Massachusetts police arrested eleven armed men on Interstate 95 over the Fourth of July weekend. A spokesperson for the arrestees said group members are "Moorish Americans," who were peaceably headed for Maine to do some training.
And why not?
Unfortunately, these Moorish Americans had the extreme bad luck of running out of gas in Massachusetts, which has stringent gun laws.
So--who are these guys?
Associated Press tells us someone posted a video on 1-95, which identified the group as Rise of the Moors (ROM). ROM is headquartered in nearby Rhode Island and has a website explaining itself as a group that celebrates Moorish contributions to human progress:
Because of Moorish innovation and science came algebra, arithmetic, compasses and tools of navigation, astronomy, cosmology; our mastery of pens and printing; advances in medicine and the understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed through plants and other medicinal herbs.
But they also seem to be associated with what the Anti-Defamation League [ADL]calls the "Moorish Movement," which ADL identifies as "[a]n Afro-centric offshoot of the sovereign citizen movement that emerged in the mid-1990s. . . "
According to the ADL:
Moorish sovereign citizens often claim to have special rights because of their “Moorish” status or because they are “indigenous inhabitants” of North America. In recent years, the Moorish movement has grown considerably, making the African-American community a surprising growth area for a movement with extreme right-wing origins.
I checked out the ROM website, and it all seems benign to me.
I feel sorry for the ROM guys, and I hope the Massholes turn them loose so they can celebrate the Fourth of July weekend in Maine--perhaps munching on hotdogs and shooting off some fireworks.
And if ROM is, in fact, a "sovereign nation" group, I further hope the Commonwealth of Massachusetts treats all such groups alike, regardless of race. Although the ROM members happen to be Black, other sovereign nation groups are Native American or White.
In my opinion, all these organizations are mostly made up of people who hold idealistic political views, but they are not dangerous. Thus, the Massachusetts police should not have confronted them with armored vehicles, as AP reported.
Incidentally, Wikidictionary identifies Masshole as "a contemptible or obnoxious person from Massachusetts.
|Rise of the Moors folks look like friendly people. (Photo credit: ROM website)|