Despite recent media speculation about whether the Nation of Islam's (NOI) historically bigoted message is becoming more moderate, its longstanding anti-Semitic and racist message continues to be bolstered by Ashahed Maliki Muhammad, online correspondent for the NOI's publication, The Final Call.
Muhammad's anti-Semitic book, The Synagogue of Satan, is heavily promoted at the NOI's annual Saviours' Day convention and through The Final Call, which sells multimedia versions of the book and his speaking engagements.
Muhammad, formerly the national coordinator of the NOI Student Association, also served as publicity director for the NOI's Million Youth Movement event, held in Atlanta in 1998 to mobilize African-American youth.
Muhammad's public role in the NOI, in conjunction with his record of bigoted writings and speaking engagements, suggests that Farrakhan's legacy of hatred and anti-Semitism will remain entrenched in the NOI in his eventual absence.
The Synagogue of Satan
Ashahed Muhammad's most noteworthy contribution to the NOI is his book The Synagogue of Satan. The theme of the book derives from speeches by Louis Farrakhan in which he claimed that Jewish organizations control the Federal Reserve and called Jewish members of the Bush Administration a "synagogue of Satan."
The Synagogue of Satan was published in October 2005 by the Truth Establishment Institute (TEI), an NOI-linked Web site featuring a variety of anti-Semitic resources. TEI promotes "research materials," including books, articles and interviews with anti-Semites, and provides links to several biased media sources, which it calls "truth outlets."
The book's overarching theme is that unknown to most, the world is being manipulated and corrupted by Satanic powers led by Jewish elites. In exposing these powers, the book trades heavily in Jewish conspiracy theories and Holocaust denial. It alleges that these Satanic powers are influenced and guided by the theology of Judaism, and by an inherent Jewish predilection for immorality.
The NOI has heavily promoted the book since mid-October 2005, just after the 10th Anniversary Million Man March. Muhammad and the book were featured at the "Writer's Row" area of NOI's 2006 and 2007 Saviours' Day conventions, where he was available for autographs and photo opportunities. The Synagogue of Satan is also prominently displayed on The Final Call Web site, and an interview with Muhammad about the book was published by The Final Call in October 2005.
Malik Zulu Shabazz, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, wrote the foreword to the book. In it, Shabazz defended anti-Semites like Khalid Muhammad and alleged that Israel uses "the name of Yahweh and Jehovah to further a political and colonial agenda that is in fact manifestly Satanic."
In 2006, The Final Call released a TEI-produced DVD called A Conversation with Ashahed M. Muhammad, in which Rahsaan Muhammad, student minister of the Muhammad Study Group of Portland, interviewed Ashahed Muhammad about the book.
In the interview, Muhammad alleged that Jews have hidden their role in transatlantic slave trade but should be made to atone. While Jews were in a "time of tribulation" during Jesus' time, he said, it is blacks who are victims now. Later, he alleged that Jewish leaders try to "take down" and slander African-American leaders saying "we are not as powerful in spreading truth as they have been in spreading falsehood." Muhammad called the 1948 creation of the State of Israel a "great manipulation and a tragedy," and said Zionism is a political ideology, not a religious one, for the U.S. to rule by proxy.
In a 2006 lecture at NOI's Indianapolis Muhammad Mosque #74, also available for purchase through The Final Call, Muhammad stated that neoconservatives in the government are trying to kill the African-American people. Similarly, he alleged that Jews want to prevent the "truth" from getting to African-Americans and, in turn, to wipe them off the planet.
The significant extent of the NOI's involvement in the work's development is apparent from the book's acknowledgments. Ashahed Muhammad thanked NOI Minister Jabril Muhammad and the Historical Research Department of the NOI for their encouragement and editorial assistance.
Muhammad's second book, The Black Principle, which TEI describes as "providing a Third Position ideological framework for the Black Nation," is reportedly forthcoming.