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"SEPARATE FROM THE PEOPLE GOD WILL DESTROY, AND FLEE FOR REFUGE IN ALLAH" (ISLAM.) Elijah Muhammad. Letter dismissing a proposed academic study of the Nation of Islam. Letter Signed to sociology professor Alphonso Pinkney of Hunter College. One page, 11 x 8 1/2 inches; mailing folds, minimal wear. With a related secretarial letter and postmarked envelopes for each. Phoenix, AZ, 23 October 1963
This letter was written in response to a proposed study of the Nation of Islam by young Black sociologist Alphonso Pinkney (1928-2006), just recently out of graduate school and not yet the author of such works as "The Myth of Black Progress." In short, Muhammad did not wish for his people to be studied.
"Dear Professor Pinkney: I think it best to forget about the study you would like to make among us until such time you are able to study it more in the way of self-interest. I am not so willing to lose time on my own people who want to write something on us, yet are not ready to accept what they are writing for themselves. The mission Allah gave me to deliver to my people is not to be commercialized on. It is the same type of message that the Prophets Noah, Lot, Abraham and Moses delivered to their people; A warning to separate from the people God will destroy, and flee for refuge in Allah. This is the basic message that I am delivering today to the so-called American Negroes. Elijah Muhammad, Messenger of Allah."
Also included is an earlier letter to Pinkney from Muhammad's secretary B. Cushmeer, 4 June 1963, which struck a more welcoming tone: "Mr. Muhammad asked me to please inform you that it is all right with him that you give your desired questionnaires to the Believers or Muslims of New York."
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