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Muslim group searches for a new leader

Sept. 3, 2003 at 9:25 PM

CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- The American Society of Muslims is searching for a successor to W. Deen Mohammed to help integrate African-Americans into the mainstream Islamic world.

Spokesmen told the Chicago Tribune Mohammed's successor must also find ways to attract young African-American Muslims, many of whom feel the movement became too focused on classical Islamic teaching and ignored social and political problems facing black Americans.

Mohammed's resigned this week during the organization's annual convention in Chicago.

Leaders agreed the main problem in the organization has been the aging imams, most of whom are former ministers in the Nation of Islam, now led by Louis Farrakhan, or other religious denominations. Those ministers are accused of failing to undergo theological training required to preach Sunni Islam with authority.

Mohammed said he resigned out of frustration at failing to persuade imams in his organization to study Muslim theology.

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