Authors Posts by hsaahir



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Photo from Hidden Colors DVD series.

By Imam John S. Bilal II

Dr_Welsing2 O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.  And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). (13)

Early Saturday morning on January 2nd, 2016 Dr. Francis Cress Welsing returned to Allah (SWT) in the company of family, a few close friends and students at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC. Dr. Welsing was a psychiatrist, clinical practitioner, teacher, lecturer, down-to-earth friend, and staunch advocate for the mental health of African American people. Her many constructive works remain as a legacy of her phenomenal intellectual force in America psychiatry as nobly produced from the descendants of slaves.

Frances Luella Cress was born in 1935, at Chicago, Illinois to highly educated parents.  In 1957, she earned her B.S. Degree from Antioch College and in 1962, earned a degree in Psychiatry from Howard University College of Medicine.

She earned her doctorate at the very start of the so-called "Black Power Movement" and two years prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Dr. Welsing immediately challenged herself to respond to the mental health crises of non-white people, specifically, those people who had just begun to self-identify as "Black" people.  Dr. Welsing would work for many years as Clinical Director and Staff Physician with the Washington D.C. Department of Human Services, where she helped emotionally disturbed children. The sixties were tumultuous years in the United States.  Jim Crow laws had been struck down in the courts and African Americans were feeling freer than ever to move out into fields of opportunity which had been formerly unattainable, however, hundreds of years of racism and oppression had left a mark on the victims of that system and the perpetrators.  Dr. Welsing was one of many who heard the call to heal the wounds in a decade of great change.

Welsing tells the story of how she came to her theories about racism. She’d been invited many times to attend one of the Black Power meetings in Washington, DC, and one day a voice came to her quietly and convinced her to go. While at that meeting, she overheard a gentleman talking about racism as a local, national, global system; a concept she’d never heard before.  His name was Neely Fuller Jr. and the name of his concept was called the United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept, called "The Code" for short.  Fuller claims his work and any work to decipher the deceptive system of racism must be derived from progressively purified logic.  The Code presents information to decode White Supremacy and reveals to its victims, what it is, and how it works and what specific things should done to lessen the damage and further, how to eradicate it. Dr. Welsing says when she asked Fuller about why the racists practice racism he said it doesn’t matter why, it’s already here and needs to be dealt with. As a trained psychiatrist Welsing needed an answer to that question and spent several years thinking about it. "I was standing at the sink doing dishes with my hands in the water and it struck me”.   This was the beginning of the Cress Theory of Color Confrontation which postulates the reason white people commit racist aggression towards non-white people is because they are responding to the threat of white genetic annihilation by the non-white people on planet earth.

Dr_Welsing1As a young student in the University of Islam, I listened attentively to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his ministers teach something quite similar to that idea - the idea of Yacub’s grafted devil.  While that idea never really appealed to my young mind, the concept of genetic material being used to graft a human being, I got that part, I could understand it and it was fascinating. Fast forward to a time when Imam W. Deen Mohammed was giving birth to our logical minds against the winds of emotion as he made classic lectures like “Circumcision of the Mind”, “Artificial Brains” and the “Appetites Unchecked By Knowledge” and other probing topics, like most of the Muslims who had been followers in the Nation of Islam and later followed Imam W. Deen Mohammed into a true practice of Al Islam, I found myself attracted to any information which helped me separate the truth from the lie in the old race based language of the Nation of Islam.  The intellectual work of Dr. Welsing helped me make that transition. What appealed most to me was the use of logical thinking to understand racism, when decoding racism, if your logic isn’t pure your conclusion will be incorrect and less than effective.  

In 1973 Dr. Welsing debated Dr. William Shockley, an American Physicist who had in 1956, won a joint Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the transistor.  Shockley was a proponent of eugenics and was speaking around the country on college campuses advocating a program of forced birth control which would largely fall upon non-white people, “the negro”.  Welsing won that debate, shutting Shockley down with her logical arguments.  After the interview, Dr. Shockley quickly vanished into obscurity.

In her 1991, seminal treatise - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors, Dr. Welsing offers her readers a compelling reason for why the injustice of racism. She opens her book with a dedication: This work is dedicated to the victims of the global system of white supremacy (racism), all non-white people worldwide, past and present, who have resolved to end this great travesty and bring justice, then peace to planet Earth". Then Dr. Welsing says, no one should speak about racism until they have informed themselves properly about racism, and recommends reading materials, and films.

The tremendous pressure of chattel slavery on its victims caused the finest hearts to bathe in the soothing waters of righteousness and the minds to immerse themselves in the cooling fire of pure logic. We know the history of the struggle for dignity and those foremost fighters who were at the cutting edge; the names are etched now in the face of time - Fredrick Douglas, Denmark Vessey, Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Mary McCleod Bethune, Noble Drew Ali, Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm Shabazz, Imam W. Deen Mohammed and many others. They are the workers that opened the path for the thinkers today; their works are at the root of Dr. Welsing’s work and her words and ideas are helping to bring understanding to future generations of young people to make sense of and how to guard against the evils of racism.  

Dr. Welsing's importance in history should not be minimized because she made us feel uncomfortable. The truth is, her work was designed to take us out of our comfort zones, to make us all think more deeply and commit to act against what is arguably one of the world's most persistent and intractable problems - Racism/White Supremacy.  The good doctor wanted more than anything to see all people think, speak and act to eradicate the entire system of White Supremacy worldwide.  Dr. Welsing knew we would be uncomfortable and tells story after story in her lectures to bring home the detailed ugliness of “color sickness”.  Too many of us still suffer from subtle forms of racist aggression, and too many are still in denial that white supremacy exists in our world, and too many of us don't want to think and behave in ways to end the practice.   Welsing was a true intellectual who routinely dispensed penetrating scientific and cultural evidence designed to move the people to finally become determined to replace the system of Racism with a system of Justice.   

Dr. Welsing gave monthly lectures for many years at Howard University which she carried on until her very last lecture two weeks before she passed away.  A tribute will be held in her memory at the Howard University Crampton Auditorium on Saturday, January 23rd, 2016, from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.

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By: Shahid Abdul-Karim

Nationwide - Shareef Abdul-Malik believes in doing for self.

That’s why he created, an online marketplace for black-owned businesses and sellers.

“It allows small black-owned businesses to grow by being exposed to an international market; it’s the largest online marketplace for black-owned businesses and sellers.” said web owner and entrepreneur Abdul-Malik, 23, of Washington D.C. These black-owned businesses may hire and create employment opportunities for those in our local communities."


The website launched June 19, celebrating the 150 year anniversary of Juneteenth.

Since its launch, the site has over 2,000 registered businesses and sellers; more than 4,500 products uploaded and have reached 500,000 page views.

In December, the site garnered over 105,000 page views, according to Abdul-Malik. owner Shareef Abdul-Malik owner Shareef Abdul-Malik

There is no fee to upload a product to the site.

Abdul-Malik said he’d been inspired by institutions such as the Black Wall Street of Tulsa, Oklahoma that served the needs of the black community.

“This is a long term result after inspirational institutions such as the Black Wall Street which was burned down, ridding hope of family and community survival, financial independence, and the collective motivation to build for our next generation's well-being,” said Abdul-Malik, a Howard University graduate.

“I didn't come up with the idea of We Buy Black, I manifested the idea. I researched the needs in our community and the solution came to me by the words of "Do-for-self," A concept I have been raised upon.”

Starting Feb. 1, the company will launch its largest campaign to circulate $100,000,000 on the website through Feb. 1, 2017. African-Americans have a current buying power of $1 trillion which is forecasted to reach $1.3 trillion by year 2017, according to a report published by

“The vendors asked for a more comprehensive platform that would allow for them to fully commit and launch their shops on the site,” said Abdul-Malik.

The company then hired a black owned engineering firm to reconfigure the website, adding features that will allow the black community to fully circulate its dollar within its own community, according to Abdul-Malik.

For an example, the site will allow non-profit organizations to apply for a referral code. “This code may be distributed to their congregations and supporters. When their supporters purchase from the site, they’ll enter that referral code and the organization will receive up to one percent of every purchase,” said Abdul-Malik.

Abdul-Malik said individuals may also apply for a referral code. “They are then able to sign up businesses and receive up to one percent of the businesses' sales,” he said. “The beauty is vendors will always receive their full commission and will lose absolutely nothing by allowing someone to sign them up.

In addition to the referral system code, the site will allow customers to subscribe and receive their product on schedule, without having to reorder. Businesses who already sell subscription plans will now be able to incorporate their business on the site, according to website staff.

“When I first learned of, I was thrilled to see that something like this was being done. I signed on as a vendor thinking it would be another way to showcase products; to my surprise and delight things have gone very well quickly,” said Angela Williams, 37, of Kentucky, who started Forever Regal, a website offering a wide range of products imported or inspired by Africa.

“The customer responses have been amazing,” she said, “The team at have been supportive beyond my expectation.”

The site has attracted black-owned businesses from many parts of the world such as the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Australia, Kenya, and Canada.

Phoebe Mwanza, owner of The Prodigal Daughter, an Australian clothing and accessories label said her company is proud to be part of

“ is an important platform for those that want to support black-owned businesses like ours and for young businesses that would otherwise not have similar opportunities,” said Mwanza.

For more information about the site connect through social media at:

Press Contact:

For freelance writing and public relation inquires reach Shahid Abdul-Karim at or at 203 605-3844.


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By Hamid Saahir

Washington, D.C. - With the media whirlwind around the anti-Muslim sentiment that has spread across our nation during the current presidential campaign. There has been a search for a voice that is contrary to the sound of bigotry that has come from the likes of Donald Trump, Ben Carson and other Republican Presidential candidates.

On Wednesday, December 16th Democratic Party Presidential Candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders participated in a town hall discussion led by Imam Talib Shareef at Masjid Muhammad, The Nation’s Mosque in Washington, DC. The town hall served as a forum to dispel the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has led to an uptick in attacks on Muslims in the United States and protests against mosques including a failed attempt of a protest at Masjid Muhammad in October of this year. Participating in the discussion was Congressman Keith Ellison – Democrat from Minnesota and is one of two Muslims serving in the House of Representatives, Reverend Reginald Green Interim Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and original Freedom Rider, Rabbi Batya Steinlauf of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and first Muslim chaplain for the United States Army, Chaplain Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad.

Sanders who is Jewish while participating in the interfaith dialogue asked if we should come together or should we allow demagogues to divide us. “It is time to say enough is enough. It is time to end religious bigotry. It is time to build a nation in which we all stand together; Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist all religions. And work to create a nation that benefits all of us.” Said Sanders, as he gave his remarks during the round table that lasted about 30 minutes.

Other Democratic Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley have visited Muslim communities in the recent weeks following the attacks in Paris, France. The Muslim community looks forward to continuing the conversation around the country on these topics that matter deeply to many.



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WCMC-Q Graduation - May 6, 2009 Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medical College

By Dr. Khalil Marcus Lambert

Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medical College
Photo credit: Weill Cornell Medical College

I recently had the pleasure of having an intimate conversation with Dr. Louis Wade Sullivan, Secretary of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush and founding Dean of Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Sullivan shared some of his thoughts on the scarcity of minorities in medicine and science, which has arguably reached endemic proportions.

Black men, for example, seem to remain the most underrepresented in medicine, given their overall representation in the American population.  In fact, more black men entered medical school in the year 1978 than in 2014. Earning a Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) does not fare much better with less than 4% being awarded to African American men and less than 5% to African Americans in total.


Dr. Sullivan pointed out that there is a responsibility that we have as a larger society to remove the barriers, but there also is a personal responsibility that we have as individuals and family members to see that the environment our young people grow up in is supporting them and reaffirming them. This is what Islamic community life should be.


Long before I decided to apply for a Ph.D. in biomedical science, I was being nurtured and supported inside the womb of my Islamic community.  At the age of 15, my parents enrolled me in W. D. Mohammed High School in Atlanta, Georgia—450 miles away from home. It was this environment that helped to forge inside me a responsibility to my community and a drive for making a larger contribution to society.


The move did not come without its own unique challenges. I boarded with four separate families while attending the school, leaving my aunt and uncle after an electrical fire and departing from another family after being robbed at gunpoint on my way home one night. My parents offered for me to return home, but I knew my soul needed the interconnectedness of community. I learned later that those misfortunes were a test of my resiliency, and I could always rely on my community to remind me of the importance of my mission and my ability to succeed.


In 2003, I graduated valedictorian and accepted a full scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC. I majored in biology with hopes of entering medical school. By my junior year, I had received significant training in scientific research through various mentors and internships. In one experience, I joined researchers at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia seeking ways to reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis in dairy cattle on a governmental farm.


This opportunity gave me confidence in my ability to affect the lives of others through science and provided a glimpse into how I could use science to inform policy.  Not only did we advance the knowledge in our scientific field, we provided evidence to shape local governmental policy.  I discovered a clear relationship between scientific research and the lives of people that I sought to strengthen.


I went on to earn my Ph.D. in biomedical research at New York University School of Medicine and began teaching at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, NY. In 2014, I accepted a position as Director of Diversity and Student Services at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, where I seek to recruit and train the next generation of scientists.


There is a vital need to train more physicians and scientists from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds to address the needs of minority populations. Those needs may come in the form of health disparities, minority patient interaction, or a better understanding of basic biological processes. African American Muslim communities must realize their potential for producing more doctors (including Ph.D.’s) and place a greater value on higher education.


Higher education doesn’t always mean enrolling in the conventional educational route, but it should lead the student to seek the best training wherever he or she may find it. The African American experience is rich with students of knowledge who mastered their field in order to bring great benefit to their people, community, and society. Muslims must uphold this tradition for the viability and overall health of our communities.


I want to see more nutritionists studying African American Muslim diets. I want to hear about more epidemiologists who are studying the patterns and ramifications of disease conditions in the African American community. Above all, I would like to see the African American Muslim community establish a reputation for producing scholars who are supported and reaffirmed by their own community.


In this vein, I am making myself available as a mentor for any who is interested in achieving a Ph.D. in STEM. For those who are interested in becoming a research scientist or physician, you should be spending your summers in a laboratory or clinical environment, respectively. Many colleges and universities host free and paid summer internships for college students to gain valuable research experience and/or clinical exposure. (Some host opportunities for high school students as well.) For example, the ACCESS Summer Research Program of Weill Cornell Graduate School, for which I am the director, hosts 10 or more students for 10 weeks. Each student receives free housing, meal vouchers, a stipend of $3,500 for the summer, and up to $500 to cover travel expenses to New York City. The deadline for most programs is January through early March.


For those who are interested in other fields, I encourage you to join the 100 Black Doctors Initiative. This initiative is designed to connect at least 100 black doctors (Ph.D., M.D. or D.O.) from the Muslim community in any field or discipline to mentor the next cohort of 100 black doctors. For those interested in becoming a mentor or receiving mentorship, please sign-up here.

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Philadelphia - December 4-6th, Muslim Journal hosts "A Time to be Grateful", a wonderful event in the "City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection" as Philadelphia, PA was coined over the weekend of events. Please check the print edition of the Muslim Journal for follow up article on the weekend festivities. Thank you to Masjidullah for being the hosting partner.

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Washington, D.C. - At the recent Celebration of the Rehabilitation of the Jewish Cemeteries of Morocco: The Houses of Life, held at the U.S. Senate, the Kingdom of Morocco bestowed their highest Royal Medal and honor on Imam Talib Shareef along with the Hon. Rabbi Bruce Lustig, and H.E. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, for their interfaith leadership and works.

Those in attendance, numbering around 150, were the representatives of his  majesty the King of Morocco, H.E. Serge Berdugo, H.E. Ahmed Toufiq, joined by Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman Andre Carson, Mr. Jason Isaacson, other members of Congress, State Department officials, Senior members of the diplomatic corps, members of the faith communities, and all other distinguished persons.

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By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

In an effort to discuss ways to curb the nation’s gun violence epidemic, faith leaders, gun violence survivors, elected officials and community activist gathered recently at the Washington National Cathedral for a “United to Stop Gun Violence” forum.

The goal was to show religious solidarity among faith communities and to hear stories from families affected by gun violence as well as to meet policy makers committed to enacting commonsense gun safety measures, according to a release by the cathedral.

Among those who attended and gave remarks were U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, both D-Conn., and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5, who have been pushing for stricter federal background legislation.

“Before (Dylann) Roof viciously took the lives of nine innocent churchgoers, he was able to legally purchase a gun because of a glaring loophole in our background check system,” Blumenthal said in a statement to the Register, referring to the June Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings in South Carolina.

“Under current law, firearm sales move forward if background checks aren’t completed in 72 hours — a dangerous loophole that has allowed over (15,000) ineligible buyers to purchase a gun,” he said. “The inconvenience of waiting for a background check to complete is minor compared to the reprehensible harm that is done when dangerous people have access to weapons.”

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence website, firearm homicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 1-19 in the United States.

On average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room, the website said.

“A few weeks after the shooting in Newtown, both Senator Blumenthal and I went to the North End of Hartford to convene a meeting of community groups there to talk about the epidemic of gun violence that had plagued that community for decades,” said Murphy in his remarks Tuesday.

“There was anger in that room — loud visceral anger, that was hard to know what to do with, as we were still grieving in the aftermath of Newtown,” he said.

“The anger was real, because people there didn’t understand why it took this tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, for their state, for their country, for the world to wake up to what had been the simple pitter-pat of regular, almost daily and nightly gun violence in that neighborhood.”

But Murphy said the collective response over time in the state over the unfairness of tragedies being ignored comparatively, dissipated.

“And it was months after that meeting that the families of Newtown were marching arm-in-arm with the families of Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven through the streets of that neighborhood in the North End of Hartford — collectively demanding change.”

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By Tariq Touré

“Verily the soul becomes accustomed to what you accustom it to. That is to say: what you at first burden the soul with becomes nature to it in the end.” 

- Ab? ??mid Mu?ammad ibn Mu?ammad al-Ghaz?l?

In the age of the hashtag eulogy, Black Millennials have a hard time finding the space to heal.  And I don’t blame them. We’ve been able to survive off of piecemeal coping and soul food therapy for centuries. A Georgia morning full of chattel labor came despite a slave girl’s encounter with a white rapist whether she liked it or not. She, as others did all across the “birthing nation”, stitched her pride together and continued to work, thus shrouding her in a narrative of mythical strength that pervades today. This tradition trampolined through our history.

Never heal, never reflect, only push on. The texture of black suffering and black triumph is changing dramatically still. Billie Holliday’s fruit doesn’t dangle from southern trees anymore,  but rather, cuffed in the back of police cars, with well-grafted fables of suicide.  Perhaps, if it moves you, one can put a new “bullet lynching” on repeat with a few search terms. As our civilization “progresses” much like those before us, documentation improves, communication sprints, information explodes, caste blossoms, and subjugation repetitiously becomes the soup of the day . Technology mutates these advances and places their powers in our palms. But Black youth must careful with the triple-headed demon of direct trauma, intergenerational trauma, and vicarious trauma. All three are dizzying barriers to mental stability. And if you’ve lived long enough in America, especially now, you could experience a sinister mix of all three in one day.

There’s nothing more powerful and inspiring than the rising consciousness of my cohort. We’ve merged the energy of porch folklore, bodega tales, and black-fisted war stories to begin our own revolution. Every day, solidarity strengthens. Every hour, the youth are seeing their struggle as a latitudinal one. For the most part, we’ve come to this vignette in history because of trauma. Trauma being the contemporary overflow of videoed assaults, executions, white supremacist rhetoric, and the unraveling of America’s dark twisted past. It leaves scars. Few can honestly say they can escape it. Every hyperlink to an abusive act by the state corners even the most naive of black people into digesting this reality. But the trauma exists whether we choose to accept it or not. It maneuvers its way into our everyday life. I say this now to encourage everyone invested in fighting the battle for Black and Brown bodies to be regarded as human, because like in any war, the survivors will not only wear stories on their skin but tattooed in the valleys of their minds. Psychologist and author Joy DeGruy Leary writes in her book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring and Healing, “The nature of this work is such that each group first must see to their own healing, because no group can do another’s work”

Consider ourselves in a 500 year deficit for therapy. With that in mind it is important to be conscious about what we consume, or, more germane, what happens after intake. A mistake of the embattled is to never take pause. Before Black Millennials go steamrolling into the new year - which will undoubtedly mean a new cadre of injustices and more sophisticated repression - let them take a step back from the theater. Let some of the success fester and the pain dissipate. This may mean sitting in silence for hours on end, a re-dedication to spirituality, or the warm human company of loved ones, all useful mediums for self-reconciliation. And we must not foolishly assume that we truly know what healing looks like. Our road to recovery stretches far past what our generation will see.

5 years ago, a child in Sanford Florida was stalked and executed. His murder, and the nationally-televised acquittal of his murderer, opened Black American youth’s Pandora’s Box. It bound them to the fateful question, “Where are we now?” Since then, the masses of Black America have marched, protested, founded institutions, lobbied, shouted, sat in, walked out, and re-invigorated the callings of the Civil Rights era. The labor deserves dedication, spirit, sweat, grit and resilience. However, the laborers of the movement will no doubt need to take time for healing, soul, body if necessary, and absolutely our minds.


Original Link:

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“Masjid Muhammad (MM) was recently notified by federal and local law enforcement agencies that anti-Muslim demonstrations are scheduled for October 9th & 10th in front of 20 mosques across the country.  There is a possibility that one of these demonstrations could take place at any time in front of MM on Friday or Saturday and may occur during our Salatul Jummah prayer service.

Imam Talib Shareef and the MM Board of Advisors urge all members and visitors to avoid any contact and/or confrontation with these demonstrators as we know that their goal is to not only intimidate and terrorize Muslims, but to also illicit a response from us in order to create a violent confrontation which they can use against us. They will then say: “You see, we told you that those Muslims are violent!” Their first tactic was to bait Muslims by conducting a cartoon contest in Texas vilifying Prophet Muhammad. The Muslim community in Texas was well-prepared and refused to respond. Unfortunately, two alleged Muslims traveled from California took the bait and were killed. Do not allow the demonstrators to provoke you into anger and remember our Prophet’s instructions: “Do not become angry, do not become angry, do not become angry.”

The DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the FBI and the Office of Homeland Security have been contacted and members of the MPD will be assigned to maintain the peace. Imam Talib Shareef and the MM Advisory Board have not in any way whatsoever, hinted, urged or requested that any member or visitor, or any MM staff member, bring any form of firearm or other type of weapon to, in or around MM in response to the demonstration. Members of the MM Security Team will be visibly present within and outside the masjid to assist MM members and visitors on Friday and Saturday.

Thank you for your cooperation and may Allah (SWA) strengthen our unity, guide and protect us and reward our patient perseverance.”


  • Safety Protocol for this Friday
  • No Weapons- We have arranged for local security to protect our community
  • No Bags or Large Purses
  • No Congregating in front of the Masjid 
  • No Physical or Verbal contact with Protesters
  • Please respect the surrounding community 
  • If you "See Something, Say Something"- report all suspicious behavior
  • If press asks you for an interview direct them to

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By Nisa Islam Muhammad -
Photos by Karim Ali -

WASHINGTON, DC—In 1752 during the height of the slave trade, Yarrow Mamout, a 16-year-old Muslim was captured in Guinea and shipped to Annapolis, Md. where he was bought by the Beall family who moved him to DC. After 44 years as a slave, he was freed and bought a home in Georgetown at 3324 Dent Place.

He is reportedly buried in his home facing Mecca, in the same corner where he prayed. This site is now the focus of an archaeological dig by the DC Historic Preservation Office (DCHPO).  August 14, Yarrow Mamout was recognized during a ceremonial funeral prayer and program with The Nation’s Mosque Masjid Muhammad and the DCHPO.

“We have a connection with Bro. Yarrow.  We purchased a building from his slave master’s family.  We’re going to tear that building down and rebuild to dedicate it to Yarrow,” said Masjid Muhammad’s Imam Talib Shareef.


“He would say his prayers on this property even before Islam was established in America.  We are all a composition of who came before us.  Together we can reflect the best in each other.  He was a major contributor to society.  He saved money, invested and then was able to help others with his money.”

Yarrow Mamout was extraordinary for his time.  He could read and write in Arabic as well as write his name in English.  After slavery he became an entrepreneur, homeowner and financier who owned stock in the Columbia Bank of Georgetown.  A portrait of him hangs in the Peabody Room of the Georgetown Library.

Amir Muhammad, curator at the American Islamic Heritage Museum, has been trying for years to make the legacy of Yarrow Mamout known.

“This is humbling,” he told The Muslim Journal.  “Allah says out of darkness comes light and through time and patience surely man gets what he strives for.  I remember 10 years ago walking around here.  I remember there was a Muslim who owned this house who refused to even allow anyone to look at it or investigate it.”

“If it wasn’t for Jim Johnson (author of From Slave Ship to Harvard:  Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family) last year pushing the city to start and explore this, that’s when it started.  With time and perseverance, the story gets told.”

The program included words and attendance from Rev. Donald Isaacs, Director of the DC Office of Religious Affairs, Dr. Ruth Trocolli, archeologist with the 2015 Yarrow Mamout Archeological Project, Deborah Tulani Salahu-Din from the National Museum of African American History, Howard University’s Dr. Sulyman Nyang and Abdul Akbar Muhammad, International Representative of the Nation of Islam.  The program was moderated by Muhammad Fraser Abdur Rahim, Ph.d student and part of the archeology project.

Before the traditional Janazah prayer service of the Muslims, Imam Papa Mboup gave a special supplication prayer.  He told The Muslim Journal, “We prayed for him but first we prayed for the whole community.  May Allah shower His blessings upon him, in His greatness grant him paradise and remove his sins, have mercy on him.  May Allah remove all of our obstacles and may we like him die in Islam.”

Prior to giving instructions for the funeral (Janazah) prayer, Imam Shareef, who led the prayer told the crowd, "The ship that brought Yarrow to America in 1752 was called Elijah, and it was the community of Elijah Muhammad that made Islam popular and laid the foundation for the establishment of Al-Islam as an openly practiced way of life in America.  It was also his community that established the first Mosque in the Nation's Capital and in America built by descendants of those enslaved."

Former South African Ambassador, Scholar in Residence at Georgetown University Ebrahim Rasool and founder of the World for All Foundation spoke about the celebration of slave ancestry that takes place in his homeland.

He told The Muslim Journal, “You can only be proud of what you have embraced.  If you have not embraced your ancestors, if you have not embraced the way you came to America, if you have not embraced the hardships, the humiliation, the degradation and the genocide that was done to your ancestors, you will never be comfortable in your own skin.  You will always feel like you’re an imposter in history.”

“In South Africa we not only embrace but we give active thanks to our slave ancestors because they kept the lineage alive, they’ve kept our faith alive, they’ve kept our identity alive and the fragments of memory that they’ve kept forward have kept us believing and kept us hopeful.  Despite the best efforts by colonialism, by segregation and by slavery and by apartheid in South Africa transmitted from one generation to the other a set of values that made us an ally in the defeat of apartheid.”

Nihad Awad, head of the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) was moved by the ceremony.  He told The Muslim Journal, “It was very inspiring for me as a Muslim who defends civil rights for American Muslims.  Its very important for us to look at the origins of Islam in America.  This brother, may God bless his legacy and bless his soul has contributed so much not only to the making of Islam in America, but to the making of America itself and citizenship.  We’re so blessed to be 200 years later on the grounds where his house stood, to celebrate his legacy, his sincerity, his decision and determination to uphold his faith.”


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By Nusayba Hammad, Communications Director, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights ( WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an act unprecedented in recent history, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand...