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The Religious Affiliation of
Mumia Abu-Jamal
journalist, Black Panther, political activist,
convicted murderer, popular counter culture icon


Mumia Abu-Jamal is a convert to Islam. Prior to his conviction for murdering a police officer, Mumia was a popular young journalist and political activist. Since being convicted and receiving the death sentence (which has never been carried out, after more than two decades), Mumia has become a popular writer from within prison. He is particularly popular in counter-culture segments of society, among whom "Free Mumia" T-shirts and slogans are popular. Mumia Abu-Jamal has become an icon for certain political and ideological segments of society.

Mumia Abu-Jamal's mother Edith was a Methodist. [Source: Terry Bisson, On a Move: The Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Farmington, Pennsylvania: Litmus Books (2001), page 8.]

Mumia Abu-Jamal attended Sunday School regularly as a boy. He enjoyed learning stories about Jesus and sharing what he learned with friends. (Source: Bisson, page 11)

Beginning at age 14, Mumia Abu-Jamal became a follower of the "black power" movement and Malcolm X. Mumia joined the Black Panthers and studied the Little Red Book of Chairman Mao. (Source: Bisson, pages 33-36)

Mumia Abu-Jamal became the Lieutenant of Information for the Philadelphia Branch of the Black Panther Party at age 15. (Source: Bisson, page 58)

During his later teen years (after he became attracted to "black power" and the Black Panther, Mumia was not a churchgoer. (Source: Bisson, page 79)

After he found out that he had unintentionally impregnanted his girlfriend, Mumia proposed to her and married her at age 19. He was married in a "Third World ceremony with tortoise-shell rings, African rites, and Nigerian priest." The marriage was over soon, as Mumia's young wife soon realized that Mumia had no intention of living either a monogamous or married lifestyle. (Source: Bisson, page 119)

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Webpage created 3 September 2005. Last modified 3 September 2005.
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