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Kennedy Administration: Black Muslim Membership Will Decline

May 27, 1963 - The Black Muslims (pictured) have reached the peak of their success and will steadily decline throughout the U.S. over the next five years, high sources in the Kennedy Administration predicted today. Their conclusion is based on recent studies of the militant Negro organization, which preaches racial separatism. The sources contended that the Muslims, who have been blamed for inciting racial disorders in Los Angeles and elsewhere, are a problem in such areas as Southern California and New York, but said the organization has little influence in most regions. Denouncing most recent press coverage of the Black Muslims as an exaggeration of the group’s importance, the officials estimated hard core national strength of the movement at “less than 10,000” members. The officials said they have concluded on the basis of their studies that no legal action is warranted against the Muslims, despite suggestions to that effect by some congressmen and civil leaders. The movement, however, will “remain under scrutiny” by Justice Department investigators, the sources added.

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