Oddly familiar news from the past
0 comment Friday, September 26, 2014 |
On one of my forays looking for old books and ephemera, I found a number of wonderful old cookbooks (which I always enjoy; people ate so differently in the past) and a cache of some old newspapers from the 1930s. It's quite fascinating to read the old newspapers; it's like visiting another world for a while. The past, as we say around here, truly is another country.
The banner headline on one of these papers, dated April 18,1934 reads:
Negro Cult Followers Battle Detroit Police
I attempted to scan this for you all, but my scanner is not working properly, so I will just transcribe it.
Raid on Cult University Resented
Scores of Detroit PolicemenTrampled and Beaten by Mob of 500 Excited Negroes
Leaders are Jailed
'Knowledge of Spook Civilization' Taught Children
Detroit, April 18 -- Negro followers of the 'Cult of Islam', estimated by police to number 500, rioted today at police headquarters, where they had gathered in the mistaken belief the court arraignment of some of their leaders was to be held. They trampled and beat nearly a score of policemen.
Six policemen required hospital treatment. Dozens of other persons suffered less serious injuries before the rioters were dispersed by a riot squad of fifty men swinging night sticks.
The violence was the aftermath of a raid Monday on the "University of Islanm" [sic] whose curriculum, police investigators said, included such subjects as "general knowledge of spook civilization".
Fourteen leaders and instructors were arrested, charged with contributing to the delinquency of minorts and with subversive teaching.
The mob of negroes first gathered in Clinton Street, adjoining police headquarters, and after fifteen minutes of fist fighting, was broken up. A few minutes later, the fighting was resumed in front of police headquarters. A riot squad of fifty policemen finally scattered the demonstrators by using their night sticks.
Apparently, the crowd had gathered to attend the arraignment in recorder's court of fourteen instructors in the "University of Islam", who were arrested Monday night in a raid on the cult headquarters.
'Get the coppers'
The fighting started, police said, when a large negro identified as one of the cult leaders, shouted "get the coppers."
The cult, police believe, is a revival of another order which disbanded two years ago after a voodoo human sacrifice had been revealed.
The fourteen persons facing arraignment today were rescribed [sic] by police as instructors in the "university" and are charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors and subversive teachings. All gave Oriental names and none, investigators said, had teachers' licenses.
The "university" was raided at the request of public school officials who had become alarmed over the withdrawal of several hundred negro children from the schools. The roster of the school showed 400 names.
Police said they had learned that John Mohammed, 24, described as the cult leader, charged $1 for a "baptismal" ceremony by which negro members adopted Oriental names.
The curriculum of the "university" contained some ten standard subjects as "general knowledge of the spook being displayed for ,000 [sic] years," "general knowledge of spook civilization" and "the duty of a moslem."
I wonder how this story would have been reported by today's media? Or how the local authorities would have handled the situation?
And back then there was no CAIR and no Islamic lobby, no Moslem congressmen or other electeds to intervene.
How much has changed since then and yet how much remains the same.
Addendum: I found another contemporary account of the same events here. It adds a few details.
Arraigned on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of minors by keeping them out of public school, University of Islam instructors kept their mouths tight shut. From the textbooks police learned that the school's curriculum included courses in General Knowledge of the Spook Being Displayed for 6,000 Years, General Knowledge of Spook Civilization, The Duty of a Moslem. Sample lessons:"The actual knowledge of a sun of man has searched for 66,000,000,000 years or more and have not located the spook yet.""Sampson was the man who muscled up the stone in the City of Mecca. It weighed 3,000 Ib.""Mohammed killed 6,000,000 Christians in his time and put 90,000 heads in a hole."

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