CHICAGO (FinalCall.com) – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan Feb. 1 called for the release of kidnapped U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, and reiterated his appeal during a Feb. 3 interview onCNN that was broadcast throughout the world.
“I urge the immediate release and safe return of Mr. Daniel Pearl. His release may serve the greater good and promote meaningful dialogue with the American people and government. Muslims are known for their compassion and mercy for the human family,” Min. Farrakhan said in the released statement.
He noted that the religion of Islam is under trial and that the world is watching the Islamic world as events have unfolded since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Min. Farrakhan also urged the Bush administration to “grant Prisoner of War status to those captured during a declared war” on terrorism and examine her foreign policies toward Africa, the Middle East, and other vulnerable nations.
“The United States is the only remaining super power, by Allah’s (God’s) permission. America must do more to reassure the family of nations of her determination to promote justice and fairplay. The nations of the Earth will follow America’s leadership in establishing a century of security, prosperity and peace for all,” he said.
During theCNNinterview, Min. Farrakhan explained that he had been asked by Daniel Pearl’s father to make a statement that might aid in release of the journalist. The request from the father came through Nation of Islam Minister Benjamin Muhammad and hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, the Minister said.
“The American people really do not understand the policies of our government that create hatred for the American people around the world. So, as I study the Qur’an (Muslim scripture), and I know that the persons who have taken Mr. Pearl are Muslims, or they claim Islam, our holy book says, ‘Let not hatred of a people incite you to act unjustly.’
“If there is hatred for the American government or their policies, there is no reason to take an American citizen, no matter where they are in the world, and do them harm simply because you do not like America’s policies. This is against Islam; it is not correct. And this is why we urge the immediate release of Mr. Pearl,” Min. Farrakhan said onCNN.
Daniel Pearl, 38, a reporter for theWall Street Journal,has not been heard from since Jan. 23. He reportedly disappeared while on the way to interview Sheik Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, head of the Jamaat ul-Fuqra group, about its possible ties with Richard Reid, the alleged shoe bomber arrested on a flight to the United States.
Initial correspondence from the alleged kidnappers included a photo of Mr. Pearl with a gun pointed to his head and demands that included the release of Pakistanis being held at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Since then, however, investigators have been stumped by prank e-mails and messages that the journalist had been executed and his body dumped in a cemetery. Investigators searched Karachi, Pakistan’s more than 300 cemeteries without finding a body.
Later, a body found with a bullet wound to the head and dumped on a road proved not to be that of Mr. Pearl.
“We hope that those who have [Mr. Pearl] in captivity will find a way in their heart to follow the dictates of the Qur’an. It guides us how to treat prisoners of war and non combatants,” Min. Farrakhan said.
“From what I understand, Mr. Pearl is a journalist, not a combatant. He’s an American citizen, and if there is hatred toward America and you snatch an American citizen and then execute him, how does this aid the cause of Islam. I believe it does not aid the cause of Islam. It creates more hatred for Muslims, not only in America, but in different parts of the world,” he said.