ASKIAM and Richard Muhammad
DETROIT (FinalCall.com) – After a six-month medical sabbatical which took him away from day-to-day leadership of the Nation last August and a delicate 14-hour surgical procedure in January, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan returned to the public stage Feb. 25 to deliver a message of religious unity in observance of Saviours’ Day 2007, themed, “One Nation, Under God”.
Greeted by a jubilant nine-minute ovation which began when the Muslim leader was sighted approaching the foot of the stage, Min. Farrakhan commenced to deliver what may be his last major public address to nearly 50,000 in attendance at Ford Field. The arena–renamed for the day “Fard Field” by Min. Farrakhan–is built on the site where the neighborhood called “Black Bottom,” or “Heavenly Valley” once stood, where the Nation of Islam’s Founder, Master Fard Muhammad, began teaching Islam, redemption and resurrection among Detroit’s Black residents on July 4, 1930. February 26 marked the 130th anniversary of His birth in the Holy City of Mecca, in Arabia, in 1877.
On stage to welcome Min. Farrakhan was Detroit Mayor, the Honorable Kwame Kilpatrick and Congressional representatives John Conyers, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, and CBC Chair Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, along with a variety of Muslim, Christian, Latino, Native American representatives and entertainment figures, including Grammy Award-winning vocalist Anita Baker who performed at the opening of the day’s program.
“Many, many Christians of many different denominations prayed for me. Many Christian pastors put their churches on fasts and prayers for my recovery. There were Hebrew-Israelites throughout America, throughout Africa and in Israel who prayed for me,” Min. Farrakhan said as he began his address which was translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, and Spanish as he spoke.
“There were rabbis and Jewish people who prayed for me to recover. There were Muslims all over the world who prayed for me. There were Buddhists who chanted in prayer for me. There were those who practice yoga, in their meditations, they prayed for me. There were Hindus who prayed for me. There were Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans who prayed for me. Tell me then, how can I come to you and not thank Almighty God, Allah, for a message that would be universal in its scope and universal in its power to heal the human condition?” Minister Farrakhan asked rhetorically.
Concluding the three-day convention which brought the Nation of Islam back to its roots, Min. Farrakhan’s address was filled with three important aspects of the teachings of all the prophets– “guidance” for those who would accept it; “good news” for some; and a “warning” for others.
Min. Farrakhan recalled The Last Supper of Jesus, and the final message delivered by the Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (PBUH).
“He was weak when he went back to Mecca and he was weak when he delivered his farewell message. And, within 80 days of the time of his delivery of that message, he expired,” Min. Farrakhan said of Islam’s Holy Prophet.
“Well, I don’t see expiration for me, I see exaltation!” he continued.
“As we meet today, the world is in a terrible condition, and it is getting worse by the minute. The condition of the Muslim world is getting worse by the minute. Violence that is pitting Shia against Sunni, and Sunni against Shia and the slaughter that goes on daily among Muslims is so disturbing, that if I could speak today for Prophet Muhammad–Peace be upon him–I could say to the entire Muslim world, Prophet Muhammad is grieving. Because he came to destroy tribalism–the pitting of one tribe against another. He came to destroy the pitting of one ethnic group against another.”
Human beings today must evolve, Min. Farrakhan continued, out of clans, tribes, race, organizations and sectarianism, to see the “Oneness of God and the oneness of humanity.
“So the Prophet is grieving that Shia would kill Sunni and Sunni would kill Shia, or that Jews would kill Christians, and Muslims would kill Jews, and Christians would kill Muslims and Jews, and Christians would slaughter each other in the name of God, in the name of Abraham, the father of these three monotheistic expressions,” he said.
Both Jesus and Muhammad gave their followers advice to guide them on the “straight path,” said Min. Farrakhan. If Christians would live the life that Jesus (PBUH) taught, rather than simply offering words of praise and if Muslims would live the life that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) lived and taught, their worlds would not be in the condition they are in today.
“Brothers and Sisters, they are Brothers. They are from the same Eternal God. How dare we try to split them up and make them enemies of each other to justify our intentions? If Jesus and Muhammad were on this stage, they would embrace each other in love. If Moses and the prophets, and Abraham the father, would meet on this podium with all the prophets, they would embrace each other. How come we, the people of God, cannot embrace each other in the love of God?” he asked.
There is a distinction to be made concerning the Bible’s message in Chapter 3, verse 16 of the Book of John, concerning God’s love for the world, said Min. Farrakhan. “Does God love ‘this world?’ How could he love what he prophesied to destroy? No. God so loved ‘the world’–the world that He would bring in–that He gave His only begotten son, as a sacrificial lamb to suffer to bring that world in, and those who would follow him would be willing to suffer to see a new world of freedom, justice and equality, come in to replace the satanic rule of this present order.
“You can’t love this world, and love God,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Look at our government. Our president [George W. Bush], through deception and outright lies and the manipulation of the intelligence community, manipulated the Congress after 9/11 to give him permission to go to war in Iraq. He thought it would be easy. Four years later, they’ve got to get out of there.
“[Former Iraqi President] Saddam [Hussein] was no threat to his neighbors. If Saddam Hussein was a lion, he had no teeth, and even his paws had no claws.”
On the other hand, the U.S. has bases or military personnel in 135 of the world’s 192 countries, in order to surround Russia (the former Soviet Union) with troops and nuclear weapons, according to Min. Farrakhan. In response, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, even weak nations are arming themselves with nuclear weapons, denying education and other services needed by their populations, “in order to prepare for the War of Armageddon, which has already begun,” Min. Farrakhan continued.
There are 30 wars and armed conflicts going on in the world today, with more money being spent throughout the world on war than on education, with the United States leading the way–the U.S. spends more than $400 billion per year on military expenditures, but only $60 billion per year in this country on education.
“I’m telling you Brother and Sister, it would be the worst mistake that you made, joining the U.S. military today, because you’ll leave America in one way, and you’ll come back in another. I’m warning you. Take it or let it alone.
“Don’t join this. This is going down. And if you join it, you’ll go down with it. God is angry. God is angry. God is angry,” he warned.
U.S. politicians have been deceived by the so-called “Neo-Conservatives,” into an un-winnable position, and despite the political mandate dictated by the Nov. 2006 electoral repudiation of the Bush administration’s war policies, most politicians in this country are promising the public “what they know they can’t deliver.” Mayor Kilpatrick and Rep. Kilpatrick both nodded in agreement as Min. Farrakhan spoke.
Members of Congress should impeach President Bush and his entire administration for its “wicked policies,” and for “lying to America,” the Muslim leader said. Then, turning to face Rep. John Conyers, who stood and gestured in solidarity, Min. Farrakhan added: “If you won’t impeach him, sanction him.”
Prior to Min. Farrakhan’s address, several speakers took to the podium to offer words related to the theme. Muneer Fareed, Secratary General of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) said he wanted to hear words from Min. Farrakhan that “echo the words of God, Himself, in the Holy Qur’an.” The Islamic organization representative also pointed out verses in the Holy Qur’an that urge the Muslims to unite, and verses that declare divided man into tribes and families, but does not want them to despise and oppose one another.
Muslims are commanded to work together for good and to “destroy bigotry, discrimination, racial discrimination and remove poverty from the earth,” the representative said.
Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., said it was a great day. “We come to cheer God and the Lion of Judah!” Rev. Wilson declared.
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Lightfoot stated that Min. Farrakhan’s message reminded him of the teaching of his tribe’s elders.
“We are all one family…We’re all on the same side,” Pres. Shirley said. It is time to unite against the “monsters” of bigotry, greed and racism, he stated.
Latina activist Emma Lozano of Chicago-based Centro Sin Fronteras, an immigration rights organization, thanked Min. Farrakhan for his strong stand for justice. “He is a mighty hero for my people,” she said. Blacks and Latinos need to unite, and gave an example of the last presidential election where Blacks and Latinos gave Democrats the margin of victory. They need to demand their reward, she also stated.
“We need to stay together, we are one people, one nation, under God,” Ms. Lozano said.
Russell Simmons, who brought greetings as chair of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, and made a signifigant charitable donation said Min. Farrakhan taught him that God is one and humanity is one.
“That understanding has guided my life,” said Mr. Simmons. “It is important that the world know and appreciate the good work of the Nation of Islam.”
President of Everlasting spring water and former N.B.A. allstar, Larry Johnson made a substantial donation to Saviours’ Day. Other donors included rappers, Eminem, Obie Trice and Wu-Tang Clan.
Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) welcomed the Minister to Detroit, a place of “great historical importance” to the Nation. Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee pledged to fight racism and injustice and blasted Iraq War spending, which he put at $2 trillion in direct and indirect costs. “We have got to end the war and bring our troops home,” he said.
Diplomatic well-wishes came from the leaders of Bermuda, Jamaica, Sudan, and the Islamic Call Society in Tripoli, Libya.
“I live in America,” Min. Farrakhan said. “I love the land where I was born. I have no delight in warning you of the things that you are facing. My heart is heavy. I don’t want to see the prophets’ predictions fulfilled. I don’t want to see famine coming to America. I don’t want to see bloodshed coming to my own Black people. I don’t want to see Brown against Black and Black against Brown.
“I want to see one nation, under God. Where we can all live in peace. I want to see the day when the lion and the lamb can lay down, even though their natures are such that the lion naturally would eat the lamb. God can disturb the nature of the lion, so that peace could be between those that are natural enemies.
“I want to see the day that we study war, no more and that we would turn our spears and our swords into plowshares, and get about the business of cultivating the land beneath our feet and cultivating human beings into the image and likeness of God,” Minister Farrakhan shared.
Other special guests present included Reverend Dr. Hycel B. Taylor, Julianne Malveaux; National Black United Front (NBUF) Chair Conrad Worrill; Dr. Carl Bell of Chicago; Judge Greg Mathis, artist Erykah Badu, Tony Award-winning hip hop poet Black Ice; members of the Detroit City Council, Nation of Islam ministers, and pastors.
Before closing his lecture, Min. Farrakhan instructed the audience to read the following books and writings, as the book covers appeared on the jumbo trons:
Without Sanctuary by James Allen; By Way of Deception by Victor Ostrovsky; 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro, and From “Superman” to Man by J.A. Rogers; Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins; Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by former President Jimmy Carter; Writings by John Henrik Clark, Cheik Ante Diop and the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad; Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Naom Chomsky; The Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins; and The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews by the Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam.
After the address, Min. Farrakhan was bestowed awards from the National NAACP and the Detroit City Council, and a proclamation from Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was also read.
(Nubian L. Muhammad contributed to this article.)