An historic event transpired on Sunday, December 29, 2013 at the National Black Arts Theater located at 2031 5th Avenue, Harlem, New York. A powerful joint lecture series titled, “The Sun Rises In The West: Defending Our Asiatic/Black American Islam,” was given by authors from Ali’s Men (members of the Moorish Science Temple of America) and the Allah Team, (members of the Nation of Islam and Nation of Gods and Earths). This atom-smashing occasion brought to New York the idea of “collaborative scholarship” rather than the bloodthirsty debate culture that Harlem has grown accustomed to seeing.
Bro. Sharif A. Bey, representing Ali’s Men, gave a presentation titled, “True Islam: Jewel of Secret Societies.” Utilizing Noble Drew Ali’s reputed quote, “ I took the cover off all the secret orders,” he demonstrated in depth the pervading principles taught in secret societies. Those principles were compared and contrasted with the teachings of Prophet Noble Drew Ali found in the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America. He found that these said principles were harmonious and that Moorish American Moslems are indeed taught from the “Authentic Tradition.” Bro. Bey calculated by the evidence that this tradition was ancient, and made the assessment that it was an inconsistency that Moorish Americans, who are being taught the same teachings as those who “rule the world” (from a finite point of view) yet are not a force themselves in the affairs of men. Bro. Bey concluded that practical application of what is being taught is what separated the two groups.
Bro. Dr. Wesley Muhammad represented Allah’s Team. His presentation was titled, “Islam: The Religion Of The Black God.” First, he admonished the New York conscious community of their lack of scholarly protocol. He then detailed the proper criterion for scholarly discourse inclusive of penning works with proper sources, footnotes and references. Bro. Muhammad also reminded the community that scholars always show respect for each other even in their disagreements. The presentation demonstrated that Mother Nature includes Arabia as part of Africa evidenced by the remarkably similar topography, i.e. plant and animal life. Bro. Muhammad informed all in attendance that the original Arabians were “black” and were branches of the same root as the ancient Egyptians. He concluded that Prophet Muhammad was a “black Arabian” and the Allah he worshipped was a “black man.” He displayed slides that showed the dark olive skin tones of these “Arabian Semites.”
Bro. Sharif A. Bey and Bro. Dr. Wesley Muhammad both explored different paths of research and sciences yet both concluded that the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple of America and the Nation of Islam are modern renditions of the original faith of Prophet Muhammad, and not the later adaptations of Islam rooted in the customs of particular nations that entered the Ummah. This fact warranted the thought, “The sun rises in the west.” These lectures were offered in defense of Asiatic American Islam in retaliation to criticism and accusations proceeding from the larger Islamic community, African American “orthodox” Muslims and the conscious “Black” American community. The two scholars came together on their commonalities and agreed that the two organizations often are saying the same things using different words and phrases and the apparent differences are rooted in scientific perspective, e.g. “black” by Bey from an alchemical perspective and by Muhammad from an etymological perspective and as a simple adjective. There was a sense of universal brotherhood and sisterhood that is the ultimate intention of Islam that pervaded the whole event. The Moors and Muslims shared security duties. The audience, inclusive of members of both organizations, was very attentive and engaged the presenters in a lively and informative question and answer session. Bro. Lasana Tunica El moderated this historic event.