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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

July 9, 1993

Muslim Journal

Influence on The Afrocentric Idea

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

I think [some] who identify with the Afrocentric idea have been influenced by enemies of Islam. Perhaps they are not aware of it, but how can you talk about focusing on Africa and play down the importance of Islam on that continent? When all the great "empires" that we hear about were Islamic and created by Muslims?

I don't think we can speak of the fall of Africa and blame it on Islam any more than we can speak of the fall of Rome and blame it on Christianity or the fall of any people and blame it on their religion.

Changes come in the world, and some nations go down while some go up. Some of them say that because of Islam we were made slaves, and that is ridiculous. They say the Muslims sold us into slavery and that is ridiculous too.

Were the Muslims such good salesmen that they could sell human beings to White folk? The White folk went over there looking for slaves. There are always some undesirable characters everywhere, and we know that some undesirable characters (among Africans) made money and profits off of slavery.

We know why we were made the slaves. There was a need for us here in the new West, America. They tried to enslave the Indians but that did not work. The Indians died under the burden. So they thought the Africans would be better slaves. The Indians were called servants. They even imported Far East Indians and Asians here for work as indentured servants. They too could not stand up under the burden like the Blacks.

They imported us here and we could take the mosquitoes like we took it in the humid areas of Africa. We could take the humidity here in the hot climates in the West. We were used to working in the heat and being active in the heat. So we were desired for slave labor, and that is why they went over there and got us.

But some of these people who call themselves Afrocentric advocates are trying to say that Islam is the cause of us being made slaves. To me, if this is intentional, then they are the enemies of Islam and they are bad people. But if it is ignorance and they don't know, then we can excuse them.

A religion that lifted the Black man up to where Africa was lifted under Islam, how can it be blamed for tearing him down? I can't understand that. Askia The Great was not only a great political man, but he was also a great social leader, a great civilizer. He was a Muslim and credited Islam for his greatness.

Malcolm X was a man who pointed to Africa and was Afrocentric, I think, but not like this new group that calls themselves Afrocentric. Malcolm would never point to Africa without mentioning the Muslim African greatness there. He was proud to recall the history and life of Askia The Great and others.

So that is the kind of Black man I want to see identified with Africa. That is the kind of Black man I am. If you are an enemy of Islam, then you are an enemy of Islam. And that is your business.