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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Moorish Science Temple of America follows CAIR's lead and tries to distance themselves from Miami terror plotters

Moorish Science Temple of America follows CAIR's lead and tries to distance themselves from Miami terror plotters

June 30, 2006

MIM: Post Islamist Stress Syndrome:

The Moorish Science Temple of America and CAIR doth protest too much.CAIR's claim that the plotter had have nothing to do with Muslims. Now the MST of A which has been the stepping stone for terrorists - such as former member Clement Rodney Hampton El, aka Dr.Rashid, who was jailed in the thwarted "Day of terror plot ",ex Jihad fighter, and an associate of Sheik Abdul Omar Rahman,claims the terrorists who said they were part of the have nothing to do with them.

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Religious group denies link to alleged terrorist plotters
By Angela Rozas and Margaret Ramirez, Tribune staff reporters:

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report June 28, 2006 Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0606280134jun28,1,3751614.stor

The seven men charged with plotting to blow up the Sears Tower were not members of the Moorish Science Temple of America Inc., leaders of two of the movement's temples said Tuesday. Family members of one of the seven alleged plotters, Stanley Grant Phanor, said Friday that he had been studying the religious movement with the other men in a Miami warehouse. But leaders of the movement sought this week to distance themselves from the men, saying none was a member and the organization doesn't condone terrorist acts. Authorities have said the men were planning an "Islamic jihad" and pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda but never got beyond the planning stages. "If anybody is involved in any terrorism, anything that is against our purpose, if they say they're with us, they're not," said Sister Susan Russell Dunbar-Bey, press secretary of the Moorish Science Temple of America Inc. in Hyattsville, Md.

A second temple in Chicago, which Dunbar-Bey said is not directly affiliated with her organization's grand body, also disavowed the group. "America should know and understand that [alleged plotter] Narseal Batiste and his co-defendants are not members of the Moorish Science Temple of America and have never been considered such," Sheik Clifford Jackson-Bey of the Subordinate Temple Number One in Chicago said in a written statement. Jackson-Bey is not related to Dunbar-Bey. Followers of the movement often take surnames such as "Bey" or "El" to signify Moorish heritage.

Muslim-American leaders denounced the seven men immediately after their arrest and asked the media to not call them Muslims. The Moorish Science Temple of America was founded in 1913 in Newark, N.J., by Timothy Drew, who took the religious name "Prophet Noble Drew Ali." The movement eventually developed a strong base in Chicago, where Ali incorporated the movement in 1928. After Ali's death, the organization underwent a number of splits. Those divisions continue today, with some parts taking the name Moorish Science Temple of America Inc., although they may not be affiliated with the original body.

According to the Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, the Moorish Science Temple helped form the foundation of early Black Muslim ideology. The Moorish Science Temple acknowledges the Muslim prophet Muhammad but also the spiritual authority of Buddha, Confucius and Jesus, whom they believe was black. Followers study prayers and religious instructions from a book called the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, which bears no relation to the Koran of traditional Islam. Dunbar-Bey said members live by many tenets of Islam--including belief in Allah, love, truth, freedom and justice--and call themselves Moslems.

The movement also focuses on self-improvement and freedom of thought, she said. Phanor made his first appearance in Miami federal court Tuesday. He was arrested last week on a probation violation and transferred to federal custody, the U.S. attorney's office said. He is scheduled to return to federal court Friday, along with five co-defendants, for a hearing on whether the men should be detained until trial or released on bond.

arozas@tribune.com maramirez@tribune.com

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