BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: JUN 11, 2007 – 7:39:00 PM
[Editors note: The following excerpts were taken from a message delivered by Minister Farrakhan in Newark, New Jersey on December 11, 2004 as the keynote address of the 12th Annual Pre-Kwanzaa Festival held by the city’s Cops Against Police Brutality.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
The war in Iraq is not your war; that’s Israel’s war. Iraq was not an enemy of America as such; Iraq could not do anything to America. I’ve been there on several occasions. For the last 12 years under UN sanctions, the Iraqis could not protect their own airspace. There were “no fly” zones in the north and south, and America and England bombed Iraq at will. For 12 long years, you have never read that one American or British plane was shot down. So, how can a nation that cannot protect its airspace be a threat to a superpower like America?
Iraq has the second largest reserve of oil in the world. Afghanistan is the greatest producer of the poppy, which produces heroin. We may not agree with some of the harsh religous edicts of the Taliban, but drugs were not flowing when the Taliban was in power, but now the drugs are freely moving. The aim of the West is Guns, Oil, and Drugs. This is the god in whom America trusts.
Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Libya hated the fact that Israel took land from the Palestinians, so these countries were an inveterate enemy of Israel. So, how does Ariel Sharon inspire America to go to war with Iraq, when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? The neo-conservatives who manipulate the government are like the rudder of a ship. The rudder is a small thing, but it turns a big ship in the ocean. The rudder that is turning America is not your elected officials; it’s that small influential group of neo-conservatives that are using America’s power to destroy the enemies of Israel.
The young men, Black, brown and poor white, can see that their government is not investing in their development. The factories that used to be in the inner cities of America, in the last 30 years began to move out of the inner cities because the wise policymakers said that racial unrest will cause the cities to explode in racial conflict, and where cities explode, business cannot happen. So factories began to close down in the cities of America and move to the suburbs, and also out of the country to Third World countries for a cheap labor market, leaving Blacks, Hispanics and poor Whites to fend for themselves in the inner cities.
When there are no jobs for you, and an educational system that is not repairing you for what is needed in 2000 and beyond, then what they have for our young people is the building of brand new prisons. They are putting prisons on the stock exchange so that rich people can invest in our suffering. It’s like investing in a hotel that you know is going to have full occupancy. The rich investors see that the poor Black, brown and poor white, will fill the prisons of America because the rich have cut off avenues of serious development for the people.
So, they close off legitimate avenues of expression and open up two—crime and the armed services. Who is dying in Iraq today? It is babies, 18, 19, 20 years old. President George Bush can go to sleep every night, while American families are losing their loved ones on the basis of a lie. Yet, nobody seems to have enough fortitude to stand up and say to America, “Never again will you get my babies for an unjust war!”
What is going on in the world is a battle between “theocracy” and “democracy.” “Theo” and “cratis” are Greek words. “Cratis” in Greek means “rule.” In Latin, it’s “craci.” In English, you change the “i” to a “y”—“cracy” (rule). “Theo” in Greek means “god.” The Greek word is “demos”—demos cratis. In Latin, it’s demon craci. In English, you drop the “n,” put a “y” on the end, and you have democracy. “Democracy” is “the rule of the people,” but what kind of people? It’s the very opposite of theocracy. It’s the rule of a devil.
Are you fighting for democracy? You have lived under it. It’s the rule of that which opposes the way of God, where the rich get money and power at the expense of the ignorance of the masses. Democracy presupposes an enlightened electorate that knows its self-interest, then has the right to choose what is in their best interest. How enlightened are you to what is in your self-interest? Right now, you have a large percentage of students graduating from high school as functional illiterates. Some of you who are in Rutgers University, Seton Hall and Princeton, if I asked you to write me something—not go to a computer—you would not know how to compose a letter, because you do not know how to spell and do not know the language sufficiently to set your ideas in written form. How then did you graduate? You were programmed for failure. There is a dumbing down of the masses of the American people, so that your thinking is between your legs and not between your ears.
Since you are living under “democracy,” do you have equal justice under the law? Do you have equality of opportunity? When it looks like you are the majority in a city, what kind of tricks and games are played to keep you from exercising power, even after you are voted into office? Why, in the city of Newark when you have a Black mayor and a predominantly Black city council, are you not setting the budget in a way that benefits the least of these? How can the Newark Port Authority owe the city of Newark a large sum of money, and we have a right to put them out, but we don’t do it? So, they withhold what they owe, and the mayor and city administration can’t lift the standard of the masses of the people.
You have the mistaken thought that, when you vote a Black man into office, things are going to be alright. You do not see the strings pulling on the chair that he sits in. You think that, when you vote for somebody, that’s all you have to do. That’s democracy. It’s like playing football. When the ball is snapped to the quarterback, he fakes giving it to the halfback, but he runs back and throws a pass for a touchdown to his man. The games of football and basketball are about how you outfox or outsmart your opposition. No matter how much you think you are getting control of certain elements of power, the people in power are always manipulating and moving things around. This is democracy. Do you want to send your children to die for this?
You say, “But, Minister Farrakhan, what can we do?” You can stand up like a man and a woman. Since we are all going to die, why not live and die for the freedom of your people?
The enemy is plotting, through democracy, to make the whole world submit to so-called democratic values, so that the demons of the West can rule all the darker peoples of the world under “demo cracy.”
Many of you in the audience are Christians and many of you are Muslims, and even if you are neither, when your mother taught you how to pray, she said, “Now, child, I want you to get down by your bed at night and say this prayer, ‘Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy Will be done on Earth, even as it is in heaven.’” Jesus came to this Earth, but he said his kingdom was not of this world. When he met John the Baptist and was baptized, he said, “The Kingdom of God or heaven is at hand.” Then, as he began his mission, he told the people, “The Kingdom of heaven or God is within you.”
That’s why when you see Muslims in Iraq fire a rocket and it destroys an American tank, they cry out, “Allah-u-Akbar! God is great!” Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld already told the Shiites in Iraq, “We’re not going to permit you to have an Islamic government.” What is an Islamic government? It is a government where God’s laws govern the people. When you pray for the Kingdom to come, you are praying to live under God’s rule because you believe that under His rule, freedom, justice and equity will become a reality.
But what does Jesus mean, that the Kingdom is within you? This is a profound study. The greatest knowledge that you could possess is the knowledge of self and the knowledge of God. Whether you want to believe it or not, those two knowledges are one and the same. A Muslim might say, “Wait a minute, Farrakhan, that sounds a little contrary to my understanding of Islam.” Yes, it may very well be, but let’s look a little deeper into your understanding of Islam. The Qur’an says that, “God created Adam to be His khalifah.” I’m not an Arabic scholar, but I read what it means. Khalifah means “one who stands in the place of another as his successor.” God has man as His khalifah. How can you stand in the place of God and not have within you the ability to rule, according to the way of God?
The Bible says it a little differently. The Bible says, “He created man in His own image and after His own likeness.” Then, He gives the man that He created dominion, the power to rule the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea and every creeping thing that crawls upon the earth. It is for us to rule it, but to rule it according to the way of God.
So, who are you that God would allow you to stand in His place? Who are you? You say, “Well, you’re saying that about men? I’m a woman. What about that, you male chauvinists?” When we say the Attributes of God, we say, “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim. In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate or The Beneficent, The Merciful.” These are His two main attributes; one is masculine and one is feminine. In the Qur’an, He says, “I created you from a single essence and I created your mate of the same.” So, if we (men) are “Hakim,” meaning “the wise,” you (women) are “Hakimah,” the feminine side of God. That’s why any religion that suppresses and oppresses women does not understand the book of scripture out of which they read. There’s no way you can tell me you understand the Qur’an and put a woman down.
“The Kingdom is within you.” Before there was a universe, there was Allah (God). He came before the universe. That’s powerful. We are living in a day when God has kept certain knowledge from the wise and prudent men of this world and is now revealing that kind of wisdom unto little babes—the Black man and woman of America. The scepter of rulership is passing out of the hands of the East, away from Jews, Muslims and Christians, and into the hands of a people that were no people at all. Don’t think that White Muslims, White Christians and White Jews don’t know that your time has come and that you are the people of the fulfillment of the prophecies of God’s promise.
Soon, we are going to call for an international conference to argue these points with religious scholars of the world, with what Master Fard Muhammad gave to us. You can take it or let it alone. This is why Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw the sun rising from the West in the latter days. The racism that afflicts Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Socialism and Communism—I don’t care what “ism” you accept, you’re always under some Caucasian—time is out for that racism. I do not mind accepting the rulership of intelligent White people, if they’re intelligent enough to rule. But this madness that’s going on in Washington, I cannot let that rule me. I cannot let that determine the future of a people who are hungering to breathe free. “Well, what are you going to do about it, Farrakhan?” you ask.
The only thing that I can do is help to raise the level of your consciousness and call you into a form of unity that will make us a formidable power, that we can leverage our unity to correct the ills that affect us and affect this society. You cannot do it by yourself. I cannot do it by myself. You have tried it your way, but your way has not worked. But together, we have not tried the unity of us, as a people. You do not need weapons. I’m telling the gang-bangers, “put them down, Brother, because you don’t need guns. We need each other.” I guarantee you that our unity will terrorize the opposition. They would call us “terrorists.” That’s a big word today, “terrorists,” but without any weapons of mass destruction. Our unity is a weapon of mass construction.
Then, we can begin to pool our resources intellectually and financially, and begin to determine a future for a whole people. I have been talking to some preachers and I have said to them, “Brothers, you have to stop thinking of yourself as the minister of your congregation. You have to start seeing yourself as the shepherds of a people who need shepherding. Your ministry is not in the church; your ministry is in the streets.”
Jesus did not build these kind of buildings. We glory in our buildings, saying, “Oh, look at my new church. Isn’t it magnificent?” But Jesus was by the Sea of Galilee and he was in the open fields, because he was not interested in building monuments to ignorance; he was interested in building people to reflect God.
The way the bricks in a building are mortared together is the way Paul pictured the real house of God. It is human beings, like bricks, mortared together, where nothing can come through us. We become like a solid wall, when we can put people together like that. We should spend money not to build skyscrapers, but to build human beings whose feet can be on the ground, while their head reaches into heaven.