CHARLENEM and Camisha Muhammad
ATLANTA – The meeting at Muhammad Mosque No. 15 drew guests from all over the country who were in town to call for the Centers for Disease Control to be transparent about the study of and any injuries caused by unsafe vaccines.
Student Minister Tony Muhammad, Western Region representative of the Nation of Islam, served as emcee for a special ecumenical program, with the support of Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, minister of Mosque No. 15 and Southeast region representative of the Nation of Islam, along with Muslim officials at the Atlanta mosque.
Pastor Gerald Durley, pastor emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, opened up the meeting by detailing his history in the civil rights movement. Reverend Derrick Rice, senior pastor of Sankofa United Church of Christ, Atlanta, brought greetings from his congregation.
Many in the audience, which was mixed race, came out of concern for respect for their rights, to make sure vaccines are safe and make sure vaccine makers are held accountable if their products injure children or adults.
Tony Muhammad talked about the concept of justice and the special significance of having Mosque No. 15, which usually does not allow Whites in, welcoming Caucasian community into its sanctuary.
“You are seeing the scales being removed from the people’s eyes. People of all colors deserve to know the truth,” he said.
Racism is one of the four impediments that must come out of human beings, Student Minister Tony Muhammad said, highlighting Minister Louis Farrakhan’s guidance contained in the “Self-Improvement Study Guides: The Basis for Community Development.”
“This enemy is killing everybody,” said Tony Muhammad. “But he miscalculated the power and the majesty and the teachings of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan coming through Michelle Ford, founder of the Vaccine Injury Awareness League.”
Ms. Ford recounted how her fight against vaccines shifted as she opposed legislation that would strip parental rights from those concerned about vaccine safety.
Running late, she was barred from speaking at a school board meeting about the issue in Los Angeles. But missing that meeting allowed her to meet Lucy Cole and ask Ms. Cole a seminal question. “I said we need to get in touch with the most powerful, most influential Black leader in the world,” Ms. Ford recalled. She hadn’t finished the sentence before those in the sanctuary leaped to their feet and broke into thunderous applause and chants of “Allah U Akbar! (God is Great!)”
“Who is the most influential Black leader?” she asked Ms. Cole, who replied that she didn’t’t know, but would get back to her. As White women from Culver City, Calif., just a few miles outside of Los Angeles, they didn’t know who to turn to.
They exchanged information and departed.
Two weeks later Mrs. Ford received the phone call that would change her life. Ms. Cole gave her the contact number for Rizza X Islam, of Muhammad Mosque No. 27, and they arranged to meet. Ms. Ford joked that she was told to bring her “big guns.” She candidly shared that she had no idea who the people she was scheduled to meet were, but was energized about the opportunity to share what she had learned.
She had no idea that Student Minister Tony Muhammad was Black, she said, until she received a brown “thumbs up” emoticon in a text message from him. She worked to get Dr. Brian Hooker and Robert Kennedy, Jr. to that meeting with Minister Muhammad and others. Because of the profound nature of that meeting, Mrs. Ford was asked by Minister Farrakhan to come to Chicago.
I was truly touched being in the presence of Minister Farrakhan and have been changed because of that experience, she said.
Whenever Tony Muhammad talked about the messengers of God when he spoke in the context of Minister Farrakhan, she understood exactly what he meant after meeting with the Minister.
“I was forever transformed,” she said, setting the mosque into another hurricane of applause and raw emotion.
“This man vibrates on a whole other frequency. I liked his spirit, I’m like no wonder they’re so afraid of him. No wonder they want to vilify, marginalize, attack. No wonder!” she said.
“Of course they wanted to get rid of and destroy every person that came in the form of a human being who was preaching unity, preaching peace, preaching love. They’ve all been destroyed, if I’m not mistaken,” Ms. Ford added.
“Minister Farrakhan, in my personal experience, was just that: a man of integrity, a man of love, a man of unity, a man of truth, and you could just feel it in the room. … He just emanates love, and it wasn’t an act,” she said.
Ms. Ford declared, “If this is being recorded, and if this is going to make it on to any kind of any place, I’m here to tell the whole White community, Brown community, Red community, Black community. I’m here to tell the Gay community, the straight community, I’m here to tell you just from my own personal experience, don’t listen to what you see on YouTube or what you read about in the papers.”
Abdul Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam, noted how he once thought autism only affected Caucasians. But he learned of Muslims in the Nation of Islam who are dealing with this challenge, which critics feel is connected with unsafe vaccines and a profit-making regimen of vaccine injections without proper consideration of what is safe.
He talked about how countries in Africa have been affected by autism. Countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana and Chad have declared that they will not use drugs manufactured outside of Africa until the drugs are tested, he said.
Pastor Khalfani Lawson, of Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta, who was a first time guest to Mosque No. 15, said his church is facing the problem of autism.
Minister Tony Muhammad referred to the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 about redistributing economic pain and Minister Farrakhan’s call to redistribute the pain by boycotting holiday spending this year. All who support this movement should go door to door talking with people about the economic boycott conceived of by Dr. King to press for racial and social justice and also share how unsafe vaccines are disproportionately hurting Black and other communities, he said.
Plans also call for an international vaccine summit in Atlanta next year and mobilization is already underway, he said.
There was a touching moment when Student Minister Muhammad asked everyone with a loved one touched by autism to join him near the podium. Many Muslims shook their heads and found what they were seeing hard to believe. Many had no idea that fellow Believers were acquainted with the problem of autism.
Others hearing information for the first time that might have explained illness among their children stared ahead and wept. Among them was Khadijah Muhammad, who is raising her six-year-old grandson Khalil, who has autism.
The super intelligent, inquisitive bright young mind exuded confidence, love and curiosity. Young Khalil started taping his grandmother talking with a Final Call writer using a cell phone. He moved from taking videos to photos rapidly. “Video … picture. See,” he exclaimed with somewhat expanded pauses as he proudly showed the pair his work.
His grandmother began to cry as she told the Final Call about his ordeal and the trauma it’s causing her family. She’s raising him because his parents were disappointed. “The disappointment came when he didn’t walk, he didn’t talk. That was roughly like a year old to 18 months,” she continued in a slow measured voice.
“We found out he had autism when he was three,” she began to whisper. “And I tell you, he got his shots and the Minister started talking more about it, which he done 20 years ago, but being that he’s my grandchild, I could only do but so much,” she said.
According to Khadijah Muhammad, her daughter had been given a drug to assist with her pregnancy. During the nine months of pregnancy, she was hospitalized eight times with various complications.
“It’s heartbreaking to say that my daughter took him out his car seat, when we really actually saw he wasn’t doing anything, and sat him on my porch, and pulled off. She didn’t speak about it all, but we still try to have a relationship,” she told The Final Call.
“Even though that happened when he was little, he knows who she is. It’s not that I said anything. He just instinctively knows, we’re connected.”
My daughter was traumatized, she said. “I’m imagining, I just couldn’t handle the way she handled it, but I’m trying to understand. Her first child. She loved him from birth until he stopped moving around, and all of a sudden she looked at him and the doctor said he wasn’t going to walk, he wasn’t going to talk, and she just threw her hands up.”
That pain exists among many families and its time that the CDC come clean on everything it knows and has studied about vaccine safety, autism and any negative effects, said activists.