FBI File on the Moorish Science Temple of America

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Noble Drew Ali, Prophet of Islam, founded the Moorish-American Science Temple in Chicago. In the 1920s, this temple was a center for African-American ethnic pride and political activism. Most African Americans, Ali contended, are actually of Moorish descent. African Americans, eager to hear his eclectic mix of Islam, Christianity, the writings of Marcus Garvey, and Ali’s own brand of zealous racial pride often misinterpreted his message and reacted with street brawls and threats against other individuals. Ali issued a decree, ordering a complete cessation of violence. In 1929 he was arrested for the murder of a political rival. He was released, but died under mysterious circumstances a few weeks later.

The FBI investigated the Moorish Science Temple for its alleged hostility toward capitalism and its efforts to incite revolution. This collection is organized into geographic sections demarcating FBI headquarters and various field offices, including Baltimore, Chicago, and Philadelphia. It is filed chronologically within the geographic sections. Materials contain correspondence, memos, reports, interviews, and pamphlets.

Number of reels: 3