“The Moorish Science Temple of America has received some opposition and criticism. In the main, the opposition has come from certain Christian ministers. They have expressed themselves as being opposed to our propagation of the Mohammedan religion. Possibly because the promotion of the Mohammedan faith among our people in the United States is considered by them in terms as something new. Whatever the reasons may be for their opposition, the legal right to oppose citizens, individuals and organizations alike for their religious belief does not exist in the United States. The door of religion freedom made by the American Constitution swings open to all and people may enter through it and worship, as they desire. Without religious freedom, no search for truth would be possible; without religious freedom, no discovery of truth would be useful; without religious freedom, religious progress would be checked and we would no longer march forward the nobler life which the future holds for the races of men; without religious freedom, there would be no inspiration to lift our heads and gaze with fearlessness into the vast beyond, seeking a hope eternal. It is a sad weakness in us after all, to oppose our fellowmen for their religious beliefs and if there are angels who record the sorrows of men as well as their sins, they certainly know how many and deep are the useless sorrows that spring forth from such opposition. Possibly, love and time will cancel our ancient hatreds in this regard and prove that in mankind tolerance is better than unwarranted opposition.”
~ Prophet Noble Drew Ali
In my opinion, many Asiatics (i.e. Melanized people), within the United States, have not utilized religious freedoms in this country for a number of reasons. These reasons are broken down into two categories. The first category deals with the average Asiatic not being firm in their religious convictions. The second category deals with Asiatics not perceiving themselves as having equal treatment in the court system.
The average person claims to have some type of religious faith. These religious faiths vary from Christian (Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Jehovah Witness, etc.) to Islamic (Sunni, Nation Of Islam, Moorish Science Temple, Shi’ite, Bilalian, etc.) to Judaic (Hebrew Israelite, Moorish Jews, Israeli Church, etc.) to Kemetic, Rastafarian and others. However, most Asiatics do not actively practice or even has full knowledge of all the tenets of his/her faith. Thus, they are a member of the faith in name only and are really secular people.
For example, most Asiatics in America claim to be Christian only because they were born in a place that consists of predominately Christians. Furthermore, the majority of those people pledge allegiance to the church that they “grew up in”. Often they cannot articulate what the true definition of a Christian is, or what the basic tenets of Christianity are. Hence, the word “Christian” is only a title they adopt for the purpose of self-identity and “feeling good”. This is not to speak radical against the Church, but only to illustrate a point about religious affiliations in America.
To most people in this country, religion has been viewed as something personal (e.g. “Jesus is my personal lord and savior!”) and not having any relationship to legal rights. During the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil Rights leaders, for the most part, did not demand that their religious freedoms be protected. This is because they truly believed that there’s such a thing as “separation between church and state”. Yet when one gets married, the clergyman makes the statement, “the powers invested in me, by the state of…”. Furthermore, most Asiatics have continually viewed the court as a place where they can’t get any justice. Many of them will say things like “that’s the White man’s law” or “justice means ‘just us’”. This state of mental slavery is what the Prophet Noble Drew Ali came to free us from.
Now, because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Moorish-Americans can utilize religious freedoms in this country to their advantage. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution concerning religion is separated into two clauses. The first clause is the Establishment Clause (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion ;”). The second clause is the Free Exercise Clause (“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”). There are several Supreme Court decisions that support religious freedoms and can be used as the criteria for implementing religious immunities.
The Supreme Court applies three principles known as the “Lemon test” (named after the 1970 case of Lemon v. Kurtzman). The three principles are 1) no law may prefer one religion over another, 2) no law may prefer religion over non-religion and 3) no law may have a primary effect of promoting religion. A prime example of a case where the “Lemon test” was used is the case of Board of Education v. Mergens (1990) in which the court ruled that public schools may not deny access during after-school hours to student groups based on “religious, political, philosophical or other content”. The Supreme Court decision in United States v. Ballard (1944) dealt with the Free Exercise Clause. In that case, the court ruled that religious teachings cannot be prosecuted for fraud.
The Prophet Noble Drew Ali came to teach Moorish-Americans the truth about their nationality and birthrights. He established a religious corporation in the form of the Moorish Science Temple of America. Because of this, Moors can exercise their nationality and birthrights along with their religious freedoms. Moorish-Americans today can follow the example of what the Prophet did and use that as a blueprint for advancing with their own religious freedoms. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), it states:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice worship and observance.”