who convert do so while incarcerated, the NOI has made efforts to be as active as possible in prison systems throughout the United States. (Pl. Ex. 55 at 77-78, 106-10; Tr. 849.) During the trial of the instant action, at least three witnesses -- Imam Umar, Minister 9X and Antonio McCloud -- testified about the NOI's activities in the prisons in the United States. (Tr. 503, 805, 808-09, 811, 816, 848-50, 874-76, 882-83.)
While members of the NOI have some distinctive beliefs and practices not shared by other Muslim groups, followers of the NOI and orthodox Muslims
share some common beliefs. For example, all Muslims, including members of the NOI, believe that Islam is based on the "five pillars", i.e., shahada (declaration of the faith), salat (prayer), zakat (charity), sawam (fasting), and hajj, (pilgrimage to Mecca). (Tr. 93-94, 553-54.) Muslims throughout the world, including members of the NOI, affirm their faith in the shahada -- "there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the seal of the prophets" -- and all Muslims believe Muhammad is the last "prophet." (Tr. 22, 33, 553-54.)
Unlike orthodox Muslims, NOI members believe that Allah came to the United States in 1930 in the person of Fard. (Tr. 32-33, 527, 688-89; Pl. Ex. 1 at 27-28, 145-46, Pl. Ex. 6 at 14.) They also believe that Fard is the great Mahdi, who is, according to Islamic tradition, the greatest teacher who comes at the end of time. (Tr. 32, 34, 52-53.) Also, unlike orthodox Muslims, NOI members believe that Elijah Muhammad is the "messenger of God." (Tr. 33, 53.) NOI followers do not recognize "imams" as religious leaders; NOI clergymen are referred to as "ministers." (Tr. 151-52, 887.) Members of the NOI do not believe in life after death. (Pl. Ex. 1 at 31-32; Pl. Ex. 6 at 14.)
NOI followers also have a distinctive creation story. They believe that trillions of years ago, a great explosion separated the earth and the moon. Once the earth cooled, there was Allah, who was black, and a world populated only by black people. However, the devil, "Yakub," along with twenty-four mad scientists, conducted a series of genetic experiments on the Island of Patmos. Over time, they produced non-black genes from which the different races resulted -- brown, red, yellow and white -- each progressively less pure and less black. (Tr. 39-40; Pl. Ex. 1 at 28, Pl. Ex. 55 at 71-73.) Professor Lincoln has called this belief "the central myth of the Black Muslim movement." (Pl. Ex. 55 at 72.) Followers of the NOI believe that all blacks are divine and thus have a special relationship with Allah; they believe whites are ungodly and devils by nature. (Tr. 556; Pl. Ex. 55 at 63, 69-72, 104.) Followers of the NOI also believe that black people in America are part of the "lost and found nation." (Pl. Ex. 1 at 28; Pl. Ex. 55 at 71.)
Like all Muslims, members of the NOI follow the Holy Quran. (Tr. 23-24, 554; Pl. Ex. 55 at 118.) However, according to Professor Lincoln, the writings that are "critical" to NOI believers are those of their leaders, i.e., Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan. (Tr. 24, 76-77, 92.) The Final Call newspaper, the book Message to the Black Man in America by Elijah Muhammad and various study guides and lessons are among the publications read by followers of the NOI. (Tr. 77-78, 228-30, Pl. Ex. 55 at 124-29, 269.)
NOI members, like other Muslims, observe Ramadan. (Tr. 563-64.) NOI members also celebrate several holidays not observed by other Muslim sects. Among them are Savior's Day on February 26 (to honor Fard), Founder's Day on October 7 (to honor Elijah Muhammad) and a daylight fast similar to Ramadan during the month of December. (Tr. 33-35.) The December Fast was instituted in opposition to the Christmas holiday and to focus the attention of followers away from what Elijah Muhammad believed to be the temptations during December of irreligious excesses -- in particular, Santa Claus, commercialization of the holiday and celebratory overeating. (Tr. 35-36.)
Followers of the NOI typically attend congregational meetings, including a religious service that is commonly held on Sundays; in addition, NOI temples hold frequent meetings, and NOI members are required to attend two or more meetings a week. (Tr. 57-58, 291, 850-51; Pl. Ex. 55 at 18.) NOI services typically begin with a Muslim prayer, the introduction of some Arabic phrases and a short lecture by a minister-in-training. (Tr. 60-63.) The "main event" of an NOI service is the ceremony by the minister, which is basically a lecture on a theme such as the accomplishments and heritage of black people or black economic security. (Tr. 65-66.) The texts relied upon are often historical or anthropological. (Tr. 65-66; Pl. Ex. 55 at 113-14.) Professor Lincoln testified that the lectures are designed to foster self-esteem, empowerment and the members' reflection on their black identity. (Tr. 66.) At the end of the service, there is an opportunity for members of the audience to come forward and join the movement. (Tr. 68-69.)
Followers of the NOI follow a variety of restrictions in their day-to-day lives. For example, they are not to eat pork or cornbread, gamble, smoke, drink liquor, use drugs, overeat or buy on credit. They are taught to be clean-shaven and do not wear beards or moustaches. (Tr. 36, 150-51; Pl. Ex. 55 at 18, 76-77.) They are supposed to pray five times a day facing east. (Tr. 151.) They believe premarital and extramarital sex is immoral. (Tr. 36; Pl. Ex. 55 at 76.)
The evidence offered at trial concerning whether the NOI should be considered a "Muslim" religion and by whom it is so considered was varied. For example, certain of Professor Lincoln's writings suggest the NOI is a sect of Islam:
The Muslim dream is to have a solid Black Muslim community in the United States, recognized and supported by Moslems throughout the world as an accepted part of Islam. This is not sheer expediency: from the earliest days of the movement, the Black Muslims have considered themselves devout adherents of the Moslem faith. They recognize Allah as the one true God (though they see Him not as a unique deity but as the Supreme Black Man among Black Men, all of whom are divine). They base their services on both the Quran and the Bible, and they are learning Arabic so as to be able to rely entirely on the original Quran. They observe the classic Moslem prayer ritual and dietary laws, and they hold in high esteem the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca.
(Pl. Ex. 55 at 220.) On the other hand, Professor Lincoln also has written that:
On certain fundamental points of doctrine, however, the Black Muslims have departed widely from the orthodox Muslim tradition. Partly for this reason, and partly from an instinctive militancy toward newcomers, the official representatives of orthodox Islam in the United States have refused any recognition of the Black Muslims.