“Most Noble Drew Ali Is Laid To Rest” at the Pythian Temple on State Street. “The eastern burial ritual was led by Kirkman Bey. Whatever he was saying in connection with this ceremony was as foreign to the audience as Caesar to a fourth-grade pupile, at least to that part of the audience not affiliated with the cult.” An “adept,” Aaron Payne (who had been present at Drew’s deathbed) was “said to be a candidate to succeed Noble Drew Ali…One elderly woman whispered to a friend, ‘The “prophet” was not ill, his work was done and he laid his head upon the lap of his followers and passed out’… Another remarked that the ‘prophet’s spirit will come back and enter the body of one of the governors.'” (This belief is called “reincarnation in Moorish Science, and as we shall see, the speaker’s prediction came true, at least for some Moors.)
Date of death, July 20, 1929. He was buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.
Or was he? An oral tradition claims that no grave site is known, and that Drew Ali was made to “disappear” by the police in collusion with the FBI – who knows? – perhaps to return again some day like the Hidden Imam of the Shi’ites, or like King Arthur.
Like the Prophet Muhammad, Noble Drew Ali apparently named no successor on his deathbed; and as with Islam after Muhammad’s death, the Moorish movement split into warring factions. Two months after Muhammad’s death, violence broke out again. In late September 1929, police fought an out-and-out battle with the Moors. Two policemen diead, one was severely wounded, and one Moor died as well.
The Defender reported: “State’s Attorney John A. Swanson announced his plans for a speedy arrest and prosecution of Ira Johnson, 50, the slayer of policeman William Gallagher, and other cult leaders who are responsible for the riot Wednesday at 4137 South Parkway. Every effort will be made to have the state of Illinois revoke the license of the Moorish Science Temple of America.
“Numerous death threats have been sent to leading officials of the cult and a police guard has been stationed at the home of Attorney Aaron Payne,… supreme business manager of the cult, following an attempt on his life by four gunmen Monday night.
“For two days Chicago has been an armed camp. More than a thousand police and members of the National Guardhave been assigned to special duty. They are patrolling the vicinity of 4137 South Parkway, where Wednesday morning at 11 o’clock a clan of Moorish Science Temple of America shot it out with two police squads and left a trail of dead and wounded ‘Moors’ and officers in their wake.
“The excitement following upon this outbreak was the greatest Chicago has seen since the bloody riots of 1919. From Wednesday morning to Friday more than 500,000 persons are said to have visited the scene of the outbreak…
“A mysterious, daring daylight kidnapping precipitated the battle.
“Shortly after 9 o’clock Wednesday morning four men, with pistols drawn, forced their way into the home of Charles Kirkman Bey,…grand legal advisor of the Moorish Temple, and ordered him to stop eating his breakfast and come with them. ‘We have orders to bring you back, dead or alive,’ they said. When Kirkman’s wife objected to her husband’s being taken away the gunmen threatened her life.
“Seizing Kirkman, they dragged him out to a waiting taxicab. The four kidnappers and their prisoner then sped away, west on Elm St., at high speed.”
Mrs. Kirkamn called the police, and went with them to Moorish Headquarters on Indiana Avenue. The police persuaded a Moor found there to lead them to a branch headquarters of the “cult” where he believed the kidnappers were hiding. There they pounded on the door and demanded entry.
The Defender’s report went on: “The door opened a trifle, then was closed quickly. On the inside word was flashed that the ‘law’ was on the outside.
“Seargent O’Toole, unable to get into the Temple headquarters went around to the back door. In the meantime, Officer McCutcheon had gone to the rear entrance and knocked down a screen from the window and crawled into the apartment. Immediately the shooting started, and before McCutcheon could warn Officer Hultz the latter had followed his partner inside.
“Officer Kieback, who appeared on the scene with a sawed-off shotgun, narrowly escaped death when one of the bullets from the rifle of a Moor clipped a bit of skin from his left ear. He dropped to the porch to save himself.
“Although shot in the abdomen, McCutcheon managed to open the kitchen door while his partner Hultz lay wounded on the floor. He pulled Hutz out of the house and it was then that Sergeant O’Toole and Frank Reynolds rounded the end of the house to enter the fight.
“More than a hundred shots were fired in the battle and a dozen or more tear gas bombs were hurled through the window of the temple.
“As Sergeant O’Toole neared the house where his comrade had fallen in battle, he saw Kirkman Bey come near him with both hands in the air. In his right hand he held a pencil and paper. “‘Don’t shoot! I am the man you’re looking for. Please save me,’ Kirkman yelled. Then Sgt. O’Toole ordered him to continue walking with his hands in the air until he had reached Officer Kiebeck, who took him into custody.
“By this time the twenty-five or more persons, consisting of men, women, and children who had been in the temple, fled from it and sought refuge in a vacant flat across the court…
“On the second floor landing Kiebeck found Gallagher’s revolver and beside it was the gun of Ira Johnson,…confessed slayer of Gallagher. On the third floor in the vacant flat was Johnson and his partner, J. Stevenson Bey.
“Johnson surrendered without a struggle, while Stevenson was killed by Sgt. Reynolds in a gun battle.” Reynolds and another cop burst into the room “Where the women and children were in hiding. Stevenson attempted to shoot Officer Catron, but Reynolds shot first and Stevenson fell dead with bullets through his head and heart.”
As more police closed in, the informant who had led them to the “hide-out,” Moe Jackson, was shot in the shoulder – perhaps by his own seventeen-year-old son Francis, who was apprehended with a revolver in each hand.
Gallagher and Hultz both died in the hospital of their wounds. Sixty-two “cult” members were rounded up and questioned, including Aaron Payne and E. Mealy El, called the “grand sheik and successor to the late Prophet Noble Drew Ali.” Protest meetings held during the next few days were broken up. Prospective jury members were given a tour of the “battlefield.”
Kirkman Bey “alleges that he recieved his education in Asia, India, and at Howard University. He was unable to give proof of his attendance at Howard…
“Ira Johnson Bey, who…confessed that he had killed Gallagher, refused to testify on the stand. ‘I’ll do my talking at the right time,'” Johnson said.
The Coroner’s Jury learned that Johnson was also suspected of killing Claude Green the previous March. “Johnson, it is said, aspired to become supreme legal advisor, the next highest office to Grand Sheik. That office was held by Kirkman, who had been chosen by the council of governors last week at the annual convention. Johnson admitted that he was very much disappointed when Grand Sheik E. Mealy El did not name him adviser instead of Kirkman. He confessed that he had intended seizing Kirkman’s certificate, which had the signatures of the twenty-one governors of the various temples.
“In order to accomplish his purpose he sent our four henchman and ordered them to bring back Kirkman dead or alive, and by all means get the certificate.”
The Coroner’s Jury, consisting of upright citizens (including a banker, a boxing commissioner, and a lawyer for the Defender itself), urged prosecution of Ira Johnson, Edward Mealy El, and the beys Eugene and Moses and Compton Jackson.
“According to testimony of witnesses, Kirkman and Aaron Payne possessed valuable papers which they refused to surrender. The papers Kirkman held were believed to be the last will and testament of the late Timothy Drew…
“The prophet’s successor was named in the testament, it was believed, and Johnson wanted to get the document…” (It shoulde be noted that no such documents ever subsequently came to light.)
“A practice, strictly anarchistic, is observed by the cultists, it was revealed when Moses Jackson testified that the officers of the order could designate any person to perform a certain duty. The penalty was death if the task was not carried out.
“In telling of the kidnapping, Moses stated that Ira Johnson called him, his father, Stevenson (the dead member), and a fourth man who is not apprehended, and gave him instructions. ‘Brother Kirkman must be brought in,’ he is alleged to have said. ‘I want you “sheiks” to go after him, and you had better arm yourselves, so in case he refuses to come voluntarily you can use force.’
“Jackson said Johnson reminded them that unless they brought in Kirkman their lives would be in danger. He remembered the cult’s creed and the four set out upon what tured out to be the bloodiest mission since [the St Valentine's Day Massacre].
“Ira Johnson was rather philisophical while the jury was out deliberating. He talked freely to police officers and newspaper men. Life, he believed, ended at death – that is, so far as the body is concerned. He likened the real man, or ‘spirit man,’ to the wind. The ‘spirit man,’ he assered, never dies. The cultist also repeated his analysis of the parts of a pistol for the benefit of reporters. The service performed by one particular part of a revolver was stressed. The hammer, he said, is used to drive home the turth.”
Johnson refused to testify, “and took the report of the jury without any visible stir.”
The murder trial began, with Johnson expected to plead insanity. But, the Defender proclaimed in banner headlines, “MOORS’ TRIAL ‘BLOWS UP': SICK JUROR AND ALLAH THE CAUSE.” Oddly, the story began with a poem:
“With upraised hands, three fingers down,
The seven symbolic of their creed:
Five Thousand Moors, thanked their God,
Crying Love, Turth, Peace, Freedom and Justice.”
“‘Allah has heard our prayers,’ murmured a smal group composed of members of the Moorish Science Temple of America Tuesday when Judge Harry B. Miller withdrew Juror William N. Rondquist and declared a mistrial just when the case of Ira JOhnson and his father, Eugene…was ready to be given to the jury.”
Ira had not only withdrawn his confession, he had also given testimony that “tended to show” that his father, who had been wounded by Gallagher, had also in fact killed him. “The good Moors, knowing little about the Illinois system of jurisprudence, or of any system for that matter, had no knowledge of what could happen to prevent the Jury from getting the case…Meanwhile the good Moslems prayed. They implored the intervention of Mohammed; they invoked the blessings of Allah; they called upon the spirit of Noble Drew Ali.” Their prayers appeared to be answered when Juror Rondquist fell ill, and a mistrial was declared. According to the eloquent bu sarcastic Defender reporter, “It was admittedly one of the most difficult cases involving member of our Race in the history of crime in Cook country. The fact that the defendants had killed two white policeman made the situtaion unfavorable to begin with, regardless of the defense, but when it was learned that they were members of a society of fanatics who had, within less than three months, been charged with the brutal murder of a fellow member of the cult, efforts to convict them were doubled.”
Some testimony had been given tending to suggest that “the kidnapping story” (the kidnapping of Kirkman Bey) “was manufactured. Police, it was pointed out, had been requently visiting headquarters of the Moors on secret missions. Just why they were repulsed on September 25 could not be learned.”
Attorney Harold M. Tyler, chief counsel for the defense, filed a motion “charging double jeopardy to his clients if they are retired,” and asked that the case be dismiessed – which led at least one Moor to declare that Tyler was being guided by the spirit of Noble Drew. However, another trial of Johnson and the Jackson was scheduled a month later.
It began dramatically with the new judge, Walter P. Steffens, sustaining Tyler’s objection to the State’s motion “that every person who enters the courtroom be searched” or “frisked.” Tyler apparently intended a defense based partly on insanity and partly on self-defense. Our reporer continued his slighting remarks about the Moor’s piety, ignorance, and trust in Allah.
E. Mealy El, whose case had been “severed” from that of the Jacksons and Kirkman Bey, now testified against Johnson and the Jacksons, but declared that the “kidnapping committee” was unarmed, and that the policemen who were shot had never said they were policemen (presumably they were in plain clothes).
“The state was determined to get a death penalty for Johnson [if not for the Jacksons]. It pictured him as a cold, heartless, ambitious individual who, to attain personal glory, had instigated and engineered the plot” which led to violence and death. However, as the case dragged on (with Tyler cross-examining everyone at great length), both court and jury began to fear they would not be him for Easter!, and it was suggested that the defendants be thrown on the mercy of the court so as to wrap things up as quickly as possible. Tyler refused to do this unless the judge promised not to hand out any death penalties. A psychiatrist testified to Johnson’s mental imbalance, and after some tense moments of deliberation the judge agreed to reduce the charges from murder to manslaughter. Moses Jackson (who reportedly intended to admit that the “kidnapping committee” had indeed been armed when it called upon Kirkman Bey) was not permitted to testify.
Under these conditiones Tyler agreed to a guilty please, and the judge handed down a life sentence to Johnson, and one to fourteen years each for the Jacksons. The Defender rightly called this “a signal and sweeping victory for the defense.”
In summing up the case, our reporter recounted the history of events as he understood them. “Until summer of 1928 very little attention was paid to [the Moors]. It was in that year that the society held a convention at the Unity clubhouse, 3140 Indiana Avenue. The brilliant colors of the costumes and proud walking sheiks and shebas made gossip for the South side for several weeks.
“In March last year following a break between Claude D. Greene, grand supreme business manager, and the prophet, Greene was murdered in his office at the Unity clubhouse. From the position of his body when found it is believed that he was killed while on his knees begging for his life Ira Johnson was said to have killed him, but no action was ever taken against him.
“In July the prophet died. There were reports that he was poisoned…There were reports that he was poisoned.
“Edward Mealy, Kirkman and Ira Johnson began angling for the leadership. Of the trio Johnson was the least learned. Mealy, a former railroad porter, has a fair education. Kirkman, who was called ‘the interpreter,’ was one of the prophet’s right hand men.
“Early last September another convention was held. Ira Johnson did not attend any of the sessions. Mealy presided at all the meetings, being a member of the grand council and a noble grand sheik. Kirkman also took part. It was at the convention that Kirkman is alleged to have come into possession of those ‘papers.’
“Johnson is said to have criticized Mealy and Kirkman for the manner in which the convention was conducted and attributed its failure to the fact that there was no leader.
“For a few days everything was quiet, then on Sept. 23 four members of the cult waited on Attorney Aaron A. Payne; they went to jail; four waited on Mayor Thompson [of Chicago]: they were gotten rid of diplomatically. On the 24th four other men waited on Mealy; Mealy followed them to Johnson’s house. And the next morning, the fatal 25th, four men waited on Kirkman and the story has been told.”
Thus, all was clear for the Defender – but the history of the Moorish Science Temple (and its various branches and offshoots) after the death of Noble Drew is still – for me, anyway – tangled and hard to trace. Leaving aside all confusion surrounding the death of Calude Greene and subsequent events, which the trial rather deepened than dissipated, the question of lines of succession to the Prophet is also quite tangled. As best as I can make out, the story goes something like this:
At the second annual convention of the Moorish Science Temple, which took place after Noble Drew’s death in 1929, and which gave rise to the incidents of violence, E. Mealy El was not chosen as Grand Sheik – that honor went to Kirkman Bey, who was elected presiden of the corporation (which had not been dissolved by the state of Illinois), and Grand Sheik of the Moorish Science Temple of America, Incorporated. At this convention, John Givens-El (who is said to have been Drew Ali’s chauffeur) declared himself the “reincarnation” of the Prophet in the special sense of this term in Moorish Science. Givens-El was not to be the last such reincarnation. Such claimants are popularly known as “brother prophets.” Some say that at this time there were twenty-one Moorish Science Temple branch temples; others say fifteen, of which eight followed Kirkman Bey, and seven followed Givens-El.
The difference between a Grand Sheik and a reincarnated Prophet are, as R. Wright-El puts it, “not insignificant. Grand Sheiks of the corporation must be elected annually at the Convention. They can be removed from office through election at any of these annual conventions. They are not allowed to establish their own doctrines or teachings…They are only elected to manage the business of the corporation and to maintain the Prophet’s works in the same form that he wrote them.
“On the other hand, reincarnated Prophets establish their own teachings, interpret Drew Ali’s tachings for their followers, cannot be removed from their stations through election, and retain almost absolute power…”
Givens-El’s splendid mausoleum, incised with Moorish symbols, lies in Lincoln Cemetery in Chicago, marked “Noble Drew Ali (Reincarnated).”
Kirkman Bey died in 1959 and was succeeded by F. Nelson-Bey, then J. Blakely-Bey (1963), and finally Robert Love-El, elected in 1971 and still the incumbant. Rufus German-Bey (whom I knew as the governor of Baltimore), claimed to have inherited the incorporated Moorish Science Temple of America from headquarters at 75th street in Chicago. A lawsuit, which seems to have taken four years to settle (1978-1982), finally ended with legal recognition of the claims of Love-El’s organization, and the denial of the claims of German-Bey and the “75th St. Moors.” Thus only one organization is entitled to the name of Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. Rcently I saw a notice of a Temple #65 opening in Kansas City – I don’t know if this means that the Moorish Science Temple of America has sixty-five active branches, but certainly it has many. The “official Moorish Science Temple, however, is only one part of the total Moorish movement.
According to one informant, Ira Johnson-El later called himsellf Allah-El, and names his son the third reincarnation of Noble Drew Ali. Presumably this is the same Ira Johnson whom we have just seen “sent up to the pen” for life.
In Baltimore, German-Bey’s group produced at least two more offshoots. Tow brothers, Richardson Dingle-El and Timothy Dingle-El, both claimed to be Reincarnations (the former “in third form,” the latter as “Noble Drew Ali Reincarnated” or “Supreme Grand Ressurrection”). Timothy died in 1980 and was succeeded by his wife Louise Dingle-El as “Prophetess.” Richardson still lives and leads a group centered around Morgan State University.
Timothy wrote a book, used by both brothers, entitled The Ressurection: Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc. – The Truth: Be Yourself And Not – Somebody Else, by Timothy Dingle-El-Noble-Drew-Ali (in This Era of Time.) He claims to have lifted (i.e. saved) the works of Noble Drew Ali from the public domain and thus to have “resurrected” the Moorish Science Temple of America. (After 1982, hoever, it would seem that neither Dingle-El group has any legal claim to this nomenclature.) We’ve already heard Timothy’s assertion that Noble Drew really did order the death of Sheik Claude Green, and that he was fully justified to do so – a position many Moors doubtless find distateful and absurd. T. Dingle-El, however, was apparently not one to quail before the prospect of violence. The cover of his book depicts him half-unsheathing a scimitar, with the mottos “If I draw – You’re cut” – although he gives this an esoteric meaning (the sword is Truth, etc.) – and the general tone of his writing sometimes verges on verbal aggression:
I look upon Noble Drew Ali as Judah, Shiloh and Chief because he is a mental warrior. I am also classed as a mental warrior. It is my determination to obtain copyright authority. I will not allow superstitious people to confuse me, like they confused the man of Justice. If copyright authority is granted to me, then the name Noble Drew Ali, Judah, Shiloh and Chief is mine by divine rights or conquest. If any mental warrior is wiser than I am, then it is his right to meet me in mental debae on all of the lessons on the true and divine Prophet of Allah. Someone or group may wonder what I mean when I say mental warrior, never hearing of such. The hangout for mental warriors is in the courtrooms. I will name some: Judges, Lawyers, Jurors, Counselors, Missionaries, Ministers, etc. Some are in the Moorish Movement of Noble Drew Ali. Another name for mental warrior is Brain Shooter.
Dingle-El also recounts a fascinating version of the “Flag in the Safe” story:
In 1912, the Prophet Noble Drew Ali appeared in Washington D.C., at the nation’s capital, and asked President Woodrow Wilson for his people and the return of our flag (the proverbial Cherry Tree), chopped down by General George Washington, 1776. The President states that he wouldn’t know where to find the Moorish flag since it has been stored away for so long. The Prophet told him that he knew where to find it, if given permission to enter the storeageroom. Prophet Noble Drew Ali went and retrieved our flag, the Moorish flag. He then asked Mr. Wilson why did the government record the Asiatic as Moors on official record, and in actual practice label them Negro, Black, Colored and Ethiopians? Mr. Wilson’s reply was that we know nothing of our national descent and birthright, and it would not be in the interest of the American people to wake us up to to the truth about ourselves. Prophet Noble Drew Ali asked for the right to teach us the truth about ourselves and our Divine Creed. Mr. Wilson told the Prophet that we would not accept him or his teaching because he was of the same pigmentation of skin as we were and we would not accept our own. To prove his point he told our Prophet to go out and get 5,000 to follow him. He was so sure he could not get anyone to follow him, he reduced the figure to 50. Prophet Noble Drew Ali went out and sounded the trumpet and began to teach the everlasting Gospel to the lost tribes of Isra-el. Ten thousand answer the call. With this, the Prophet returned to Washington and was given authorization to teach Islam and to return our nationality to us. At this commitment the government of the United States, the former slaves were finally acknowledged as a seperate nation of people and the fact accepted that they were the true owner of this land called America. The great eagle spread her wings over the new foundation and vowed to protect it.
It’s my impression that the Moorish movement has been expanding and revitalizing itself after the centenary of Noble Drew Ali’s birth, celebrated in 1986. Among the groups I’ve communicated with are the Moorish Circle of Filfillment, the Moorish Great Seal, and the National Council of Sheiks of the Moorish National and Divine Movement, Branch #1, “The Beys of Missouri.” In How To Start Your Own Country (Loompanics, 1984), E. Strauss mentions a secessionist group in Washington, D.C., called the United Moorish Republic.
Another current of Moorish influence leads from Noble Drew Ali to W.D. Fard to Elijah Muhammad to the genius Malcolm X (Hajji Malik al-Shabazz), who discovered orthodox Sunni Islamduring his pilgrimage to Mecca, shortly before his assassination. He renounced Black Muslim racist theory, and inaugurated a new organization (Muslim Mosque, Inc.) which still survives – although Malcolm’s real influence runs deepest among the many black Americans who have embraced Sunnism (or Sufism, in which Malcolm was apparently taking some interest when death interrupted his intellectual trajectory), as well as those who carry on his struggle for justice in the radical movement in general. Elijah’s son Wallace Muhammad inherited the Nation of Islam mantle, but eventually he too decided for Sunnism and broke away to found the American Muslim Mission. The unreconstructed Nation of Islam is led by the well-known Louis Farrakhan.
There exists some evidence for a Moorish connection with “Black Judaism.” Ravanna Bey claims that Noble Drew established ties with the Falasha, or Ethiopian Jews. I’ve seen an old photograph of a “Moorish Zionist Temple of Moorish Jews” in Harlem; and the Ansaaru Allah of Brooklyn seem to have some connection both with the Moorish Science Temple tradition and “Nubian Hebrew Islam” and other militant “Black Jewish” groups.
I myself belong to yet another offshoot of the “Baltimore tradition” – the Moorish Orthodox Church of America. Founded in the late 1950’s by “Europeans” who (according to oral sources) had obtained Moorish Science Temple passports as “Celts” or “Persians,” including one Yale Sharif, the Moorish Orthodox Church attracted a bohemian element. Sharif later left the Church and embraced Sunni Islam, but the movement survived his departure. In the early-to-mid-1960s a Baltimore and a Manhattan lodge were active; the latter developed close ties with Bill Haine’s Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York, which later moved lock, stock, and barrel to Millbrook, New York, to share the Hitchcock Estate with Timothy Leary and the League for Spiritual Discover, the Neo-American Church, and other psychedelic sects. The Moorish Orthodox Church was registered officially in Dutchess County.
In 1986 the Manhattan Lodge, which had been dormant, began to publish its newsletter again – the last issue of The Moorish Science Monitor having appeared in 1966 – and the Moorish Orthodox Church too underwent something of a revival. The Monitor was published from Providence, Rhode Island, during the 1980’s boom in self-published “zines” and networking; it then moved to Rochester, New York, and to Seattle. The Moorish Orthodox Church of America has branches also in Brooklyn; Ukiah, California; Chicago; San Francisco; Seattle; Orange County, New York (where there is an ashram and temple); and Bombay, India.
The Moorish Orthodox Church uses a form of nonheirarchic organization in which every member chooses his or her own title. We give an esoteric reading to Noble Drew’s teachings, and have always been willing to absorb influences from other sources. The Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan was an important influence in the 1960s, and we adopted his crest of a winged heart with a crescent and star as our own “banner”; the psychedelic movement was also important. Apparently the original founders of the Moorish Orthodox Church also had some connections with the “Wandering Bishops” and the autocephalous Catholic/Orthodox Churches movement – hence the name Orthodox – which was active in the 1950s. Like Noble Drew himself, we also honor (and are sometimes deeply involved in) other traditions, such as Buddhism, the Chinese and Japanese religions, Judaism, Hinduism, shamanism…usually in their more “heretical” forms. The Moorish Orthodox Church (and the Moorish current in genereal) has also served us as a powerful means of cultural transfer – it has been for us a guiding light in our appreciation of oriental culture, a bridge between our world and that of an esoteric Asia
All these branches and offshoots of the Moorish Science Temple add up to conclusive proof of at least one fact: as a prophet and founer of a religion, Noble Drew Ali was no flash in the pan. Moorish Science is still alive. Drew Ali’s faith has “behaved” like other faiths. As a student of the history of religions I find fascinating the developement of Moorish apocrypha and fissipation into sub-sects, each with different orally transmitted stories. One might imagine oneself present at the first century of Christianity or Islam; Moorish Science admittedly transpires on a smaller scale, but displays structural and archetypal similarities to “major” religions that are almost uncanny. It is also worth pointing out that the world still needs Noble Drew’s message of love, truth, peace, freedom, and justice – and that our own society especially needs his subtle message of racial pride combined with tolerance and love.
As for me, I admire above all Noble Drew’s aesthetic, his unique and special blend of Afro-American, Native-American, High Magical, and Oriental symbolism and imagery – as well as his courage, his martyrdom, and his revolutionary stance against “Pharaoh.” By Americanizing the prophetic spirit he injected our culture with a kind of folk Sufism. On the esoteric leve, anyone who loves Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom, and Justice is a member of the “Asiatic race” and the Lost/Found Moorish Nation of North America.