I thought the readers of The Final Call would be very interested in what Sister Sandra, who lives in Montreal, Canada, told me earlier today. What comes below is what she told me in the course of a discussion concerning the translation of Closing The Gap into French—a language spoken by millions of originals in the Caribbean, Africa and elsewhere.
Be it the Will of Allah, in a week or two, we’ll resume the points I was making. Below are her words.
When I first heard the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad through his great student, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, it was the first time that I had been made aware of the dishonesty of some of the most authoritative authors of our times. Before being exposed to such Teachings, it hadn’t even occurred to me that, not only our history was so rich, but even more important, that it had been hidden from us. But even more shocking was the fact that the omission and avoidance of the facts was intentional.
From that point, I started to feel an intense need to redefine my identity and to know more about our people. Minister Farrakhan, in the first speech that I heard of him, said that we, the Black people of the Earth, are the chosen people of God and that the proper name of God is Allah.
Immediately, my quest for knowledge started. … I had never heard this, and I was born in Africa and I lived for two years in the west part of Africa, in Mali, a Muslim country. I had never heard that and I needed to know more. Well, this sentiment is shared by many of our people upon their first encounter with this Great Teaching and the student that presents it.
I felt that this Truth could only come from a divine man. That I knew instantly. Even though I had never heard of him before; even though he was a Muslim and was seen as a very controversial man, I knew he was a divine man. Not just because of what he was saying and the manner in which he was so eloquently saying it. No. There was something else that transcended the screen of my television every time I would hear his words. It was his spirit.
I wanted my friends and family, the members of my community to hear him. So I gathered them at my house in the beginning, for little dinners to listen to this great man speak. Each and every one of the people present there were shocked and touched and wanted to know more about this man and this Teaching.
We started to listen to him and we could never get enough. We bought many tapes and started to share them, first among ourselves, and then with our communities. But there was a problem: The tapes and books are in English and the majority of the people here in Montreal are French-speaking people. But the language barrier would not stop us…
Brother Roger Muhammad and I decided that we could not let our people thirst for knowledge and the truth for the lack of language. So we decided that, since they (the people of our community) were not able to understand the Minister because of the barrier of language, we were going to make the Minister’s words understandable to them. And we did.
We started to translate in French some of the texts of the Minister to put them into a book. Brother Roger communicated with Sister Dora and sent her the first draft of the book, which is called, “Les Clés du Royaume” (The Keys to the Kingdom). The final copy, as I informed Sister Dora via email, will be sent to her Friday the 13, 2006.
Not only is the book in process, but because of the impact that the words of the Minister started to have in Montreal among the members of our community, we felt that we needed to do more because they wanted to know more.
The demand grew rapidly among the young people. So my friends and I decided to organize forums of discussion in which we gathered our people and engaged in a class followed by a discussion around the Willy Lynch letter. This is a way for us to introduce the Teachings and the Truth, the Messenger and the Minister. The people love it and it allows them to better understand certain aspects of the Teachings that they would not otherwise understand and comprehend.
There is a great necessity and a great demand for knowledge in Montreal, as this city has not been introduced to this and they need to be exposed to it. And those of us who can better understand it, have the responsibility to be represented in the proper manner and with the proper spirit.
Our first forum of discussion was mostly composed of young adults. Now, we started our second term of the forums, and most of the guests are parents and other adult members of the community. They thoroughly enjoy the experience and are fascinated by some of aspects of the Teachings. The class takes place every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The classes are always full and many are participating and the number is growing. The forums are conducted by Brother Roger Muhammad and other Believers, such as Sister Laura and Brother Gino. I can attest that our community responds to the Teachings, even though they do not understand, for the most part, the English language. This goes to show that the Word of God is very powerful. The Minister transmits the Word of Truth and our people can’t help but be attracted by him. The duty is upon us (the Believers in Montreal) to bring his words to them. We do.
But there is so much that needs to be done for him to be understood and for this word to get out to our people. So our book is not enough, it can only ease their thirst. It’s a beginning, but this city needs to be fed.
Closing the Gap is a magnificent tool to better know the Minister, to understand him and appreciate his great love and worth to our salvation. We need to explain to him and make him personal to the cause of the people of the French Caribbean who have not been exposed to him enough, but are starting to hear of him more. They respond to him. We just need to present him and make the information concerning him available in the French language and the people will come.
We will do a great marketing campaign for this book in English and in French by using the many tools that we have such as the forums, the LOC and the many websites that we have here. Minister Farrakhan speaks our language, too.
Sister Sandra Labissière
More, next issue, Allah willing.