Milwaukee’s chapter of Nation of Islam is fighting back at the Southern Poverty Law Center (S.P.L.C.), saying it is not a hate group.
Muhammad Mosque #3 is one of more than a dozen organizations listed as hate groups in Wisconsin by the S.P.L.C. This is the 16th year the Milwaukee mosque has landed on the list, but its members say the title couldn’t be further from the truth.
“This has been a strong community partner in this city,” said Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton.
A two-story brick building on Milwaukee’s north side is home to a mosque Hamilton depends on to uplift the black community when it comes to crime, health and homelessness.
“I’ve had to lean on this mosque to help in one of the most challenging neighborhoods in this city,” he said.
Despite its efforts to spread peace, Milwaukee’s chapter of Nation of Islam has once again been recognized for hate along with groups such as the KKK and neo-Nazis.
“In an environment of heightened, racist violence and Islamophobia to target our mosque could potentially direct misguided individuals to our location to do harm to the believers, our families, our children.” — student minister William Muhammad
“We have been under attack,” said student minister William Muhammad.
The designation leaves Muhammad and fellow members worried about their safety.
“In an environment of heightened, racist violence and Islamophobia to target our mosque could potentially direct misguided individuals to our location to do harm to the believers, our families, our children,” Muhammad said.
The S.P.L.C. said Muhammad Mosque #3 landed on its list of more than 1,000 hate groups nationwide because, “The Nation of Islam is a black nationalist group whose basic foundation is that all whites are blue-eyed devils and that Jews ran the slave trade.”
Muhammad refutes the first part of that claim but stands by the second.
“It’s not us that say that they’re involved in the slave trade alone, their own historians and history record documents it,” he said.
While the S.P.L.C. sent TODAY’S TMJ4 a statement, it never responded to an interview request.