Reportback from the Moorish League Synod

From July 20 to 22, 2018 I was blessed to attend the most significant Moorish League event since its founding in 1996. It was a sweltering weekend in Dallas, with the mercury lingering well above the 100 degree mark. After arriving in the city and checking into my hotel I went to check the location of the conference. As I crossed a major intersection en route to Bubastis Oasis, which hosted the synod, a fire suddenly broke out in a nearby building sending plumes of smoke high into the air. I took this to be an omen that the event would be a real barn burner. A few hours later I returned to find the Oasis bustling with activity. Any awkwardness I initially felt as a newcomer among a group of people who already knew each other soon fell away.

Throughout Friday evening I met the other conference attendees, some of whom I’ve exchanged words with over the internet or by mail, others who I was getting to know for the first time. Br. Mustafa, master of ceremonies for the weekend, presided over a service for Noble Drew Ali on the occasion of the anniversary of his passing. Supplementary commentary was provided by Br. Muhammad who joined in via video conferencing. The evening’s events were topped off by an excursion to the local community radio station. There we presented music and live spoken word selections late into the night.

The late morning and early afternoon of Saturday were devoted to talks by Br. Mustafa, Br. Al-Hubb, and myself. I was pleased with the variety not only of the topics explored, but the styles in which they were presented and the manner in which they included attendees. It was truly a rich melange worthy of the Moorish current. In the evening a masquerade party was hosted by Br. Yehudi in his new home. This event brought the largest number of attendees we saw during the whole weekend. It’s not hard to see why; clearly the senior members of the Khaliwat-i-Khidr are well-practiced in the art of revelry. Unfortunately, several weeks worth of travel and sleep deprivation caught up with me that night. Though I ended up leaving unfashionably early, the reminiscences I heard the next day made it clear it was a night to remember.

On Sunday afternoon we got down to business. Around eight of us met for a roundtable discussion about the various constituent organizations of the Moorish League: the Noble Order of Moorish Sufis, the Moorish Salvation Navy, the Moorish Orthodox Church, its various Orders of the Adept Chamber, and the Order of the Resurrection. We discussed the status and roles of each organization, and informally agreed that further clarification and perhaps reorganization would be in order in the future. However, of first priority is the continuing work of contacting long-standing League members and determining if they are interested in joining the present revival of activity. Further, many present expressed a desire to build bridges with members of the Moorish Science Temple and related organizations This was most eloquently expressed by Br. Al-Hubb in a letter he prepared for this very purpose. Also discussed were other items on our to-do list such as drawing up biographical sketches of seminal figures in the Moorish current and possible community outreach activities under the banner of the Navy.

We wrapped up discussion by looking forward to future conferences. No definite decisions were made, but New York City and Chicago were named as promising locations to hold a follow-up event in 12-18 months. Thereafter we issued documents, exchanged gifts, and said our farewells. For me the weekend represented a maturation of efforts. Despite holding immediatist views, this was ironically my first true foray into Moorish social life beyond so-called “social media”. I left inspired to manifest my own spin on Moorish Orthodoxy wherever in the world my journeys take me.

Idris as-Sabi EL


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