According to news reports, the Nation of Islam (NOI) and its leaders have been paid at least $364,500 by the federal government since 2008. The money was to fund NOI religious services, spiritual guidance services, study services and other programs, based on Bureau of Prisons records.
The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have both labeled the Nation of Islam a hate group. NOI teaches, for example, that white people are “blue-eyed devils” and Jews are “the synagogue of Satan.” The NOI has refuted those claims.
Demetric Muhammad, a leader in the Nation of Islam Research Group, said the work the organization does with government funding is “a great benefit and blessing to the American Penal System.” He added the primary curriculum for the Nation of Islam Prison Reform Ministry is a guide written by NOI leader Louis Farrakhan entitled Self Improvement: The Basis for Community Development. It promotes the NOI’s philosophy that white people were created over 6,000 years ago by a black scientist named Yakub.
U.S. Representative Peter King, who chairs the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the federal funding of NOI services for prisoners was “beyond the pale.”
“What Farrakhan preaches is hatred and anti-Semitism and racism, and to use any federal money for any group that’s he’s involved with to do any type of teaching or proselytizing is just wrong,” he stated. “Since there have been too many instances of radicalization occurring in prisons, that, to me, is a public concern as to what is being taught.... To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away.”
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