Salon has an excellent article today on Islam in America (Premium only). The article makes the point that the Nation of Islam, a small group which has beliefs that are completely outside standard Muslim orthodoxy, is not the same as standard Koranic Islam. Here’s the relevant excerpt:
At the same time, some African-American Muslims have serious questions not only about the racist rhetoric on which the Nation of Islam was founded (i.e. white people are “blond blue-eyed devils,” created in a genetic experiment 6,000 years ago), but also about the type of faith being preached. Although Farrakhan has worked hard in recent years to bring his teachings more in line with the Sunni orthodoxy, the Nation of Islam still insists, for instance, that its former leader Elijah Muhammad was a messenger, or prophet, sent by Allah, and that in 1930 Allah appeared in the person of Nation of Islam founder W. Fard Muhammad, a messiah on earth. Both tenets, and particularly the second, are considered blasphemy among mainstream Muslims.
I discovered this for myself by buying The Final Call, the NOI newspaper, whenever I saw people selling it in the neighborhood around the university that I atteneded.