The 5th Annual Education Challenge Conference hosted by the Nation of Islam (see previous post) got me to thinking about how Black Americans who are now homeschooling their children or who have set up independent religious or cultural educational systems should know about the sacrifices that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (The Messenger) endured to make independent education possible today.
In 1934, he was charged by the Michigan State Board of Education with “contributing to the delinquency of minors” because he dared take the children of Believers out of the public school system.
The Messenger and several Muslim teachers and the Secretary of the Temple were jailed because the Muslim children were taught in Muslim schools by Muslim teachers.
The courts expressed their dissatisfaction with the information that the Messenger was teaching concerning the American flag.
The charges were dropped and they were released. The Messenger was given six months probation and ordered to put the Muslim children in a public school. He refused and moved to Chicago, Illinois in September of 1934 where he set up the Nation of Islam headquarters, called Temple No. 2.
The Messenger opened a school and faced similar “delinquency” charges in Chicago, but the charges obviously were dropped because no arrest was made and the school remained open.
* Taken from research compiled by Muhammad University of Islam in Chicago, 1973.
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