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From physical abuse of minors to 16-hours unpaid labour: Members of ‘United Nation of Islam’ indicted by US court for atrocities on children

The arrested leaders of the United Nations of Islam separated children from their parents, detained them incommunicado under harsh conditions, physically abused them and forced them to work for up to 16 hours a day without compensation

A court in the District of Kansas, a state in the Midwestern United States, has indicted eight members of the United Nation of Islam ‘cult’ on forced labour charges, detailing a long list of alleged abuses of minor children as young as 8 years old. In an indictment read out on Tuesday, October 26, the federal prosecutors accused these eight members connected to the Kansas-based Islamic organization of conspiring to provide unpaid child labour to businesses across the country and physically abusing them for years.

Physical abuse, forced labour up to 16-hours a day, denied food, not allowed to talk : The atrocities committed by the members of the ‘United Nation of Islam’ on minor children

After the eight members were detained on October 25, the 20-page indictment was made public. According to the prosecution, leaders of the United Nation of Islam separated children from their parents, detained them incommunicado under harsh conditions, and forced them to work for up to 16 hours a day without compensation.

Prosecutors also claimed that the children were denied proper medical treatment, were forbidden from attending outside schools. According to the prosecution, the youngsters, who were as young as 8, were frequently detained in “overcrowded dorms or barracks” that they were not allowed to leave.

Some children were forced to work in businesses run by the Islamic organisation while the others were trafficked to businesses in other states, including New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia and North Carolina, the indictment states. 

The leaders are said to have had influence over what the kids ate, read, and watched, as well as how they dressed. According to a federal lawsuit, the children were not allowed to talk without permission or have contact with their family members, and some were subjected to routine weight checks and forced to undergo colonics performed on them by adults.

A colonic is a procedure that involves passing gallons of water through a tube put into the rectum to cleanse the colon.

The building said to be the former headquarters of the ‘United Nation of Islam’ in Kansas City (source: Fox News)

Leaders of the Islamic organisation told minors that unpaid labour was their “duty to Allah”

UNOI reportedly told the minor children under their control that doing unpaid labour was their “duty to Allah”.

The children were allegedly told to lie about their age, were forbidden from reading anything not created by the organisation, and were cut off from their families and most people of the opposite sex.

Other sorts of alleged mistreatment were also reported. The indictment continues that many children were confined to two meals per day, which were often limited to “bean soup, salad, and occasionally fruit.” According to the report, the kids were sometimes told to ‘cleanse’ themselves by drinking just lemon juice for days on end. According to prosecutors, young girls were obliged to maintain a specific weight, much as Jenkins allegedly did with his wives, who were subjected to weekly weight checks and forced to fast if they were thought to be overweight.

It is further alleged that the members of the organisation terrorised the children to make them comply with the orders. Jenkins, the founder of the United Nation of Islam, apparently told the UNOI members that he had his own daughter killed for leaving the organization, according to the indictment.

If the children did not comply, they were allegedly humiliated in front of others, denied food, and subjected to “Fruit of Islam Beatdowns.” Moreover, the children in captivity were routinely punished by extra labour and physical violence. Hitting them with a paddle was part of the physical abuse.

The arrested accused further ‘disciplined’ the minors by delaying medical assistance to those who fainted due to fatigue or by doing inhumane things like denying an inhaler to a minor with asthma.

As per the lawsuit filed in the federal court, Jenkins created rules to control the victims while the other accused enforced the rules.

The accused leaders of the United Nation of Islam are- Kaaba Majeed, Yunus Rassoul, James Staton, Randolph Rodney Hadley, Dana Peach, Etenia Kinard, and Jacelyn Greenwell. All were arrested on Monday, October 25, from various cities in the USA. 

These leaders were charged with conspiracy and forced labour in regards to the alleged abuse that occurred between the years 2000 and 2012. The names of 10 children who were forced to work for the organization between October 2000 and November 2012 have been listed in the lawsuit. 

They could face up to 20 years in jail for each charge of forced labour and up to five years in prison for each charge of conspiracy.

The founder of the Islamic organisation ‘United Nation of Islam’ claimed that he was ‘Allah’

Royall Jenkins, a truck driver who declared himself as “Allah or God,” created UNOI more than 40 years ago. “Jenkins claimed that in approximately 1978, he was abducted by angels who transported him through the galaxy in a spaceship and instructed him how to rule on Earth,” the lawsuit read.

At first, Jenkins and UNOI were originally domiciled in Maryland, but in the late 1990s, Jenkins relocated the organization’s headquarters to Kansas City, Kansas. The organisation grew from there, eventually reaching “hundreds” of members. UNOI later changed its name to ‘The Promise Keepers’ and ‘The Value Creators’. Jenkins headed UNOI until around 2012, enlisting the assistance of several of his many wives to help him run the organisation.

In 2018, a young woman who was exploited as an unpaid labourer by UNOI for a decade was awarded $8 million in damages by a federal court for the mistreatment she suffered at the hands of the Islamic organisation. Kendra Ross claimed she was forced to abandon her mother at the age of 12, married off to another UNOI member at the age of 20, and forced to work for free in at least six of the group’s locations until she managed to escape in 2012.

Jenkins was issued an arrest warrant by a federal judge in 2018. As of late July, Jenkins’ whereabouts were unknown. According to a report by The Washington Post, a man who answered a call to the phone number listed to be that of Jenkins in court records said that Jenkins had died.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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