Religion: Conversion of the Muslims

In its heyday in the 1960s, the separatist sect known as the "Black Muslims" appeared to many as a sinister force for racial hostility. Their leader, Elijah Muhammad, preached a weird doctrine that the race of "white devils" had been created from blacks, and that Allah had assumed bodily form in the person of W.D. Fard, a mysterious black itinerant who preached in Detroit until he vanished in 1934. The great annual event was "Savior's Day," the cult's Christmas, which celebrated the advent of Fard.

Savior's Day was observed once again last week, but this time as "Survival Day." The name change,...

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