- Impact of a Nation on 20th century America (FCN, 03-10-2000)
(FinalCall.com) – Monday through Friday, Maurice Muhammad is a magistrate with the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Commonly known as a judge, he handles arraignments, traffic court and often night court.
On weekends, his time belongs to the Nation of Islam and in the city off Interstate 20 and 59, the graduate of Miles Law School is the minister of Natin of Islam Study Group in Tuscaloosa where they have just opened a new mosque to spread the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
“The community where the mosque is located is called Shack town and if you saw it you would understand why. Min. Maurice is bringing new life to this area. There are churches on every corner and for the past 20-25 years nothing has been done,” said community activist Timothy Robinson.
“I work with the Brothers in the streets and this will bring and breed new life in the community. This is one of the biggest drug and most violent areas of the city even though there’s a church everywhere.”
The new mosque opened last month to much fanfare when this desolate part of the city began to see the repair of an abandoned building. The work being done not only attracted neighbors, but it also attracted the attention of Sara Bruyn Jones, a religion reporter for the Tuscaloosa News. Her story landed on the cover of the religion section of the paper, May 28.
She interviewed community members and other religious leaders who were happy the new mosque was coming to their city.
Community activist S.T. Dyes told The Final Call, “This is bringing hope and inspiration to young Black wayward men. The mosque is a structure to find our lost people. They are lost from their heritage and don’t seem to have a sense of purpose.”
“We wanted to centralize and grow,” explained Min. Maurice. This building used to be a convenience store and a beauty salon. It sits in the middle of the community. We approached the owner about leasing it.”
“He told me that he couldn’t keep tenants in it because they’re always getting robbed. I knew this was the place for us. We started renovating and then produced a flyer, ‘Will A Man Rob God?’ The community has welcomed us and word is spreading that the Nation of Islam is here.”
The new building can hold nearly 100 people. “We’re also looking to open a cafÃ© and bookstore too,” said Min. Maurice. “The rear has the potential of being a laundromat.”
Min. Maurice is a former assistant minister, protocol director and Fruit of Islam captain. He brings experience, dedication and commitment to this new endeavor and has worked with Central Alabama Islamic Conference and the Muslim American Society.
As a magistrate, he also goes into the community and talks about the law. Min. Maurice visits schools and community associations, and has visited over 11 prisons in Alabama and toured death row at Donaldson State Institution with National Prison Minister Abdullah Muhammad.
“People seem to be amazed to see a young Black man doing this job. As a Muslim, I see the need for our people to have the Life-Giving Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Most of our crime is Black-on-Black. Our people are perishing for the lack of knowledge,” Min. Maurice said.
National Spokesman for the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, Minister Jamil Muhammad told The Final Call, “This is a natural incremental growth over the past 12 years. I always knew that Tuscaloosa would be a strong presence in the south. We’re about to see the city prosper.”