That's a lovely attitude, maisha.
From JW's To Islam
We all got burned by the WTS. So my time left in this world is dedicated to peace, tranquility and knowledge. Give to the poor directly, help your fellowman with no reserves about converting to another religion. No hatred... Thats my bottom line......I wish you only good!
In search of truth, you have a private Message.
"...That said, imagine being a black male during the contentious years of the Civil Rights movement and prior, and being persecuted by a white Christian? It's a given that some blacks would fluctuate to a faith that they would see as a polar opposite to white Christianity. Black Islam as taught and practiced by the NOI was probably the most polar opposite available to black males during those years. ..." Theocratic Sedition, page #2
Yes, that's very true too... And there was a significant difference - were significant differences - between the Islamic Muslims who preyed on non-Muslim black Africans for the slave trade, and the version[s] of Islam that appealed to the disenfranchised black Americans - who had many, many good reasons to be furious with white Christianity...
I tend to look at the roots of a belief or a system when I am evaluating it. If I'd been a young black male in America at that time, however, I would have put forth effort to learn of the REAL African belief systems - as was mentioned on the "gods and goddesses" thread by you, I think? - there's the goddess Oya - one of my personal favorites, by the way; the goddess Yemaya, the goddess Oshun, and so on... Also many, many male African deities, too...
There's the "voo doo" religion - which though unfortunately demonized by popular fiction and media, is more authentically "African" ...
Here's an interesting link on the origins of voodoo: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/10/1021_021021_taboovoodoo.html
And a quote from the article:
"Voodoo is widely regarded as a mysterious and sinister practice that's taboo in many cultures. The mere word conjures images of bloody animal sacrifices, evil zombies, dolls stuck with pins, and dancers gyrating through the hot night to the rhythm of drums.
But experts on voodoo beliefs say there are many misconceptions about the practice, which is performed in various forms worldwide.
"Voodoo is not some kind of dark mystical force, it is simply a legitimate religion," says anthropologist Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence who has studied voodoo extensively in the Caribbean nation of Haiti.
Haiti is ostensibly a Catholic country, but voodoo is widely practiced there. In his best-selling book The Serpent and the Rainbow, Davis wrote: "As the Haitians say, the Catholic goes to church to speak about God, the vodounist dances in the hounfour to become God."
Yet voodoo goes even beyond religion-it's a world view, Davis says in the National Geographic Channel program Taboo: Voodoo, which airs in the United States on Monday, October 21, at 9 p.m. ET.
"It's not just a body of religious ideas," Davis says, "but a notion of how children should be raised, a notion of what education means, an awareness of politics."
The exact origins of voodoo are unknown, but it's generally agreed that its roots lie in West Africa. The nation of Benin, once known as Dahomey, is considered the cradle of voodoo, which means "spirit" in the local language.
A "spirit" religion, voodoo likely evolved from ancient traditions of ancestor worship and animism. ..."
I suppose Islam's machismo appeal, plus its similarities to Christianity, made it a more effective competitor for the black youth of the time, versus the older and more authentic "pagan" African deities.
Plus, there wasn't as much knowledge available at that time about the original African deities - much of that knowledge was stripped away by the brutality of the slave trade.
Also, since most blacks were coming from a Christian [Baptist] background, the thought of going all the way back to the ancient gods and goddesses must have smacked of idolatry and demonism, to a certain extent.