Black, Muslim and American

If you’ve read Muslim Connect for even a short time, you’re probably aware that I don’t know a whole lot more than I know. Today’s edition is a good example. I’d like to share a couple of interesting points with you. But from the outset, you need to know I feel very clumsy talking about racial issues involving African Americans. I am very white and nearly clueless.

Pew Research reports these numbers:

  1. African Americans make up about 20% of Muslims in America or nearly 700,000.
  2. Almost 50% of Black Muslims in the U.S. are converts to Islam.
  3. Nearly 80% of Black Americans are Christian and 2% are Muslim.
  4. Between 20,000 and 50,000 African American Muslims are members of the Nation of Islam, led by Louis Farrakhan.

True confession: A week ago, I would have guessed that Black Islam in American pretty much equaled the Nation of Islam. Clearly that’s not the case. At the high end, NOI represents 20%. Most Black Muslims in the US are simply Sunni or Muslim in general without specific affiliation.

What that reality does for me is lessen my sense of “otherness” toward Black American Muslims. It makes me wonder in a deeper way what makes up the draw toward conversion. I question how the American church (including me!) may have faltered since statistically those who convert do so away from Christianity.

Surely there are dozens of other relative questions. What comes to your mind? (Please comment below.)

Along with the questions, I’m reminded of this quote from Bob Goff, “Find someone. . . who isn’t like you at all and decide to love that person the way you want Jesus to love you. We need to love everybody, always. Jesus never said doing these things would be easy. He just said it would work.” (Tweet this.)

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8 Responses to Black, Muslim and American

  1. Melody Gritton

    I think there are a lot of reasons people, especially young people, are leaving the church/Christianity. Some of our churches have become legalistic and are always pointing the finger as the LGBT community or abortion and have forgotten their own sins; adultery, bigotry, pornography, etc. I feel we are getting into finger pointing and forgetting that lying to anyone is just as bad a sin as murder. I read The Shack for the first time in December 2019 and purchased the books for all my family members. My daughter finished the book this week and said if churches treated people the way God, Jesus & The Holy Spirit did in The Shack, she would go to church again. The love we are supposed to have for others has been forgotten in this world.

    • shanedar

      Guilty as charged, Melody. I find it way easier to point the finger at others than to consider my own sin. I want to grow in my capacity to receive and pass out the love of God.

      Thank you for reading Muslim Connect and taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

  2. Barb

    I think a large number of people who call themselves “Christian” are in name only. Those who are truly loving God, loving their neighbor, reading and obeying the Bible are probably not the majority. This has to lead to confusion, hurt, and a rejection. It’s hard to believe anyone who knows the grace of Jesus would turn away and chose a works religion. Just like standing in the garage doesn’t make you a car, sitting in the pew doesn’t make you a Christian.

    • shanedar

      I find it hard to continually love God and my neighbor, read and obey the Bible. It’s a challenge, isn’t it?

      Thank you for reading Muslim Connect and taking time to reply. I appreciate it.

  3. Alan Bales

    Churches across America are failing our youth. We as Christians are not gathering our young people of all races, not just blacks. American Indian, Hispanic, European, Continental African, Arab, and the list goes on. If the “Church” leaves out the least of these, where can we expect them to go? To a worship group that will readily teach them about the Quaran rather than the Bible? Please Americans, love everyone, particularly our children, give them the eternal hope of a loving, caring God of eternity.

    • shanedar

      Hey Alan, Thank you for reading and replying. What do you think would help with “gathering our young people of all races. . . ?”

  4. Trevin Hoekzema

    Very very interesting and important stats. Thanks for this important point here, Shane.

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