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The Unmet Challenge of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

At a local Masjid I attended recently, I told some brothers that they could greatly benefit from listening to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. They loathed the idea, bemoaning theological differences between the Nation of Islam and Sunni Islam. However, I contend that the Third Resurrection of Islam in Black America, as Dr. Sherman Jackson called for in his book, Islam and the BlackAmerican:  Looking Toward the Third Resurrection, will only occur when the Black Muslim community has a better understanding of Minister Farrakhan.

In a story narrated by Minister Farrakhan, he shared an experience when he was overseas and was told by some Islamic scholars, “you really need to learn the religion of Islam a little better”. In response, Minister Farrakhan stated he would like like to meet the scholars of Islam in Mecca.  In the meeting was several Islamic scholars but of particular note is Muhammad Qutb, the younger brother of Sayyid Qutb, the chief ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the most influential Islamic revivalist organization of the 20th century. ( Muhammad Qutb’s writings influenced many Black socialists in the Black Panther Party to embrace Islam)

The next day, Shaykh Zindani, a leading scholar of Islam told Minister Farrakhan that he could not sleep all that night. The chief scholar of the meeting  Muhammad Qutb, was asked by the group to speak in refutation of Minister Farrakhan. However, in a display of humility, Qutb responded, “I did not come to speak. I came to listen and to learn, and I have both listened and learned.” I say it is about time that the Ummah did more listening and learning from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”

What about Black Muslims?  Is it time we started listening and learning from Minister Farrakhan?

In “Islam and The BlackAmerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection,” Dr. Jackson writes that the departure of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the mass conversion of African-Americans to Sunni Islam under Imam  W. D. Muhammad coincided with the massive influx of immigrant Muslims who “introduced theological, juridical, and revivalist discourses that effectively banished native Black American instincts and understandings to the periphery. ”

What is noteworthy is that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan whom Dr. Sherman Jackson states during this time was the only Black muslim leader who, “refused to recognize immigrant and overseas authority” articulates during this time a profound critique of the inability of the shaykhs of Sunni Islam to grapple with the theological issues emerging from the Black experience of transatlantic  slavery in a manner that quenches the spiritual thirst of Black people and inspires in them a way to address their socio economic political conditions, a critique of how Islam became a tool of Arab cultural imperialism over black people, and of course the ubiquitous anti-Blackness in the Muslim writ large. In other words, what immigrant Muslims brought to America did very little to address the needs and concerns of Black Muslims and in some regards further oppressed Black Muslims with Arab and South Asian anti Black cultural imperialism.

During Louis Farrakhan’s rebuilding of the Nation of Islam, he frequently cited the inability of eastern Islamic scholars to teach Black folks Islam in a manner that would encourage them to continue to struggle for their liberation.  “They were satisfied only if you said your prayers and read the Qu’ran in Arabic, they didn’t know what to make of you Black people other than that. But Islam is not just to make you an Arabic reader of the Qu’ran, it is to bring you back to what you were.”

Black Muslims learned the rituals of the faith and the Arabic language but very little if anything to change the social, political, and economic conditions of Black people.  Farrakhan asks the following question,”You’re in the Mosque by yourself. You learned Arabic, you can say the prayers perfectly but what are you doing today for yourself? ” Black Muslims walk past the worst conditions our people suffer to get to a masjid, say prayers, and keep going.  We can do better.

Whereas most theories of Islamic revival are predicated upon geo-political changes in the “Middle-East,”, Minister Farrakhan is the only Muslim who has posited a theory of Islamic revival centered upon oppressed inner-city Black communities.  He tells another story when he traveled to the Gulf States and several Muslims told him that despite growing up in the Muslim world, they never really practiced their faith or cared for their faith until they came to America and observed the zeal for which Black Muslims practiced Islam.

From this, Minister Farrakhan gleans that by making our communities the finest Muslim community in the world, the faith of the entire Ummah can potentially be reawakened, “We are going to be made that which will make the Islamic world admire us and become revived by the Islam that comes out of the hearts of those classified as dead.” The outcome of this theory of Islamic revival leads to the Black community’s engagement by the Nation of Islam that is frankly unrivaled by other Muslim communities. They manifest this in conflict resolution efforts, drug rehabilitation programs, schools, businesses, a newspaper and other community services.

As to his critics, Minister Farrakhan states bluntly, “If you have the proper tawheed and the proper aqeedah, you got to have the proper actions that bares witness to your aqeedah.”  It is a daily challenge and struggle to actually use Qu’ran and Sunnah to uplift Black communities instead of embracing reactionary American assimilationist politics that ignore the fact that Blacks are outside of mainstream America.   Black Sunni Masjids unfortunately have been driven to complete irrelevancy in many Black communities due to their lack of engagement. How can we meet the challenge to save our people?

When one looks at the Black Sunni intelligentsia who have positions of influence in the “American Muslim”  community they largely take political positions that are not in the best interest of Black People.

I believe, and Allah knows best, Islam in Black America will never thrive until the unity of Black Muslims includes Minister Farrakhan and together we work to give our people Quran and Sunnah in a manner that quenches their spiritual thirst and inspires them to address their socio economic and political conditions.

Tamika Mallory, the ADL, & the Hypocrisy of the Anti-Black Zionists!

Minister Farrakhan and Ms. Mallory.

For the past month, Women’s March Co-organizer Tamika Mallory has faced relentless criticism for doing what millions and millions of African-Americans have done for decades and generations of their lives: she attended a speech by Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan.

While speaking, Minister Farrakhan made remarks which have been criticized for being anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  When asked about these statements, Ms. Mallory stated,“I think people have to ask Minister Farrakhan about his views. I’m not responsible for Minister Farrakhan, nor am I a spokesperson for him.”  [1]

She continued by stating, “What I do know is that I’ve worked with Minister Farrakhan for many years to address some of the ills in the Black community, where we’ve transformed lives… In those areas we have been able to work together. As it relates to some of the statements he has made and some of his personal views, people have to ask him about that.” [2]

Organizations such as the ADL refused to accept this and took to Twitter and other social media to criticize not only Ms. Mallory but other Black leaders who would dare share the same breathing space as Minister Farrakhan.                                             

The ADL has furthered called for Ms. Mallory to resign from her position in the Women’s March. The ADL complains,”Tamika Mallory, one of the leaders of the Women’s March, who got a special shout-out from Farrakhan and who regularly posts laudatory pictures of him on her Instagram account — as does Carmen Perez, another leader of the March.“ [3]

Yet, former ADL director Abe Foxman has appeared in several photographs smiling with Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres, a man who offered to sell apartheid, South Africa, a long range missile called the burglar. [4]

Former, ADL director, Abe Foxman takes picture with Shimon Peres who once advocated that Apartheid, South Africa needed,”More Modern Weapons.”

After signing a defense agreement with apartheid, South Africa in 1975, Peres proudly posed in a photograph with Hendrik Van Den Berg, who was known as the most feared man in South Africa due to his role in mass-murdering Black, anti-apartheid, activists. [5]  

Why didn’t the ADL attack Peres with as much tenacity for taking a photo with Hendrik Van Berg, with they did Ms. Mallory for uploading a photograph with Farrakhan?

Despite Peres appearing in a photo with a mass-murderer of Black people and his role in arming apartheid South Africa, the ADL once hosted a celebration where they provided Peres with the distinguished statesmen award claiming Peres changed the world for the better. [6]

Foxman asserted, “Just think of the diverse contributions Shimon Peres has made to mankind?” [7]  It would appear the ADL does not hold itself to the same standard it seeks to impose upon Ms. Mallory.  Foxman has also  shared platforms and taken photographs with former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who believed that the racist white settlers in apartheid South Africa needed,”more modern weapons.” [8]  Was there any outcry about this appearance? No. 

 ADL’s role in Anti-Black Violence

In the Unspoken Alliance: Israel Secret Relationship with Apartheid, South Africa, Sasha Polakow-Suransky writes that, “As the anti-apartheid campaign turned its attention to Israeli links with South Africa, the ADL entered the propaganda frat, publically attacking Nelson Mandela’s ANC with arguments that mirrored those of hardline security officials in Pretoria.” [9]  Indeed, instead of repudiating Peres for signing a defense agreement with Apartheid, South Africa, in 1986, the then national director of the ADL, Nathan Perlmutter co-authored an article defending apartheid and South Africa’s President P.W. Botha while denouncing Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress as, “totalitarian, anti-humane, anti-democratic, anti-Israel and anti-American.” [10]  If the ADL had been aware of Nelson Mandela’s photograph with Minister Farrakhan, given their history, the ADL would have probably used that to call for Nelson Mandela to step down from his position. 

The ADL even dispatched spies throughout the United States to monitor groups working to end apartheid in South Africa. [11]] Working as a spy for the ADL, Roy Bullock passed on data he collected on anti-apartheid activists to the racist intelligence agency of Apartheid, South Africa. [12]

After this repugnant history, it’s absolutely absurd for the ADL to even posture as though its a credible civil rights organization when they have not  made any acknowledgment or amends with Black communities for their decision to support white murderous rule in apartheid, South Africa.

The Israeli Defense Force vs the Nation of Islam

Whilst criticizing Ms. Mallory for associating with the NOI, the ADL in events such a, “National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Israel” [13]  demonstrates it  is more than willing to associate and even promote the Israeli defense force, an  organization that has a demonstrated track record of actual physical violence against Black people.

A 1984 U.N report titled, “Recent developments concerning relations between Israel and South Africa,” states that the Israeli defense force’s “Collaboration with bantustans in military and police affairs is alarming because the racist regime of South Africa has utilized the bantustans as tools of oppression and suppression against the people of South Africa.”[14]

The Bantustans were systematically designed to confine the socio-economic mobility of Black people and ensure that Black people remained a permanent underclass and cheap labor source for white people. By any objective standard, the Israeli “defense”  force should be classified as a hate group for policing the bantustans of apartheid, South Africa.

The ADL is upset that Ms. Mallory attended a Nation of Islam event, an organization whose members are forbidden to carry weapons—even a pen knife. In contrast, Peres provided apartheid South Africa with brutal weapons used to kill Black people.

A CIA memo titled,” Israel’s relationship with Apartheid, South Africa,” revealed that Israel under Peres’ leadership provided apartheid, South Africa with piloted reconnaissance drones, gail assault rifles, 155m howizers, kits and the Israeli defense force provided technical assistance to modernize apartheid South Africa’s mirage 3 fighter aircraft. Israel also provided riot control equipment including gas masks and tear gas training program to apartheid South Africa. [15] These weapons were utilized to kill Black people.

The Nation of Islam is currently characterized by the ADL as a, “hate group” despite a lack of history of actual hate crimes. In contrast, the Israeli defense force, whom the ADL is affiliated with, has a documented and undeniable history of facilitating state terrorism against Black people.

During the height of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa,  Lekgau Mathabane, the head of Soweto’s Committee of Ten, an anti-apartheid  civil rights organization, proclaimed, “A friend of the South Africa government cannot be a friend of the Black…. Israel also supplies arms to South Africa and South Africa uses those arms for killing Black people and even children three years old. You don’t  expect any Black person to be happy with that type of thing.” [16]

Why is it acceptable for Foxman to snap photos with Peres but a Ms. Mallory instagram post with Minister Farrakhan results in a national uproar? Given the anti-Black violence of the israeli military,  the ADL’s decision to promote the Israeli defense force is far worse and worthy of condemnation than Ms. Mallory’s decision to attend a Nation of Islam event.  

Anti-racist, activist, Tim Wise stated, “Perhaps when white folks begin to show as much concern for the bigoted statements and, more to the point, murderous actions of white political leaders as we show over the statements of Louis Farrakhan, then we’ll deserve to be taken seriously in this thing we call a ‘national dialogue on race’.” [17]

When Will the ADL condemn, the Anti-Black Zionists?

Another immense double standard was revealed when Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yitzhak Yosef, referred to Black people as, “Monkeys.”[18]  The characterization of Black people as monkeys, is no light matter, it is rooted in Black people being portrayed as subhuman, and it is the very ideology that rationalized colonialism and the enslavement of Black people.

Yet, the most the ADL did was issue a watered down tweet claiming it was, “racially charged”, as opposed to explicitly anti-Black. [19]  There were no calls for any particular individuals who in the audience who attended the speech to resign from their places of employment. Moreover, the ADL has devoted a significantly larger amount of tweets indicting Minister Farrakhan compared to one watered down version condemnation of Rabbi Yitzhak. There was not even a call nor pressure by the ADL to have Rabbi Yitzhak step down from his position as chief rabbi of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu with the chief Rabbi of Israel who has called Black people,”monkeys.” When will the ADL pressure Netanyahu to resign for his association with a racist?

 

While Zionist Lobby groups have called for Senator Maxine Waters to resign for a video showing her warmly embracing Minister Farrakhan, there have been no calls for Netanyahu to step down as Israeli prime minister for photographs showing him shaking hands with the anti Black Rabbi, Yizhak Yosef.

The reality of the Anti-Black Zionists

The anti-Black zionist groups such as the ADL place the state of Israel over Black lives. Given the ADL’s role in supporting apartheid, in South Africa [20], it is not to be taken seriously as a civil rights organizations. The ADL has no authority to tell Ms. Mallory or any other Black leader who they can associate with.  Instead of focusing on her decision to attend a speech by Minister Farrakhan and stalking her social media for Minister Farrakhan photos, the ADL should be seeking forgiveness and atonement from the Black community for their complicity in being anti-Black.

Sources 

[1] Refinery29.com. (2018). Women’s March Organizers Accused Of Anti-Semitism—Again. [online] Available at: https://www.refinery29.com/2018/03/192438/tamika-mallory-nation-of-islam-louis-farrakhan-speech-2018-anti-semitism-womens-march?bucketed=true [Accessed 29 Mar. 2018].

 

[2] IBID

 

[3]  “Women’s March Leaders Refuse to Condemn Farrakhan after Antisemitic Speec.” The Jerusalem Post | JPost.com, 4 Mar. 2018, www.jpost.com/American-Politics/Womens-March-leaders-refuse-to-condemn-Farrakhan-after-antisemitic-speech-544074.

 

[4] The Israeli Connection: Whom Israel Arms and why By Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, pg. 63.

 

[5]   “The Tall Assassin Sparks New Interest in Apartheid Atrocities.” Penguin SA @ Sunday Times Books LIVE, penguin.bookslive.co.za/blog/2009/10/16/the-tall-assassin-sparks-new-interest-in-apartheid-atrocities/.

 

[6] Presentation of the ADL Distinguished Statesman Award to Shimon Peres.” Anti-Defamation League, www.adl.org/news/article/presentation-of-the-adl-distinguished-statesman-award-to-shimon-peres.

[7] IBID

 

[8] Middleton, Drew. “SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS MORE ARMS, ISRAELI SAYS.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 Dec. 1981, www.nytimes.com/1981/12/14/world/south-africa-needs-more-arms-israeli-says.html.

 

[9] Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa. Vintage Books, 2011. 209

[10] Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa. Vintage Books, 2011. 234

[11] Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa. Vintage Books, 2011. 209

 

[12] IBID

[13] “National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Israel.” Anti-Defamation League, www.adl.org/who-we-are/our-organization/signature-programs/law-enforcement-trainings/national-counter-terrorism-seminar.

[14]   Special Reports of the Special Committee Against Apartheid: Recent developments concerning relations between Israel and South Africa. http://repository.un.org/bitstream/handle/11176/64451/A_39_22_Add.1%3bS_16814_Add.1-EN.pdf?sequence=21&isAllowed=y)

[15]   Israel’s Relationship With South Africa, https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP06T00412R000606480008-9.pdf

 

[16] Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa. Vintage Books, 2011. 187.

 

[17] “Farrakhan Is Not the Problem: The Arrogance and Absurdity of America’s Racial Litmus Test.” Tim Wise, 24 Aug. 2010, www.timwise.org/2008/05/farrakhan-is-not-the-problem-the-arrogance-and-absurdity-of-americas-racial-litmus-test/.

 

[18] Osborne, Samuel. “Israeli Chief Rabbi Calls Black People ‘Monkeys’.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 22 Mar. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-cheif-rabbi-black-people-monkeys-yitzhak-yosef-talmud-sephardic-a8267666.html.

 

[19] IBID

 

[20]  Polakow-Suransky, Sasha. The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa. Vintage Books, 2011. 209