The Moorish appearance renewed talks about the group on social media, who often appear carrying the Moroccan flag.
Rabat – Dozens of Moorish activists joined in the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, some appearing with Moroccan flags on their backs. Members of the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA) believe that African Americans were originally Moroccans and emphasize racial pride.
The Moorish appearance renewed talks about the group on social media. They often appear carrying the Moroccan flag, men wearing red fez hats while women don turbans.
The self-styled Moroccans joined their voices to many American protesters in the streets following the tragic death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police officers in the state of Minnesota.
Photos from the protests show dozens from the Moorish community carrying banners that say, “We are not Black, we are Moors, this is Morocco!” The group contests the generally-accepted origins of African Americans. MSTA’s founder claimed that the “true nature” of people considered African Americans was withheld from them.
Being an African-rooted community, the Moorish came to offer support to a cause that aligns with their claimed principles of “Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom, and Justice,” to which they invite their followers to adhere.
African American Drew Ali founded the movement in the state of New Jersey in 1913, with the belief that all African Americans are Moors descended from northwest Africa, where Morocco is geographically located.
Ali established the first MSTA in Chicago in 1928. He believed it would become a “new Mecca,” Muslims’ destination for pilgrimage.
Today the Moorish run over 90 MSTA chapters in 15 different states.
Muslim in faith, this sect of the Moorish believe that they possess a secret part of the Quran, which they refer to as the “Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America.”
The group also pledges allegiance to Morocco’s Kings.
The movement’s official website calls its followers believers of the “Mohammedan religion,” stating that their aim is to “help in the great program of uplifting fallen humanity and teach those things necessary to make our members better citizens.”
The MSTA founder’s message also points to their religious freedom as US citizens, “under the laws of one of the greatest documents of all time, the American Constitution.”