United Nation of Islam

A controversial religious movement founded as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, known for its forced labor practices and unconventional beliefs.

The United Nation of Islam (UNOI), established in 1978 by Royall Jenkins in Kansas City, Kansas, emerged as a splinter group from Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam (NOI). Jenkins, who worked as a long-distance truck driver and was deeply involved with the NOI, claimed to have been abducted by angels and taken on a spaceship journey where he was taught divine principles and how to govern Earth. He declared himself “Royall, Allah in Person,” positioning himself as a supreme being with a divine mission.

The group’s beliefs significantly diverge from traditional Islamic teachings, incorporating unique interpretations of the racial and gender dynamics. Jenkins taught that black men are the original humans and that white people were created by a scientist named Yakub 6,000 years ago, mirroring the NOI’s teachings but with his own modifications. Furthermore, he claimed that black women were created for the pleasure of black men, promoting a hierarchy that placed black men at the top. He also held that the current NOI was led astray by Louis Farrakhan, whom he viewed as a formidable enemy.

UNOI operated several businesses across the United States, including gas stations, restaurants, bakeries, a sewing factory, and an urgent-care facility, among others. These enterprises were staffed by members who worked as unpaid labor, a practice that led to allegations of forced labor and abuse. The organization provided housing, education, and medical care for its members, although these services were criticized for their quality and the conditions under which they were provided.

In recent years, the UNOI has faced significant legal challenges, including a nearly $8 million judgment in a human trafficking case brought by Kendra Ross, who alleged she was forced to work without pay for ten years and was subjected to various abuses. Additional indictments against members of the group include charges of conspiracy and forced labor, particularly of minors, who were allegedly made to work up to 16 hours a day without compensation, denied proper medical care, and subjected to restrictive and abusive living conditions.

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