The Moorish Science Temple of America is an American religious organization founded in the early 20th century by Timothy Drew. Although presented as a sect of Islam, the Moorish Science Temple also draws inspiration from Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism to present a message of self-determination, personal transformation, indigenous identity in the Western Hemisphere, indigenous pride, uplift, civic involvement, and self-sufficiency. One primary tenet is the belief that African-Americans are of Moorish ancestry, specifically from Morocco and, in their religious texts, adherents refer to themselves as "Asiatics".
The Moorish Science Temple of America was incorporated under the Illinois Religious Corporation Act 805 ILCS 110. Timothy Drew, calling himself the Prophet Noble Drew Ali, founded the Moorish Science Temple in 1913 in New Jersey. After some difficulties, Drew moved to Chicago, establishing a center there as well as temples in other major cities, where it expanded rapidly during the late 1920s. The quick expansion of the Moorish Science Temple arose in large part from the search for identity and context among black Americans.
(... from Wikipedia on 2012-04-17 08:44:03)