Public Resource

48 Common Myths and Misconceptions About Moorish Americans

Updated on
June 20, 2022

For over 100 years, Moorish Americans have consistently demonstrated plans for the betterment of mankind, teaching those things that make our people better Citizens, and promoting ideas that our social, moral and economic conditions can be better.

As followers of our Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali, and members of the Moorish Science Temple of America, we are also greatly involved in the Great Program of Uplifting Fallen Humanity.

Unfortunately, there has been a recent surge of so-called "Moorish" groups and individuals who promote ideas and principles that are completely opposite of the principles of Moorish Americans.

And for many, these events have created a great source of confusion between Moorish Americans and other so-called "Moorish" groups.

The following is a list of the most common myths and misconceptions about Moorish Americans that need correcting.

Sovereign Myths

MYTH: Moorish Americans are sovereign 

Act 5 of The Moorish Science Temple of America Divine Constitution and By-Laws states:

"This organization of the Moorish Science Temple of America is not to cause any confusion or to overthrow the laws and constitution of the said government but to obey hereby."

We Moorish Americans are not sovereign citizens.

We are not anti-American nor are we anti-government.

We are a nation of Moors within the American governmental structure.

We are a part and partial of the said government.

MYTH: Moorish Americans do not need driver's licenses

Act 4 of The Moorish Science Temple of America Divine Constitution and By-Laws states:

"All Members must preserve these Holy and Divine laws, and all members must obey the laws of the government, because by being a Moorish American, you are a part and partial of the government, and must live life accordingly."

Moorish Americans are not exempt from laws that require driver's licenses, license plates, and vehicle registration.

Not having these things can result in arrest and confiscation of your vehicle — which causes confusion.

MYTH: Moorish Americans can squat in or take possession of someone else’s home or property

Yes, we believe all Moorish Americans should have adequate shelter, but taking someone else’s property is not the answer.

This is not only illegal, but it also goes against the Moorish American moral codes of conduct.

MYTH: Moorish Americans need to file paperwork within the courts to proclaim their nationality

Proclaiming your nationality simply requires one to find an authorized temple of the Moorish Science Temple of America nearest to you.

Nationality is free all over the world.

Then you will have an opportunity to proclaim your nationality.

MYTH: Moorish Americans have to pay for their nationality

According to Prophet Noble Drew Ali, membership is FREE "all over the world."

Prophet Noble Drew Ali also states those who charge for membership are not Moors — but robbers.

MYTH: The Moorish Science Temple of America is a Government

Although the Moorish Science Temple of America governs the affairs of Moorish Americans, the Moorish Science Temple is not a government.

The Moorish Science Temple of America is a nation within a nation.

Act 4 of the Moorish Science Temple of America Divine Constitution and By-Laws states:

"by being a Moorish American, you are a part and partial of the government and must live life accordingly."

MYTH: Moorish Americans are not subject to the laws of the City, State, or U.S.A.

The Moorish Science Temple of America is a religious organization that teaches its members to be better Citizens and law-abiding people.

As First Class Citizens of the U.S.A, Moorish Americans "are to obey the laws of the government".

MYTH: Moorish Americans can avoid being prosecuted by the law.

Being a Moorish American does not shield us from being prosecuted by the law if a crime has been committed.

In fact, Moorish Americans who break the law may be subject to harsher penalties because we would not only be breaking federal, state, local or municipal laws, but we'd be breaking Holy and Divine laws laid down by our Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

MYTH: Moorish Americans claim the words of U.S.A. are "United States of Amexem"

Moorish Americans do not claim the words of the U.S.A. are "United States of Amexem".

The words of the U.S.A. are "United States of America."

Religious Myths

MYTH: Moorish Americans do not Love Jesus

Prophet Noble Drew Ali instructs us in our Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America:

"These secret lessons are for all those who love Jesus and desire to know about His life works and teachings."

Moorish Americans believe in and love Jesus, and John the Baptist.

MYTH: Moorish Americans believe in a European Jesus

In The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, Chapter XLVI "The Beginning of Christianity," The Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches us:

"Jesus himself was of the true blood of the ancient Canaanites and Moabites and the inhabitants of Africa."

The ancient Canaanites and Moabites and the inhabitants of Africa all had various shades of dark olive skin tone much like their decedents of today.

Us Moorish Americans are descendants of those ancient Moabites.

In Revelation Chapter 1 in the Holy Bible, John describes the Son of Man as having:

"feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;"

Fine (burnish) brass is not the skin tone of a European.

MYTH: Moorish Americans worship Jesus

Moorish Americans are not Quasi-Christians.

We do not worship Jesus.

Moorish Americans only worship the Universal Creator — we call Him Allah.

"To the one who is supreme, most wise and beneficent, and to Him alone, belong worship, adoration, thanksgiving and praise."

We honor all True and Divine Prophets, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Confucius, etc.

MYTH: Moorish Americans do not read the Holy Bible

Moorish Americans read the Holy Bible.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali refers to portions of The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America as:

"the eighteen years which are absent in your "Holy Bible."

MYTH: Moorish Americans worship Prophet Noble Drew Ali

Moorish Americans do not worship Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

We give Noble Drew Ali the highest honors and obey his Laws as handed down to us.

MYTH: Moorish Americans hate Europeans 

Moorish Americans do not hate Europeans.

In the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, The Prophet teaches us to Love instead of Hate.

We live under the Principles of Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice.

We Love all people, regardless of nationality, creed or skin tone.

MYTH: Moorish Americans believe Europeans (the so-called “White Man”) are the Devil

Moorish Americans do not believe the so-called "White Man" is the Devil.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches us:

"The only devil from which men must be redeemed is self, the lower self. If man would find his devil he must look within; his name is self."

MYTH: Moorish Americans are members of a cult

The Moorish Science Temple of America is not a cult.

The Moorish Science Temple of America is a religious corporation (1928) founded by our Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

MYTH: Moorish Americans are Muslims

Prophet Noble Drew Ali states that a Moorish American is

"a Moslem under the divine Laws of the Holy Koran of Mecca, Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice."

Moorish Americans are Moslems because Prophet Noble Drew Ali specifically address us as such.

MYTH: Moorish Americans pray five times a day 

Prayer for Moorish Americans is not limited to five times a day.

There is no set time for prayer, but it is important to practice being in constant communication with Allah.

MYTH: Moorish Americans' religion is Islam

For Moorish Americans, Islam is not our religion but is a way of life.

The Moorish Americans' religion is Islamism.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches us that "Islam" simply means "Peace."

Our religion of Islamism is simply the practice of that Peace.

MYTH: Moorish Americans practice an Arabic religion

Moorish Americans do not practice an Arabic religion.

Moorish Americans practice Islamism, the Old Time Religion of our ancient forefathers who "are the true and divine founders of the first religious creed."

MYTH: Islam is an Arabic word

The word "Islam" is not of Arabic origin.

Variations of "Islam" can be found in many Semitic ("Afro-Asiatic") languages such as Aramaic, Canaanite, Hebrew, Ge'ez, Maltese, Arabic, etc.

In all of these languages, the root meaning translates to "Peace".

MYTH: Moorish Americans believe “Islam” is an acronym meaning I. Self. Law. Am. Master.

Moorish Americans do not believe "Islam" is an acronym.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches that the word "Islam" simply means "peace."

"I. Self. Law. Am. Master." is an acronym of modern English words and has no connection to "peace" or what the Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches.

MYTH: Moorish Americans believe “Allah” is an acronym meaning Arm. Leg. Leg. Arm. Head.

Moorish Americans do not believe "Allah" is an acronym.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches that the word "Allah" is the Father of the Universe.

"Arm. Leg. Leg. Arm. Head." is an acronym of modern English words and has no connection to what the Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches.

MYTH: Allah is an Arabic word

The word "Allah" is not of Arabic origin.

Variations of "Allah" can be found in many Semitic ("Afro-Asiatic") languages such as Aramaic, Canaanite, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.

In all of these languages, the root meaning translates to "God".

Cultural & Identity Myths

MYTH: All Moors are Moorish American

Not all Moors have proclaimed their nationality — therefore they aren't yet Moorish Americans.

Moorish Americans are Moors in America who have proclaimed their nationality in an authorized temple.

MYTH: Moorish Americans are black, African American, etc.

Act 6 of The Divine Constitution and By-Laws of The Moorish Science Temple of America states Moorish Americans"

"are not Negroes, Colored Folks, Black People, or Ethiopians, because these names were given to slaves by slave holders in 1779 and lasted until 1865 during the time of slavery"

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches Moorish Americans that "Negro, Colored, Black, etc" are marks that delude to slavery.

MTYH: “Moor” means black 

The word "Moor" does not mean black.

The marks of "Negro, Black, Colored and Ethiopia" were put upon the Moors of Northwest by the European Nations in 1774.

Moors is an old name of our people.

MYTH: Moorish Americans are Moroccans

Prophet Noble Drew Ali teaches us that we are "descendants of Moroccans" and born in America.

This is not to be confused with Moroccans (citizens of the Kingdom of Morocco in Northwest Africa) but descendants of the founders and true possessors of the present Moroccan Empire.

MYTH: Moorish American Moslems are copying Arab traditions 

Moorish Americans honor the Divine Creed and Principles of our ancient fathers and mothers which predate Arabic traditions.

MYTH: Moorish Americans are terrorist

Moorish Americans are NOT terrorists

The Moorish Science Temple of America is a religious organization that teaches Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice.

Moorish Americans cannot commit any acts of terrorism or "put in danger or accuse falsely his brother or sister on any occasion at all that may harm his brother or sister..."

MYTH: Moorish Americans speak Arabic

Moorish Americans do not speak Arabic.

As Citizens of the United States of America — we speak American English, the predominant language spoken in the U.S.A.

MYTH: Moorish Americans have to dress like Arabs, Africans & Hindus

Moorish Americans do not have to dress like Arabs, Africans or Hindus.

We dress modestly in business attire that is suitable for the occasion.

We also adorn our turbans and fezzes as our religious headdress.

MYTH: The Moorish flag is a Moroccan flag

The Moorish Flag is a Free National Standard of the Moorish Science Temple of America.

According to Prophet Noble Drew Ali, The Moorish Flag is over 10,000 years old.

Here is Prophet Noble Drew Ali flying the Moorish Flag alongside the American Flag on January 8, 1928.

The Kingdom of Morocco did not begin flying a flag similar to the Moorish Flag until it gained its independence in 1956.

MYTH: The Moorish Flag has a green pentagram in the center

The Moorish flag does not have a green pentagram in the center.

In the "Koran Questions for Moorish Americans" Prophet Noble Drew Ali specifically states:

"19. What kind of a flag is the Moorish?"
"It is a red flag with a five pointed green star in the center."

Historical Myths

MYTH: Moorish Americans originated in Africa

In Chapter 47, Egypt, the Capital Empire of the Dominion of Africa, instruction 9 reads:

"...all the inhabitants of Africa were and are of the human race, descendants of the ancient Canaanite nations from the holy land of Canaan."

The ancestors of Moorish Americans inhabited Africa and originated from the land of Canaan.

"The Moorish Americans are the descendants of the ancient Moabites who inhabited the North Western and South Western shores of Africa."
— Act 6, The Divine Constitution and By-Laws

MYTH: Moorish Americans are Masons or Shriners

Moorish Americans are not Masons or Shriners.

The Moorish Science Temple of America is not a fraternal organization.

The Prophet Noble Drew Ali did not bring Freemasonry (or any form of it) to Moorish Americans.

The Moorish Science Temple of America was founded for the sole purpose of uplifting fallen humanity & to teach our people their Nationality and Divine Creed.

It is natural for many to want to associate Moorish Science with Freemasonry.

At a glance, there may appear to be many similar elements between the two — the wearing of red fezzes, the use of similar signs & symbols, etc.

But at closer inspection, it is clear that Moorish Science and Freemasonry are completely different.

Myths About
Prophet Noble Drew Ali

MYTH: Prophet Noble Drew Ali didn't complete the work he was sent to do 

It is said that the Prophet said, "I have brought you everything it takes to save a nation, take it and save yourself."

The Prophet was holding up The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, the Divine Constitution and By-Laws, and the Koran Questions for Moorish Americans.

Within these 3 pieces of material, the Prophet has given us EVERYTHING we need to save ourselves and enjoy the benefits of First Class Citizenship here in the U.S.A. — he completed his work.

MYTH: Noble Drew Ali was in a circus

This is a common saying that has spread throughout the internet.

The myth tells that he was a circus performer and Broadway star by the name of Walter Brister who faked his death and reemerged as Noble Drew Ali.

The Prophet did not provide us with much information regarding his upbringing other than he was born in the State of North Carolina, 1886.

There is no substantial evidence to support this idea, that Prophet Noble Drew Ali was ever in a circus as a youth or faked his death — it appears to be an attempt to discredit the “Prophethood” of the Prophet and what he's done for humanity.

MYTH: Prophet Noble Drew Ali was a Freemason 

Although it may be tempting for many to want to connect the Prophet Noble Drew Ali to the European fraternal organization, the idea that Prophet Noble Drew Ali was a Mason is flawed.

In Chapter XLVIII of the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, Prophet Noble Drew Ali says the following:

"We, as a clean and pure nation descended from the inhabitants of Africa, do not desire to amalgamate or marry into the families of the pale skin nations of Europe."

It would be a contradiction for Prophet Noble Drew Ali to be a member of a European Fraternal — according to his own instructions.

And Prophets don't contradict themselves.

MYTH: This brother with Marcus Garvey is Prophet Noble Drew Ali

Marcus Garvey (right) during the Convention of the UNIA, 1920.
The brother (left) is NOT Prophet Noble Drew Ali

There is an iconic photo of Marcus Garvey that has been circulating the internet for years — sitting in the car next to Garvey is a brother that some say is Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

The brother in the photo is NOT Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

The Prophet stated in Chapter XLVIII of the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America:

"In these modern days there came a forerunner, who was divinely prepared by the great God Allah and his name is Marcus Garvey, who did teach and warn the nation of the earth to prepare to meet the coming Prophet."

Because Moorish Americans hold Marcus Garvey in high honor, it is tempting for those who study Prophet Noble Drew Ali to want to "prove" the Prophet and Marcus Garvey were in contact with each other.

But there is no need to make false claims about the photo above to prove the Prophet right.

MYTH: This (other) brother with Marcus Garvey is Prophet Noble Drew Ali

Marcus Garvey (left) and E. B. Knox (right) — NOT Prophet Noble Drew Ali

This is not Prophet Noble Drew Ali standing next to Marcus Garvey.

He is Garvey's American Representative Ernest Benjamin Knox (E. B. Knox).

E. B. Knox was put in charge of the American Headquarters of the Universal Negro Improvement Association.

MYTH: Prophet Noble Drew Ali and Marcus Garvey never met

This myth arises as an attempt to discredit the Prophet Noble Drew Ali in connection with his forerunner, Marcus Garvey.

We have records from an article in the Chicago defender and a postcard from the Prophet to his wife — both providing details of the Prophet's visit to Marcus Garvey while incarcerated in Atlanta Georgia.

Article in the Chicago Defender about The Prophet Noble Drew Ali
visiting Marcus Garvey in federal prison in Atlanta, GA

National &
Organizational Myths

MYTH: All Temples are Authorized temples of the Moorish Science Temple of America

All because a temple states that it is a subordinate temple of the Moorish Science Temple of America, does not mean it is an authorized temple.

Authorized temples of the Moorish Science Temple of America can be found here.

MYTH: There are multiple Supreme Grand Sheiks of the Moorish Science Temples of America 

There is only one Moorish Science Temple of America — therefore there is only one Supreme Grand Sheik of the Moorish Science Temple of America.

The current Supreme Grand Sheik and Chairman of the Moorish Science Temple of America is Bro. Emmanuel Braswell Bey. He is the Eighth in Succession starting from Bro. Edward Mealy El, the First Supreme Grand Sheik and Chairman appointed by Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

See the complete line of succession for the Moorish Science Temple of America.

MYTH: The Moorish Science Temple of America at one time had over 200 temples

There have been many temples over the past 95 years that have become inactive over time.

We have no records of having over 200 temples. 

MYTH: The Moorish Science Temple of America split in the late 1920s - 1930s

The Moorish Science Temple did not split in the late 1920s - 1930s — it has remained intact from the time of the Prophet until today.

There have been many Moors and temples that have separated themselves from the Moorish Science Temple of America, but the Moorish Science Temple of America itself has never "split".

MYTH: The line of succession of Supreme Grand Sheiks of the Moorish Science Temple of America has been broken

See the unbroken line of succession for the Moorish Science Temple of America.

The Prophet Noble Drew Ali said:

"This is an Everlasting Movement, founded by The Prophet Through the will of "ALLAH" To redeem His People from their Sinful ways."

For this to be an "Everlasting Movement", the line of Supreme Grand Sheiks (initiated by The Prophet) has to have remained intact — as it has.

MYTH: Moorish Americans don’t have to be members of an authorized Temple

The Prophet said: "This is the only Soul Foundation, that all Asiatics must depend upon, for their Earthly Salvation as American Citizens"

The only way for our people, who bear the marks of "Negro, Colored, Black, African American, etc", to enjoy First-Class Citizenship in the U.S.A. is to join an authorized temple and proclaim their nationality.

Moorish Americans promptly attend their meetings, become a part and partial of all uplifting acts and keep in line with all necessities of the Moorish Science Temple of America — according to Act 7 of the Divine Constitution and By-Laws.

Here is the Official National Membership Registry of the Moorish Science Temple of America.

In Conclusion

Trying to understand us Moorish Americans without a basic understanding of the teachings of Prophet Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple of America, is like trying to put a puzzle together without all the pieces.

Many of the myths and misconceptions about Moorish Americans arise from a lack of understanding who we truly are, of our history, our religion and the life-changing lessons of The Prophet Noble Drew Ali.

We hope that this article has helped to clear up some of the confusion and provided insight into who we are and what we believe.

Peace and Love.

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Founded by Prophet Noble Drew Ali

Bro. E. Braswell Bey
Supreme Grand Sheik and Chairman

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