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   to demand respect.

  

   Anthrax found a magazine article about Farrakhan and began reading

   books like the Autobiography of Malcolm X. Then he rang up the Nation

   of Islam head office in Chicago and asked them to send some

   information. The Final Call, the NOI newsletter, arrived one day,

   followed by other literature which began appearing around Anthrax's

   home. Under the TV guide. On the coffee table. Amid the pile of

   newspapers. On top of his computer. Anthrax often took time to read

   articles aloud to his mother while she did housework.

  

   In the middle of 1990, when Anthrax was in year 11, his father

   suggested the boy attend Catholic boarding school in Melbourne. The

   school was inexpensive and the family could scrape and save to pay the

   fees. Anthrax disliked the idea, but his father insisted.

  

   Anthrax and his new school proved a bad match. The school thought he

   asked too many questions, and Anthrax thought the school answered too

   few of them. The hypocrisy of the Catholic church riled Anthrax and

   pushed him further into the arms of NOI. How could he respect an

   institution which had sanctioned slavery as a righteous and

   progressive method of converting people? The school and Anthrax parted

   on less than friendly terms after just one semester.

  

   The Catholic school intensified a feeling of inferiority Anthrax had

   felt for many years. He was an outsider. The wrong colour, the wrong

   size, too intelligent for his school. Yet, NOI's Minister Farrakhan

   told him that he wasn't inferior at all. `I know that you have been

   discriminated against because of your colour,' Farrakhan told Anthrax

   from the tape player. `Let me tell you why. Let me tell you about the

   origins of the white race and how they were put on this earth to do

   evil. They have shown themselves to be nothing but an enemy of the

   East. Non-whites are the original people of the earth.'

  

   Anthrax found some deep veins of truth in NOI's teachings. Interracial

   marriages don't work. A white man marries a non-white woman because he

   wants a slave, not because he loves and respects her. Islam respects

   women in more meaningful ways than Western religions. Perhaps it wasn't

   the type of respect that Western men were used to giving women, but he

   had seen that kind of respect in his own home and he didn't think much

   of it.

  

   Anthrax read the words of the Honourable Elijah Muhammad, founder of

   NOI: `The enemy does not have to be a real devil. He could be your

   father, mother, brother, husband, wife or children. Many times they're

   in your own household. Today is the great time of separation of the

   righteous Muslim and the wicked white race.' Anthrax looked inside his

   own household and saw what seemed to be a devil. A white devil.

  

   NOI fed Anthrax's mind. He followed up the lists of literature

   included in every issue of The Final Call. Books like Black Athena by

   Martin Bernel and Deterring Democracy by Noam Chomsky had common

   themes of conspiracy and oppression by the haves against the

   have-nots. Anthrax read them all.

  

   The transformation of Anthrax occurred over a period of six months. He

   didn't talk about it much with his parents. It was a private matter.

   But his mother later told him his adoption of the religion didn't

   surprise her. His great-grandfather had been a Muslim scholar and

   cleric in India. It was fate. His conversion presented a certain sense