Updated: Feb 7
The red and white sticker proudly adorned the bumper of the Cadillac as it sat in the supermarket parking lot. As the well-dressed woman put her groceries in the spacious trunk and entered her steel and glass sanctuary, a casual observer would assume that she was typical of others in her age group from that area: a kind-hearted, church-going woman who takes care of her children and is active in the community. However, the four words written on this bumper sticker betrayed any preconceived notions that one may have of her. These words were part of this woman’s changed world. What was it like for her to believe these words? Did she imbibe them into her soul and feel them deep in her heart? Did her family feel the same? Had she been a part of a church at one time?
If so, what was she seeking that she did not find there? Some compelling reasons must have led this middle-aged African American woman to don her vehicle with a sticker that read, “Islam Made The Difference.” Surely, this was not a flippant statement, nor was this woman an anomaly. On the contrary, Islam is growing fastest in America among African Americans, most of whom at one time described themselves as Christians. Along with Southeast Asians and those from the Middle East, African Americans comprise one of the three largest ethnic groups of American Muslims and make up about twenty percent of the total U.S. Muslim population. Indeed, almost every African American male today grows up with some proximity to Islam.
What is the reason for this attraction to Islam within African American communities? Throughout the remainder of Black History Month, we will look at key factors that have led many from communities of color to convert to Islam: the search for roots, the reality of racism, and the hunger for retribution. As we will see, the gospel has been the answer for African Americans historically, and this Message is no less relevant for African Americans today. While Islam purports to hold out an answer for African Americans, only in Christ can one find his or her truest identity, dignity, and peace. Dive in with us throughout this month, as we explore some of the claims of Black Islam and show that the Christian faith is the superior choice for African American Muslims.