HAMPTON — The Moorish Science Temple of America has denounced a group bearing the same name that gained attention last week for announcing it was taking possession of a house being sold for $645,000 in Hampton.
Ra Saadi El, who identified himself Monday as the supreme minister of the Moorish Science Temple of America, said the people attempting to claim the house in Hampton are “in disguise” and not legitimately affiliated with the religious organization. Speaking from his office in Atlanta, Saadi El spoke out against people in various U.S. cities whom he characterized as attempting to circumvent U.S. law by claiming citizenship within the Moorish Science Temple.
“The Moorish Science Temple is about people who are law-abiding citizens,” Saadi El said. “If these people took this house and claimed they owned the land because of some imaginary trust, then they are trespassing. This would be a fraudulent act perpetrated in the name of our organization.”
Sheik Dr. P. Vernon Crowell-Bey, who represents a rival group that also claims the name of the Moorish Science Temple of America, says his group has owned the land on which house was constructed since 1928. Crowell-Bey disputes Saadi El’s characterization and says Saadi El is not a true representative of the religious group.
The rival factions are disputing which group is the true representation of the temple established in the early 20th century as a sect of Islam that blends influences from other faiths. One group uses the website moorishtempleofamericainc.com, while another uses the site msta1928.com.
Both sites are billed as the “official site” of the organization, and both warn against impostors.
Moorish Science Temple of America ArchiveYou'll find articles about this subject in each of the items listed, even if the term does not necessarily occur within the headlines or descriptive text.
The Moorish Science Temple of America is an American religious organization founded in the early 20th-century claiming to be a sect of Islam but having equal influences in Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism.
HAMPTON — The five-bedroom home on Haywagon Trail is listed for $645,000 by the builder, the Kecoughtan Company.
A religious group, the Moorish Science Temple of America, disagrees. The temple claims ownership of the land on which the home was built, and its spokesman says the real estate developer had no legal right to remove the furniture that the religious group had moved into the unoccupied home.
Sheik Dr. P. Vernon Crowell-Bey, speaking for the Moorish Science Temple of America, says the religious group has owned the property since 1928 and would like the U.S. National Guard to intervene on his group’s behalf.
“This corporate entity and individual believe that they have rights to this property, but they do not,” Crowell-Bey said. “They would not go into the property of the Catholic Church of Rome and do this, and they will not do this to the Moorish Science Temple of America. These things will not continue.”
That’s news to the Kecoughtan Company, which owns the land. Conway Sheild, legal advisor for the company, characterizes the dispute as “bizarre.”