DETROIT–The Nation of Islam turned inward during its annual Saviours’ Day 2016 celebration, focusing on building critical infrastructure through the emphasis on its nine ministries during workshops held Feb. 19 and 20.
A two-day workshop on the Ministry of Education pulled no punches in covering not only general information but through the use of focus groups outlined a substantive plan on how to best proceed.
The tone of the workshops was set when panelists stated the greatest contradiction in the Nation of Islam today is sending Muslim children to public schools to be educated, labeling these schools as true killing fields. We must have a burning desire to own our own schools, panelists said.
Workshop presenters included educators Minister of Education Troy 5X (Chicago), Nasir Muhammad (Washington, D.C.), Donnie Muhammad (Raleigh, NC), Student Minister Abdul Muhammad (Chicago), Shahid Muhammad (Chicago), author and social worker Sis. Loray Muhammad (New York), Jason Karriem, interim director of Muhammad University of Islam (Chicago), and Dr. Larry Muhammad, former director of the Chicago- based Muhammad University of Islam.
The workshops were moderated by Sis. Deborah Muhammad from Baton Rouge.
“We must develop a new mind and a new school of thought, and this can only be done through the Muhammad University of Islam (MUI) with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as its standard bearer,” Sis. Deborah stated.
She described the panelists as a dream team and they did not disappoint. Bro. Shahid stated the aim of MUI is to make gods and rulers of the earth. “We must remove the mind of the devil.” He said.
The workshop echoed key themes of passion, value, work, vision, belief and organization as it pertains to prioritizing and developing a relevant educational system.
Bro. Jason said MUI must not only emphasize learning, but also respect for self and others, character and manners, and spiritual and moral development.
Another key point was the need to be pragmatic and pool resources. Bro. Donnie said there was more than one way to accomplish the prescribed educational goals.
He pointed out the success of taping into the charter school movement for badly needed capital. He said his Torch Light Academy, a charter school in North Carolina, is modeled after the MUI.
Other suggestions included the development of Saturday schools, home schooling and mentorships. The key element being we must feed the minds of our children, Bro. Donnie said.
Bro. Shahid said education is the torchlight of civilization, and that the aim must be for Black people to form their own schools.
The Saturday workshop turned to hands on applicati on with the implementati on of the “17 Million Keys” focus group. Moderator Sis. Deborah said the focus group was composed of 17 circles of focus group members tasked with one of the 17 statements describing the roles and duties of the Ministry of Education as stated in the Provisional Constitution of the Nation of Islam.
The general goal of the workshop was to begin to create a working document that describes the qualifications, roles and duties of the National Minister of Education evolving into a “Nation of Islam Minister of Education Operation’s Manual as well as action items for immediate implementation after Saviours’ Day 2016.”