[Editor’s note: The following edited text is excerpted from a message delivered July 27, 2003 by Minister Louis Farrakhan at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Illinois.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.



As a student of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I could never thank Allah (God) enough for His Mercy to us, for His Beneficence to us, in allowing us a pathway of return to Him and to the nature in which we are created. When a people are lost and cannot find their way back to Allah (God), out of His Mercy He always raises one from the midst of that people and gives him a message to bring that people back to Him and to themselves. We believe that such a man is the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We believe that the mission that Allah (God) has given to him to raise us up from the spiritual, mental, moral, political and physical death and to form us into a mighty nation can never be reversed. We are on a path that can never be turned back. The Black man of America and the world will rise and fulfill our destiny.


I am here today because I was inspired to deliver a message to you and a warning to you, my young Brothers, who do not realize that death stands at the door. The reason I chose this subject, “Death Stands at the Door,” is because early one morning, I awakened and turned on the television to watch the news. I wanted to see how many more American soldiers were killed in Iraq due to the blunder, the arrogance and the folly of the President of the United States. As I was turning the dial, I saw what was a documentary on the rebellion that took place at Attica prison and the Black Brothers who were killed as a result of their trying to get better treatment. Even though they were prisoners, they wanted better treatment in that hell hole called Attica prison.

As a young minister of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I taught in all of the prisons in New York State, including Attica. Looking at that television and reflecting on my work in the prisons, I paid even closer attention to the documentary.


The blessing of Divine leadership

Prior to the Attica uprising, there was an uprising in a prison in Queens, New York. They sent for Brother Farrakhan to mediate the dispute. When I went into the prison, there were members of the Panther Party, members of the Nation of Islam, and just Black men who were tired of the mistreatment under the security personnel in the prison. They had taken several White guards hostage. I knew from the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that when you deal with the enemy, you have to deal wisely and quickly because he is an impatient kind of human being. His nature is like fire, while yours is more like water.

I told them that I thought it would be wise for them to negotiate as quickly as possible and let the guards go. I offered to trade places with the guards and they could hold me hostage until we could negotiate a settlement. They said no. Some of my Panther Brothers, who were at odds at that time with the Nation, wanted to hold on to the guards. I told them they didn’t have much time, so it would be wise to get what they could out of the negotiations. I told them that if they went beyond a certain time they would meet the wrath of this enemy. They rejected my guidance, and 12 hours later, those Brothers were beaten almost to death in that prison. So when Attica was boiling, they sent for me.

As a student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I would not go anyplace without his consent. I called him and he said, yes, Brother, go. As I was preparing to go, I got a call from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He said, Brother, they seem to be handling it pretty well, don’t go. As time went on, the situation degenerated and the Brothers called again for me. I called the Honorable Elijah Muhammad again and he said, all right, Brother, go. The governor of the state of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, was sending a plane to fly me from New York City to Attica prison, which is near the Canadian border. Just as I was about to leave to get on that plane, I got another call from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He said, no, Brother, don’t go.

It’s wonderful to have a leader on whom you can rely and in whom you can put trust to obey. In truth, I wanted to do whatever I could to ease the situation of our Brothers who had now taken part of the prison and had many White hostages. And in less than 24 hours, they were killing our Brothers wholesale.

Blood up to the horse’s bridle

It could’ve been that they wanted me up in it so that I wouldn’t be able to stand before you today. It would be so easy for them to say, “He was negotiating and something happened. It’s unfortunate, but the man you know as Louis Farrakhan is dead.”

When I saw the slaughter (at Attica), I literally wept because I wondered if I could have in any way made a difference and saved some of the precious lives of those beautiful Black men. Looking back at the documentary, I realize now that the worst slaughter took place after the uprising once the guards had re-taken control of the prison. It touched me so deeply because it gave me a reminder of the nature of the enemy in whose hands we are, and what we are about to face.

When I saw that horror, something triggered inside of me that I didn’t turn the dial. Right after that documentary, one came up about a man named Randy Weaver, a White man from Iowa who moved his family to Idaho. He did not think much of the authority of the Government of the United States. He joined with a White racist group in that part of the country and took about $5,000 and bought a piece of land on a hill in Idaho where he built a home for his family in the woods. But he made a mistake and sold a sawed-off shotgun to an agent that the FBI had planted among that group.

When the agent was discovered, he cut out and the FBI approached Randy Weaver. They told him they could arrest him for selling an illegal weapon, but they wouldn’t if he would become an informant for the FBI. Randy Weaver refused, so a warrant was issued for his arrest. Randy Weaver’s position was that he and his family had weapons and they weren’t coming down from the mountain. Federal Marshals were sent to serve him the warrant but, unfortunately, something happened and a marshal was killed and Weaver’s 14-year-old son was killed.

The government then sent down rules of engagement, which dictate how they are going to engage the person whom they view as the enemy. The rules of engagement were that anyone with a weapon was fair game for the government snipers. Thus, the weapons that Weaver had brought for his family’s protection became the instruments of their deaths.

When Weaver came out of his house with a weapon in one hand and reached for his door, a bullet tore through his hand and struck his wife in the head, killing her instantly. They couldn’t bring her out and keeping her in the house was endangering their health. Then the government moved in tanks and earth-moving equipment. They were going to go up that hill and push the man’s house down into the valley.

Death stands at the door

This is what triggered my desire to come to talk to you. This is what made me choose the subject, “Death Stands at the Door.” You are partying inside the door. You have your bottle in your hand and you are lighting up your little rock (crack cocaine). You have your half-naked woman who is shaking her backside, and you are shaking yours. You are oblivious to what is at the door—the tanks that are forming. When you drive down the highway, you see all the construction on the roads. And it’s concrete, not asphalt. In every major city in America, that kind of road construction is going on. Why? It is for the tanks that are going to be rolling in on you.

I am warning you today that the Bible and the Holy Qur’an will not be mocked. Blood is going to flow up to the horse’s bridle. While you, my Brothers, in your folly have armed yourselves to kill each other, the gun that you think is your protection is the justification for the enemy to slaughter you wholesale.

Gov’t frightened over Black youth

The government is frightened over Black youth, particularly the hip hop generation. Black youth through hip hop have captured the youth of the world. It has become so effective that the rap beat is on just about every commercial. You see White folks trying to rhyme. But the Whites that rule are very upset because they are saying, “If these ‘Neggras’ continue to affect our children like this, we will not be able to pass on to our children the legacy of White supremacy that we have done everything in our power to maintain. These young ‘Neggras’ are taking our future away from us.”

Rap music has so affected them that in Congress Senator Joseph Lieberman and others wanted to pass legislation condemning the lyrics of the hip hop gangster rappers. It appears that the biggest gangsters are afraid of the little gangsters that are coming up.

While you are partying, they are planning your death under Homeland Security, Patriot Act I and Patriot Act II. The government of the United States soon is going to move on the inner cities of America and move on Black youth and the gangs. The enemy does not want you to reform. If you say you want gang peace, it is disturbing to them because gang peace would mean that you would stop killing each other. But like a dog that has tasted blood, you have blood in your mouth now. They are afraid that one day you will turn those guns on them.

But remember, they have never given you the weaponry that would allow you to be troublesome, except to yourself.

More next issue, Allah willing.