By Richard Muhammad
(CHICAGO – FinalCall.com) – The history of the Nation of Islam in America is the history of a movement that has been unswerving in its defense of Blacks in America, challenging injustice and confronting the forces of White supremacy in the country.
The Nation’s strident defense of Blacks and unapologetic language employed to break up the mindset of White supremacy led to a mischaracterization of the movement, said Min. Louis Farrakhan, in an October 13 private meeting with Black journalists and media professionals at his home. But there is a universal aspect to the teachings of the Nation of Islam and its patriarch, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad the needs to be understood and appreciated, said the Minister, who plans to delve into the broader understanding of teaching October 19 at the re-dedication of Mosque Maryam, the Nation’s headquarters located at 7351 S. Stony Island Avenue.
The speech will take place at 2 p.m. and doors will open at 12 noon. The event is free, open to the public and marks the 13th anniversary of the historic Million Man March.
The “new beginning” for the Nation of Islam represents an expansion of its mission, but its role as a champion for freedom, justice and equality for Blacks will not be diminished. God wants to use Blacks, who have experienced the worst suffering in human history, to call the world back to order, said Min. Farrakhan.
The Muslim world and countries in Africa, Asia and Muslims in Russia welcomed the Nation following the Million Man March in 1995, and in each country visited there were calls establishment of branches of U.S.-based movement, Min. Farrakhan said.
“We are taking the teachings of the Hon Elijah Muhammad to a new level and that new level will represent a new beginning and another stage of our evolutionary development,” said Min. Farrakhan. The Nation has steadily increased its outreach, opening doors to Blacks from the Caribbean, then Asians and Latinos, he said. The Minister noted that in the early days of the movement, membership in the Nation of Islam was limited only to American Blacks.
He compared the Nation’s expanded reach to the growth of Jesus’ teachings beyond Palestine and the expanded light of Islam, which spread after the death of Prophet Muhammad, whose initial mission was to unite and raise the tribes of Arabia.
“They want what Elijah Muhammad taught us in the Muslim world. Prophet Muhammad said that the light of Islam would rise in the West in the latter days, that is our task,” he said.
The Minister added that the added outreach, across racial and nationalistic lines, is based on the value of the teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the need to help reform the Muslim world. “Soon the believers will be, by the grace of Allah, taking the teachings to all parts of the world,” he said.
“My hope is that our people will not feel that the growth of their nation to include the whole of the human family is not abandonment of our primary duty to our people,” Min. Farrakhan continued. “You are an international people and you have got to stop thinking so narrowly. Your rappers are kings all over the world, they are leading young people–that’s your future. We have to rise to be what God is pushing us toward.”
The Minister said that an array of religious and political leaders, across racial lines, had been invited to attend the re-dedication of Mosque Maryam.
Min. Farrakhan also planned to speak to inmates at Cook County Jail on October 16th the anniversary of the Million Man March. His remarks at the jail were to focus on the pledge for self improvement taken by more than one million men in front of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall on October 16, 1995. Nation of Islam officials said the pledge remains highly relevant and a greater spiritual awakening and understanding of the need for atonement, reconciliation and responsibility–the themes of the Million Man March–can help reduce violence and anti-social behavior. These values have universal significance and will benefit those willing to listen, officials said.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address during the October 19th dedication will be webcast live and free to the public and available at both http://www.noi.org and http://www.finalcall.com.
The Nation of Islam Online (NOI.org)