Philly’s Black Muslim Converts Turn to Militant Leaders

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Members of the New Black Panther Party demonstrate in Los Angeles (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of the New Black Panther Party demonstrate in Los Angeles. (Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

The following is an exclusive report from inside Philadelphia’s inner city Black Muslim convert community by Clarion’s Shillman Fellow Ran Meir:

Today, African-American Muslim leaders in Philadelphia’s inner city have abandoned Saudi scholars and instead are turning to the older generation of militant Muslim converts as role models, that’s according to sources within the city’s Muslim community.

The politics of the “old guard” — those who were in on the ground floor of the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party and other groups that were part of the civil rights movement (violent and non-violent) – have been reborn and are alive and well in the inner-city black Muslim community.

A central tenet of this old/new philosophy being taught to this new generation of Muslim converts as well as to their children is that the white man is to blame for just about everything (including the government, which is often accused of using the CIA to flood the black community with crack cocaine for population control).

Central on their minds are the Jews, whom they accuse of running the media and receiving not just money after the Holocaust but land and ownership of countries. (This is in contrast to the black community, which has never been given but is due reparations by the white man for the years of slavery.)

The prevalent tenet of this accusation against the Jews is that the Jews run the world and that if you don’t bow to them, they have their puppet (the U.S.) to go to war for them.

If you try to debate these points about the Jews within the Black Muslim inner-city community, you will be accused of siding with the enemy or being a paid agent of the Mossad (the Israeli equivalent of the CIA).

The difference in this mindset between its original incarnation in the 1960s and its current rendition is that its adherents now have Islam to justify it.

Using twisted fatwas (religious rulings) as their defense, a typical conversation among community members about politics will reflect these ways of thinking.

Whereas the inner-city Black Muslim leaders and the non-Muslim militant Black leaders use the same “blame game,” the Muslim leaders are far more militant due to the backup provided by their Islamic “rationale.”

However, of late, as the rhetoric of the inner-city non-Muslim militant Black leaders have become more even more strident, Black Muslim leaders have begun making alliances with them, joining their movements and becoming willing to address Black issues first and Muslim issues second.

The following are examples of Facebook posts from a Black Muslim convert, Akil Fahd, who expresses very typical opinions of the inner-city Black Muslim community. Like many others, Fahd was a big supporter and friend of Imam Luqman Abdullah, a leader of the extremist Black nationalist Muslim group Al-Ummah.

Historically, Al-Ummah preached jihad and war against the U.S. government. However, after Abdullah was killed in 2009 in a shootout with the FBI (in a raid busting a theft ring), the group toned down its statements about jihad in public.

Fahd currently lives in Atlanta but lends his support to the Philadelphia Black Muslim community.

One of the biggest questions in the media regarding the global jihadi world is who will emerge as the new leader. Since this inner-city militant Black Muslim community in Philadelphia doesn’t have its own international “jihad office,” so to speak, they look to foreign Islamists for leaders that share similar hatreds, which naturally means those who hate the U.S. and the Jews.

This community does not support ISIS, which they believe was created by the CIA and they accuse of unIslamic behavior, but there is growing support for a comeback of al-Qaeda.

See the exclusive report by the Clarion Intelligence Network: Support for Al-Qaeda on Rise in US Inner Cities

The name bin Laden gives many in the community goose bumps of love and affection for a man they look up to like a father. Whereas bin Laden’s son Hamza (who is being groomed to take over al-Qaeda), is not known in the community as yet, the community is anticipating a fight and is looking for a new face with new slogans to lead them.

Their now-programmed militant stance indicates they are basically looking for any excuse to commit acts of terror, big or small. Community leaders build on these simmering sentiments, fueling them with violent rhetoric and telling them,  “We are ready,” “We are not scared,” “We are not going to back down,” and “We are Muslim and ready to die.”



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Ran Meir

Ran Meir is Clarion Project's Arab affairs analyst and a Shillman Fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]

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