When a member is "brought up on charges," he is given a trial, some-
times before a regular temple meeting, sometimes before only the temple officials. The penalty of the guilty depends upon the nature of the charge and varies considerably among temples. For a minor violation, a member may be suspended from all temple activity for a period from 30 to 90 days; or, if the charge is more serious, he may be suspended for one to five years.
A suspended member is not permitted to associate with other members or take part in any temple activities. Upon completion of his sentence, the member who shows the proper respect and promises to obey henceforth all Muslim rules is permitted to return to the organization. One member, although suspended for a year for having an affair with a woman other than his wife, took steps to ensure that he would be able to return at the completion of his sentence. He continued his regular monetary contributions and sent numerous recruits to his temple.
Except in certain isolated cases, the most severe penalty meted to violators of cult rules has been permanent expulsion from the cult. During the past year, however, the rise of dissidence among members influenced by the expelled leaders — Malcolm X,
b7C — has led to the cult's resorting to violent measures to punish those who have been slandering "the Messenger" and questioning his claim to be the last Apostle of Allah.
- 79 -