LOUIS FARRAKHAN is the leader of The Nation of Islam, an organization that traces its roots to Wallace D. Fard, who established mosques in Detroit and Chicago in the early 1930s.
Fard told his followers that he was the incarnation of Allah and promised that his teachings would deliver them from the yoke of white oppression.
In 1934, Fard disappeared and was succeeded by one of his lieutenants, Elijah Muhammad, who was born Elijah Poole in Sandersville, Ga., in 1897.
Elijah Muhammad met Fard in Detroit and became one of his most devoted followers. Fard eventually named Elijah Muhammad his Supreme Minister, a position that prepared him to lead the group after Fard's disappearance.
Elijah Muhammad took the title "Messenger of Allah" and continued to proselytize until 1942, when he was jailed for failing to register for the draft. After a five-year prison term, he returned to his ministry and established mosques in cities with large black populations. He died in 1975.
The Nation of Islam is built on the "Holy Qur-an" and the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. He preached that "original man" was black and white people are murderous "devils," created by Mr. Yakub, an evil black man known as "the big head scientist."
According to Nation of Islam theology, Mr. Yakub created the white race more than 6,000 years ago by grafting it from the germ of the black man. The white devils or "beasts" are destined to rule the black nation until it gives rise to an emancipator with infinite knowledge and power.
Answering the rhetorical question of what the Muslims want, Elijah Muhammad outlined the following:
* 1.Full and complete freedom.
* 2.Equal justice under the law.
* 3.Equality of opportunity.
* 4.Establishment of a separate state or territory either on this continent or elsewhere for the descendants of slavery in the United States. He called on the former "slave-masters" to fund the new nation for "20 or 25 years" until it becomes self-sufficient.
* 5.Freedom for all Muslims now held in federal prisons and freedom for all black men and women now under death sentences.
* 6.An immediate end to police brutality.
* 7.Equal employment opportunities until a new nation is established.
* 8.A tax exemption for "our people" as long as they are denied equal justice.
* 9.Separate but equal schools.
4( * 10.A prohibition on "race mixing."