Well I am Black First and I will remain Black First and when I can’t find truth in professed Christian circles I will find it wherever I can.

~A.O.

Minister Louis Farrakhan vs The Average ‘Christian’ Pastor: A Condemnation of Cowardly Christianity

It Takes More than Religion and Spirituality

According to the data collected back in 2007 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life 87% of African-Americans described themselves as being affiliated with some religious organization or they have some form of spirituality. When someone looks out at the American landscape we see neighborhoods littered with churches, mosques and so forth that house Blacks to engage in whatever religious observances that they adhere to. If we look on the internet and social media we find individuals communicating their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. Yet when we look at the state of Black America things are still the same. We still suffer for the societal ills that plague the Black collective.

old_time_religion

 

There is a place for religion or spirituality but these things in the models that are being transmitted at present does not generally cater to the material aspect of man and woman. Even though these religious and spiritual institutions have the financial means to make a significant difference for instance there are some that found clothing and food pantries but that does not solve the problem because the person will become hungry once again. It is putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. It is just tending to one symptom out of many. It does not offer any authentic solution to the root cause.

As the Pew Research data shows us we have a plethora of religious and spiritual people running around but we still have sickness, crime, violence, hunger, single parent households, abortion and domestic abuse. This is not an indictment on Christianity or Islam but all forms of religious and spiritual entities that does very little to solve the problems that Blacks have encountered throughout their time in North America and abroad. Afro-centric religions and forms of spirituality are just as guilty.

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Now if religion and spirituality was the only chief means of navigating through life then one would think that the people that frequent these places or those that function as evangelists for these systems on social networks and elsewhere would thrive in the manner of the dominant society and other groups yet these things remain. So religion and spirituality is not the only thing necessary.

Economics is the missing factor. Many of the difficulties the Black collective face comes down to choices. They lack them. When people have wealth, power and influence at their disposal a whole other world opens up. Why commit robbery or sell drugs when you can go out and acquire a job that pays you a living wage? It’s nice to talk about the hereafter, morals or history but once the inner man or woman is nourished and the talking is over you have material needs that needs tending to. Words are not going to satiate you hunger pains or the hunger pains of your loved ones. Religion or spirituality may halt some issues but not all.

 

~A.O.

It Takes More than Religion and Spirituality