Is Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan trying to merge his brand of Muslim theology with Scientology? Here is an article by the Assistant Editor of The Blaze, Billy Hallowell:
Farrakhan recently made a long, bizarre commentary about the “fall of the United States.” In that same sermon, which spanned well over two hours in length, the fiery faith leader also issued praise for the Church of Scientology — yet another endorsement and public proclamation surrounding a relationship that the Nation of Islam has apparently been courting for years.
Considering the increased media coverage of Scientology amid Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce, Farrakhan’s comments are particularly timely. Additionally, they create a plethora of questions, especially considering the allegedly racist past of Scientology’s founder Lafayette Ron Hubbard, NOI’s ethnocentric theology and the controversial elements inherent in both belief systems.
Last week, CNN recently broke down the central tenets of Scientology and explained its appeal to celebrities:
A brief look at the equally controversial ideals that NOI embraces is warranted as well. Founded in Detroit, Michigan, in the 1930s by Wali Farad (Wallace Fard Muhammad), the relatively new religion embraces the Koran and preaches that whites are “devils” who were created by a black scientist named Yacub who lived 6,000 years ago (presumably the biblical “Jacob”). Farad eventually disappeared — a mystery that has yet to be solved to this day.
Beliefnet has more about what happened next in terms of NOI’s complex growth and development:
Fard passed the torch to Elijah Muhammad, who formulated NOI’s most controversial tenets, including that he [Elijah Muhammad] was Allah’s prophet and that Caucasians were racially inferior. After the death of Elijah Muhammad, his son Warith Deen Muhammad steered the movement away from its previous beliefs to mainstream Islam. Another branch, under Louis Farrakhan, split off and retained the Nation of Islam’s more controversial creed.
It is this splinter group, led by Farrakhan, that is forging a connection with Scientology. An in-depth look at the history of the relationship, especially considering the controversial ideals accepted by adherents, is certainly warranted. According to media accounts, it was only a few years ago that Farrakhan first began promoting Scientology, the religion founded by Hubbard, a science fiction writer who died in 1986 (some sources, though, claim that the relationship’s roots were set in the late 1990s).
Regardless of when the connection took form, the public connection between the two parties didn’t solidify, the Tampa Bay Times notes, until after Scientologists honored Farrakhan at the 2006 Ebony Awakening Awards. The annual ceremony provides accolades to African Americans and is run by Ebony Awakening, a group that was founded in 1982 by jazz performer Amanda Ambrose (Ebony Awakening also has ties to the Church of Scientology’s founder and admits as much in its materials).