Editor of NOI’s Final Call discusses black liberation, Islamophobia and defends group against accusations of racism
Hatred of Muslims in the United States is nothing new, said the editor in chief of the Nation of Islam’s newspaper, the Final Call.
While Islamophobia came to the surface after the 9/11 attacks and saw a resurgence under President Donald Trump, Richard B Muhammad said the Nation of Islam has witnessed it throughout its 87-year history.
Followers of NOI were gathered for a four-day conference from 16-19 February in Detroit, the cradle of the organisation that advocates for black liberation under the banner of Islam.
The African American nationalist group and its leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, have faced allegations of anti-Semitism, racism and homophobia. The Southern Poverty law Center says NOI has a “prominent position in the ranks of organized hate”.
A fire started at a central Florida mosque early Friday morning was arson, local officials have confirmed. One of the side doors of the Islamic Society of New Tampa was found with bullet holes, with a rope pushed through to start the fire, according to a regular visitor who arrived at the mosque after hearing there was a fire.
Hillsborough Country Fire Rescue later confirmed that the incident had been ruled as arson.
Arshadd Malik, who described the scene, said he was pretty shaken up to have such an incident happen at a place of prayer.
“I am so upset about it,” he told CBS8. “This is a place of worship to God. You are trying to burn down a place of worship? Is this the tolerance that we have?”
“We are here to practice just whatever we want. Right? So you cannot hate people like that. Hating me? Hating God? Is this what the USA is? Is this what our constitution tells you?”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals or persons responsible for the fire. The Florida chapter of the civil rights group said that the incident was a “heinous act of terror.”