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FBI and ReligionFaith and National Security before and after 9/11$
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Sylvester A. Johnson and Steven Weitzman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520287273

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520287273.001.0001

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The FBI and the Moorish Science Temple of America, 1926–1960

The FBI and the Moorish Science Temple of America, 1926–1960

(p.55) 3 The FBI and the Moorish Science Temple of America, 1926–1960
FBI and Religion

Sylvester A. Johnson

University of California Press

This chapter explains how the FBI’s interaction with Muslims predates 9/11 by many decades, going back to the early history of the FBI. It examines the FBI's efforts to surveil and infiltrate the Moorish Science Temple of America, from the 1930s until 1960. Racial assumptions shaped the FBI’s response to this group, particularly following their refusal to conform to the Selective Service Act during the Second World War. The chapter demonstrates how the FBI’s attitudes to race and religion intersected to produce a clear pattern of hostility toward this religious group despite the FBI’s repeated findings that the group was not a threat to national security.

Keywords:   Moorish Science Temple of America, African American Islam, Racial surveillance

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