and Saeed Shabazz
Farrakhan says country has been taken from its citizens
HARLEM, N.Y. (FinalCall.com)–Within three months the Bush administration may be engaged in war with Iraq and locked into a policy that threatens world peace and could usher in catastrophic military conflict prophesized in scripture, the leader of the Nation of Islam said Oct. 16, in a major annual address.
Speaking from the pulpit of Salem United Methodist Church, he urged Americans to oppose the president’s drive toward war to avoid terrible domestic consequences and death. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave Secretary of State Colin Powell credit as the “only sane voice” in the White House. But he advised Mr. Powell to resign if President Bush embarks on a reckless course the high-ranking Black official opposes. It would be better for Mr. Powell to step down than to go along with a policy he disagrees with, the Minister said.
He applauded the Congressional Black Caucus for voting almost unanimously against a recent resolution that authorized the president to take military action against Iraq.
“You have to know about your country. You have to know about your government. You have to know how you are being used and manipulated. And if the American people are awakened, they will rise up and take their government back,” said Min. Farrakhan. He was speaking on the seventh anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement observance, with his remarks viewed via satellite and the Internet in the U.S. and abroad. The Minister charged President Bush with using post Sept. 11 grief to manipulate public and political support for war with Iraq.
Mr. Bush came into office planning to target Saddam Hussein, whose armaments and biological weapons agents were provided by the United States when the Iraqi strongman was a pawn used to check the spread of revolutionary Islam from Iran in the 1980s, the Minister said. The U.S. wants to control the oil-rich Gulf region and is planning to occupy Iraq, he said.
The United States also fears Islam and since the Reagan administration, successive presidents have had conflicts with the Muslim world and plotted against Islamic nations, the Minister continued. Unjust U.S. policy in the Middle East is badly skewed to support Israel and globally foreign policy oppresses Third World nations, he said.
Thousands crammed into the Salem United Methodist Church and the Oberia Dempsey School, watching via closed circuit, two blocks away on a rainy night.
“This is the seventh anniversary of one of the greatest, most historic moments in the history of our struggle in America. We really affected America on that day and we affected the whole world. What they saw in you, in me and in us was the hope that America can be changed, from within. There is no power on the outside that can change the horror of what comes from Washington, but only those of us on the inside can affect this nation,” Min. Farrakhan explained, giving his audience an understanding of why international issues were so important. The title of his address, which lasted about two hours, was “The Consequences of War and the Fruit of Peace.”
Part of his message included repeating a 1985 vision experience that foretold of U.S. plans for war. The Minister said he first saw that war as President Reagan’s attacks on Libya but now sees the warning from his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as a war on Islam and the Nation of Islam leader.
“Every president from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush has had some problem with the Muslim world,” he said.
Former President Richard M. Nixon declared that the threat to the United States was not communism, but fundamentalist Islam, Min. Farrakhan said. That fear remains and the U.S. need for oil and to secure Israel drives U.S. policy, he said.
On the morning of Min. Farrakhan’s evening appeal for peace, President Bush signed the congressional resolution into law that allows the U.S. president to order unilateral strikes against Iraq.
“When the bill was signed today, the president said, ‘we speak with one voice.’ ” Min. Farrakhan said. “How are you going to speak with one voice and didn’t get unanimous consent?” he asked.
U.S. action must be based on proof Saddam Hussein is an immediate threat and has weapons of mass destruction, he argued. The Bush administration has not produced those facts and is going against military and intelligence reports, he said.
Min. Farrakhan denounced America’s one-sided support of Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has “conveniently used Bush’s war on terror, that is legitimate from 9-11, as a cover to destroy the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian Authority,” he said.
Throughout the country, cities reported full houses in venues where the Minister’s address was viewed via satellite. In Los Angeles, Oakland, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and New York, some Black-owned schools closed in observance of the Holy Day.
Min. Farrakhan included special mention of Ken Bridges, the Matah Network co-founder apparently killed by the D.C. area sniper in mid-October. Mr. Bridges was returning home from a business trip.
The Minister also addressed the hip hop community, telling artists and industry leaders that with their magnificent gift of communication comes a responsibility to enlighten their people.
God wants to use Blacks in America, who have suffered a prophetic 400 years of slavery and oppression, to usher in a new world, he said. The enemies of God and rulers of this world know the truth and want to rob Blacks and the righteous of a great future, he charged.
The flood of crack cocaine into the Black community, glorification of guns and violence and manipulation of the natural need for sex are designed to keep Blacks asleep and to keep the wicked in power, he warned.
The Minister said the affliction Blacks have suffered qualify them to serve as a moral voice in this hour. “God allowed them (Whites) to bring us into slavery. God allowed us to suffer. As the scripture says, ‘He didn’t try us with silver and gold. He tried us in the furnace of affliction.’ ”
Min. Farrakhan closed his talk with a special acknowledgement of Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, affectionately known as “Dr. Ben,” one of Black America’s most accomplished living historians and activists. Dr. Ben donated his collection of 35,000 books to the Nation of Islam for safekeeping. The collection includes works that helped him write volumes about African studies and the Black presence throughout the world.
In the Harlem sanctuary there was a strong presence of Black and Hispanic youth, celebrities and activists. Songstress Stephanie Mills; entertainment guru Russell Simmons and wife Kimora; Def Jam Records exec Kevin Lyles; producer Eric B; rapper Doug E. Fresh; rapper Queen Pen; hip hop pioneer Afrika Bambaata, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Bob Law and Shari Culpepper were among them. Other guests included Abdulssalam A. Elmaaiui, of the Libyan Mission to the United Nations; Imam Adib Al-Muhsiahalisah of the Khalifah Masjid; Imam Abdur-Rahman Farrakhan of Masjid Al-Jamiyya, Viola Plummer of the December 12th Movement, Judge Joe Mathis and numerous clergymen.
New York welcomes Farrakhan
It had rained all day, and as people began to line up in front of the Salem Methodist Church in Harlem, the rain was still falling. However, a bright spirit encompassed the Harlem church as people greeted each other with smiles and hugs.
The rain stopped just as Minister Louis Farrakhan entered the church as the standing room only audience leaped to their feet. “Long live Muhammad! Long live Muhammad!” they cheered.
“What is important about Min. Farrakhan’s speech tonight is that he informed our people of the real essence of what the war that is going to be waged against the Iraqi people is about,” activist Viola Plummer said. “He made it clear that the war is definitely about Islam, because Islamic nations have the control of the oil.”
“The essence of Min. Farrakhan’s talk tonight was that we as Black people must maintain the high moral and ethical standard, despite what the current governmental leadership might want to propose to us as the just and the right thing to do,” said Judge Joe Mathis. “I organized a bus that went to the Million Man March. That was the first and the last time that we saw over one million Black men come together to empower themselves, so that they could go back and empower their families and their communities.”
Dr. Leonard Jeffries called the speech one of the most powerful and meaningful presentations given by the Minister. At the foundation of the speech was the Minister’s willingness to give his life for his people, Dr. Jeffries observed. His masterful analysis of the politics of oil, power and the military industrial complex showed how the fears of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower are manifesting today, the Black Studies professor said.