The Healing of the Split in the 

African-American Muslim Community

During the annual Saviours Day Celebration of the Nation of Islam (NOI) from February 24 - 27, 2000, Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam reconciled with Imam W. Deen Mohammed and the Muslim American Society, and in so doing Minister Farrakhan moved the Nation of Islam closer to the rest of the Muslim world.

Although Minister Farrakhan had taken a major step in this direction three years earlier during the "Islam in the New Century" conference that he convened in Chicago from July 3-6, 1997, he made statements during the Saviours Day Celebration (statements referred to in the newspaper stories below) that clearly indicated his embrace of Sunni Islamic beliefs and practice.

-----On February 28th, 2000, the Chicago  Sun-Times reported that the more than  20-year split within the African-American  Muslim community has been repaired. W.  Deen Mohammed and long-time rival Nation  of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan have  publicly unified. Farrakhan and Mohammed  declared the unity this past weekend at the  four-day International Islamic Conference in  Chicago sponsored by the Nation of Islam.  Farrakhan stated: "We will be together as a  family...And I say to all the children and  grandchildren of Mohammed, come back to  Islam." W. Deen Mohammed stated: "Let me  say that this truly is a sign that God has  always been with the sincere ones, those  who kept faith." Farrakhan has embraced a  return to the traditional Sunni Islamic faith  and has tried to distance himself from his  earlier anti-Semitic and anti-white views…. (February 28, 2000, Chicago Sun-Times, NWS, p. 8)  

-----On February 26th, 2000, The Washington  Post reported on the announced unity  between Muslim American Society leader  Wallace Deen Mohammed, son of Nation of  Islam founder Elijah Mohammed, and Nation  of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan at the 2nd  annual Saviours' Day conference sponsored  by the Nation of Islam. Appearing in public  together for the first time 25 years,  Mohammed spoke to the crowd at Friday's  prayer services: "Dear Muslim brothers and  sisters, it's not difficult for Minister  Farrakhan and Wallace Deen Mohammed to  embrace each other...for this is too big a  cause for personal differences." Farrakhan  stated: "Twenty-Five years later, I know  your father wanted this...From this day  forward, the Imam Mohammed and I, no  matter what our little problems are, will work  them out for the glory of Allah." Farrakhan  openly declared, "we bear witness that there  is no prophet after the prophet Mohammed,"  which is a change from the Nation of Islam  doctrine that held W.D. Fard, Elijah  Mohammed's teacher, as God incarnate and  Elijah Mohammed as the final prophet to  mankind. Sayyid Syeed, secretary-general of  the 4-million member Islamic Society of  North America, appeared with Farrakhan for  the first time ever, in a sign that mainstream  Muslims are moving closer to embracing the  Nation of Islam. Syeed has stressed that the  Nation of Islam should commit to becoming  part of an Islamic alliance in the United  States with other mainstream Muslim  organizations. Both Mohammed and Syeed  have said that the reconciliation would not  mean unifying the three competing Muslim  groups, but would be oriented more toward  doctrinal harmony and group cooperation.  (February 26, 2000, The Washington Post,  p. A2) 
              
These stories were among the news items archived from the week of February 20-29 at the Pluralism Project of Harvard University, 

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