Minister Farrakhan's Address At Saviours' Day 2001
On Sunday February 25, 2001, at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, and before thousands of others in over 100 cities in America and across the world, Nation of Islam Leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan, spoke for nearly three hours in his first public appearance since he underwent reconstructive surgery last November to repair damage done by radiation treatments he received in connection with his battle against prostate cancer.
The Muslim leader's address was preceded by remarks from others in the Nation Of Islam who have recently undergone near-death experiences. His address was also preceded by an update on his medical condition from one of Minister Farrakhan's daughters, Fatimah, who is also the Minister's registered nurse. She indicated that while Minister Farrakhan is not 100% yet in his recovery that he is, at present, totally cancer-free.
In her emotional comments, as she fought back tears, Sister Fatimah Farrakhan thanked all of those who have supported the Farrakhan family with their moral support. But above all, she thanked Allah, Whom she confidently stated "answers prayers".
Minutes later, to a rousing standing ovation, Minister Farrakhan entered, carefully walking toward the podium at Christ Universal Church while beaming at the crowd and bowing several times before those in attendance.
Minister Farrakhan began his remarks by indicating that it was not known, by his doctors, as close as 48 hours before the event, whether he would be strong enough to make his Saviours' Day address. But the 67-year old Muslim leader gradually removed all doubt about his ability to make the address with his spirited, emotional, patient and thought-provoking talk.
He began his comments by expressing his sadness over the death of Brother Khalid Muhammad. The Minister revealed that he grieved for several days over the loss of Brother Khalid because he "never thought that I would see my Brother in that condition". He spoke of the finality of death and urged those in attendance, that while they have life, they should work and commit their lives to the mission that is on their shoulders
He then told the crowd that the day before, on February 24th, he had received a visit from Rev. Jesse Jackson who cautioned the Minister not to speak too long at Saviours' Day, advising Minister Farrakhan that those who love him would just be happy to see him and that those who hated him would not care how long the Minister spoke - they would still feel the same about him afterwards.
The Minister and the audience broke into laughter after the Minister relayed Rev. Jackson's advice to Minister Farrakhan, partially because few expect Minister Farakhan to accept it. The Minister did say that he would be mindful of the time of his address and that perhaps God was "training" him to make his addresses much shorter than in the past.
Minister Farrakhan concluded his brief account of Rev. Jackson's visit by indicating that he believed that Rev. Jackson was under attack. He said that Black people need Rev. Jackson and the Minister reminded the crowd that almost 20 years ago, he warned Rev. Jackson that those in power who gave the civil rights leader access to them would never completely trust him. Minister Farrakhan said that he went as far as to remind Rev. Jackson that while Dr. Martin Luther King was leading the civil rights movement and was even a guest at the White House, that Dr. King was being plotted against by his supposed allies in the American political establishment.
The Minister also recognized the presence in the audience of former Congressman Mel Reynolds (D-Ill) who was seated in the front-row of Christ Universal Temple in Chicago. The Minister spoke of Rep. Reynolds recent incarceration and spoke of how prison has a purifying effect telling the audience that even Jesus had to descend into hell before he went into heaven. He said that he believed that God was preparing Rep. Reynolds for greater service and that now, as a result of his recent experience, Mr. Reynolds was now in a position to serve in a better and greater manner than even he had ever imagined.
Few remember that after years of opposing Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Rep. Reynolds received visits and support from Minister Farrakhan during his trial. Minister Farrakhan, appeared in court during Reynolds' trial and even wrote a letter to the judge over the case, asking mercy for Mel. Reynolds, prior to his sentencing.
The Minister, moved into his talk by quoting from the 61st Chapter of the Book of Isaiah and telling the audience that it was the Black man and woman in America who were the captives spoken of in these verses. He emphasized that Blacks were the only ethnic group of all of those who are in America, who were actually captured and brought here, but not of their own will. He referred to Blacks in this country as captive "prey" and strongly argued that while this current generation of the descendants of those who held Blacks as slaves were not the original perpetrators of the crime, they do bear a responsibility to ensure that Black people today, receive the freedom, justice and equality that was denied their forefathers. Otherwise, the Minister argued, that God would place the punishment that was deserved by those who originally enslaved Black people on this current generation.
Minister Farrakhan also clearly stated that Blacks in Africa were involved in the slave trade and that this is nothing new as their have always been a group of Blacks willing to sell other Blacks out. The Minister punctuated this point by stating that while Clarence Thomas was "Our Brother" and should be considered part of the Black family, Mr. Thomas does not "think like a Brother". Minister Farrakhan expressed his disappointment in that it was Clarence Thomas who was the deciding vote when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of Shakah Sankofa (Gary Graham), which allowed Shakah Sankofa to be executed without any further delay in Texas.
For this reason, the execution of Shakah Sankofa, Minister Farrakhan stated last year, that he could not vote for President Bush.
Minister Farrakhan also added that it was Clarence Thomas who helped to make a majority in the Supreme Court's decision in Gore vs. Bush. And while Minister Farrakhan spoke of the role of the Supreme Court in making George W. Bush president, he added that "Al Gore capitulated" and did not fight for Blacks, Hispanics and elderly Jews who were disenfranchised. However, Minister Farrakhan did add that Rev. Jackson did fight for these groups and that is why he is under attack today.
Minister Farrakhan said that he believed that the Supreme Court decision, in effect, dismissed the will of the American people, who as a majority, voted for Al Gore. The Minister argued that what happened in Florida was part of a larger effort to disenfranchise Black voters that spans, in the modern era, over thirty years. He spoke of how a decision was made immediately after that Blacks were given the right to vote and extended civil rights, to strip them of the effect and impact of their vote.
The Minister argued that the US government's investigations of Black politicians and even their arrests, in the case of former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Berry, were designed to disenfranchise the Black electorate. The Minister spoke of how Black agents were being used, across the country to tempt and bribe Black politicians, setting them up for scandal and removal from office and thus, discouraging Blacks from voting for their own people and leaders.
The Minister said that there was no difference between former Mayor Berry and numerous white politicians. The Minister said that Mayor Berry was a good man and good politician with "bad habits" but that he was not alone in that regard.
Minister Farrakhan spoke of how the media has been the attack dog of Black politicians, like Mayor Berry, while it has been the protector of white politicians like John F. Kennedy, who it has been said, snorted cocaine and had affairs in the White House. Minister Farrakhan also made reference to the numerous Congressman and Senators who would engage in sex with Black prostitutes on 14th St in Washington D.C.
He was pointing to a double standard that exists between Black and White politicians who are known by the press and law enforcement to be guilty of moral indiscretions and even illegal activities, yet their activities are rarely reported and published.
In this regard, Minister Farrakhan said that those who are attacking Rev. Jackson are self-righteous and are ignoring their own sins. He asked, like Jesus did in the Gospels, that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. The Minister said that no one can meet that criteria and that those who are casting stones at Rev. Jackson should look in the mirror and throw a brick.
Minister Farrakhan said that the Florida recount controversy is just the latest instance of how Blacks in this country are being opposed at every turn as they seek justice and equality and he argued that it will not be until Blacks accept that the system is evil, that they will begin to do something for themselves. The Minister explained that he encouraged people to register to vote and that voting was important but it was not a panacea as advertised by so many in the Black community. The Minister has rejected the idea of Blacks placing all of their hopes on a benevolent White politician only to have that politician, disappoint them or ignore them. He added that no matter how many times he warned Blacks of the pitfalls of the system that it would not be until Blacks themselves fully experienced the racism of the American political system, like they did in Florida, that they would begin to accept the arguments that they have heard but ignored. The Minister stressed that no "good teaching" would wake Black people up. But rather, it would be getting burned by the system that would show them that they should have been uniting with one another and submitting to God in order to make progress.
The Minister also said that the overwhelming support by the Black electorate for the Gore-Lieberman ticket proved that Blacks never had a problem with a Jewish person being a heartbeat away from the presidency. He did indicate that he believes the loss of Gore-Lieberman may have shown that it is White America who was unprepared for a Jewish person to be next in line to become president, adding that real anti-semitism is not to be found among Blacks but with the Whites of this country.
Minister Farrakhan spent a good portion of his address on foreign affairs.
He spoke of his great skepticism of US and the current Bush administration's foreign policy objectives, strategy and tactics. He began by challenging the current depiction of Saddam Hussein and Iraq as the chief villains of the planet earth, speaking of how Saddam was in fact originally propped up by the US. He spoke of how President Reagan and President Bush, while head of the CIA, and Colin Powell while as national security adviser and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked hand-in-hand with many of those who were eventually fought against, in later years by the US government.
He began by speaking of Panama and how President Bush, while head of the CIA, supported Manuel Norieaga and how when Norieaga's usefulness was gone, he was removed from power, in favor of another US supported regime. He spoke of the extreme lengths to which the US went by invading Panama - even using the Stealth bomber and arresting the Panamanian leader and taking him to a Florida jail.
The Minister said this was unprecedented and further evidence of how the US arranges the rise and fall of foreign leaders. Minister Farrakhan argued that the US government plays a game where it "befriends" leaders who are enemies to the enemies of the US - offering them money and billions of dollars and resources, only to eventually do the same against the leader who they originally supported. Minister Farrakhan explained that this is exactly what happened with Saddam Hussein.
He detailed how Saddam Hussein was backed by the US because he was the enemy of Iran, who was America's enemy. He explained how President Bush and April Gillespie, in fact, gave Saddam Hussein an OK to invade Kuwait. The Minister spoke of how Saddam Hussein actually checked with America before he invaded Kuwait in order to see if they would oppose him. America indicated that they would not and Hussein went into Kuwait in order to regain the country and land that used to be part of Iraq until the British divided the territory.
The Minister revealed that the Saudis told him, personally, that they gave Saddam Hussein $80 billion dollars with which to oppose Iran and that Saddam went and used that money to buy weapons from America and Europe. The Saudis, like others in the region, were frightened by Ayatollah Khomeni's movement against the sheikhdoms in the Arab world. He said for America to now oppose Saddam Hussein on the grounds that he is a rogue, is the height of hypocrisy.
The Minister said that for the Bush administration to wait only three weeks before it bombed Iraq again; it was a sign that they are looking to finish the Gulf War of 1991.
Minister Farrakhan also voiced his displeasure with Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia who is sponsoring legislation in Congress that would allow the US government to aim at the assassination of foreign leaders - a practice that is currently outlawed. Minister Farrakhan then began to share information that he said he had not spoken of before in public.
He spoke of how in the last few years he has met with and visited with virtually every leader in the Middle East, Arab, African and Islamic world and that he has been opposed by the US State Department. He spoke of how on several of his trips, leaders of these countries actually left the country at the same time that Minister Farrakhan was scheduled to visit so that they would not have to greet Minister Farrakhan and lose the favor of the US State Department which had warned them that they would lose points if they received Minister Farrakhan within their borders.
The Minister said that these leaders have since apologized to him for what they did.
He even spoke of how President Clinton, while still president, had personally telephoned African leaders, telling them that if they received Minister Farrakhan in their countries that he would not visit their nations. According to Minister Farrakhan, President Clinton in effect, was telling these African leaders that it is "Farrakhan or me".
The Minister then revealed details of his meetings with Saddam Hussein and his work to make peace in the Middle East, particularly among Arabs and Muslims. He said that Saddam Hussein personally promised him that he would work for the unity of Arabs in that region. And Minister Farrakhan gave a very touching account of how his presence in Iraq had caused Saddam Hussein to actually pick up the phone and call then-Syrian leader Haffez Assad of Syria after the men had not spoken for years. The Minister recounted that he had wanted to visit Syria but that the only way into the country other than helicopter was that a road had to be opened between the two countries - a road, as the Minister indicated in another speaking engagement, could only be opened by presidential order. The Minister said that he and his traveling companions literally, had to be passed from the Iraqis to the Syrians and had to climb a physical wall that separated the two countries. As he and those with him were passed, the Iraqis and Syrians, with tears streaming down their eyes, exchanged the greetings of peace, having not had contact with one another for years. The Minister described a similar experience when he traveled between Iraq and Iran.
In a moment of light humor, the Minister indicated that he wanted to travel on ground because he did not want to be taken up into the air via helicopter and been accused of being in the "no-fly" zone.
The Minister revealed that his efforts to make peace between nations in the Arab world and in African have been opposed by the US government. He told the audience that he is now warning the Muslim and Arab world " don't go along with Powell and Bush".
And Minister Farrakhan added that Blacks should not be fooled by the presence of Blacks in the Bush cabinet and that Secretary of State Colin Powell and national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice were only "window-dressing" and would really not be the ultimate persons advising Bush.
The Minister asked, "since when have they listened to a Black woman?"
The Minister said that it would be Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and vice-president Dick Cheney who would be telling President Bush what to do. The Minister said that is why Rumsfeld and Cheney are there. The represent the desires and agenda of a bygone era and will not allow anyone, including Powell and Rice, to influence President George W. Bush
Minister Farrakhan warned Black leaders about the motivation behind President Bush's faith-based initiative. He said that the government all along should have been supporting the work of Black pastors and the Nation of Islam, adding that the Christians and Muslims, in the Black community were only "cleaning up the mess" that the government made. He said that churches should not be fooled into believing that a few crumbs from the government will allow them to cure societal ills. He said that for every 25 drug addicts cured with a government program another 25,000 addicts were made due to the government's allowing dope to flood the inner cities.
He said that the government should support the community development efforts of religious institutions but that the Minister himself, would not be going "hat in hand" begging for a handout. He said, "My name is not Lazarus".
The Minister said that he had a "faith-based" initiative for President Bush. He lifted up his Holy Qur'an, present on the dais, and said that President Bush should support the freeing of the captives written of in the book of Isaiah Chapter 61.
He said that Black preachers and Black people should consider the possibility that President Bush's faith-based programs are designed to blunt the growing momentum of the movement in Black America for reparations. The Minister argued that faith-based initiatives don't deal with justice and that reparations is the larger and more important issue.
He said that Blacks should receive cash and gold but more importantly land that the federal government has preserved and kept in its possession. And Minister Farrakhan did indicate that separation was a very real possibility in such a reparations arrangement. The Minister said that a period of 20 years should be considered for reparations and that if Blacks could not get it together in that time period that they were not worthy of any more support or even life itself.
Minister Farrakhan concluded by challenging spiritual leaders to evaluate America's history in the light of divine prophecy - in the Torah, Gospel and Holy Qur'an.
He warned young Black men who have guns and have spoken of fighting the US government to not be foolish and lead their people in the way of slaughter. He said that only God could deal with America and that the increase in natural disasters - hurricanes, snowstorms and earthquakes was the biggest sign that America was under divine judgment. He said that the weather in 1999 was the worst that it has ever been in America's history and that even both of America's coasts and shorelines - East and West - were being eroded.
Minister Farrakhan said that this was written of in the Holy Qur'an.
Minister Farrakhan urged all preachers to look in the book of Revelations and he directly stated that the United States of America was the Mystery Babylon referred to and described in the 17th Chapter of the book of Revelations.
He challenged any preacher or theologian to refute that this was not a picture of America in divine prophecy.
Minister Farrakhan compared America to Egypt and referred to the account in the 41st Chapter of Genesis, where Egypt was prophesied to have 7 prosperous years followed by 7 years of poverty marked by famine. Minister Farrakhan said that America's 8-years of prosperity under Clinton were foreshadowed by what was written in the book of Genesis. And he indicated that America's economic fall had already begun in Clinton's eighth year, and that it continues today, though it is only beginning to show.
The Minister said that, like Egypt, a horrible famine was soon to come to America.
In his talk Minister Farrakhan stressed that it was not just enough for Christians, Jews and Muslims to believe in the coming of the Christ, Messiah and Mahdi but that these three groups would have to know when the work of delivering the captives to be performed by the Christ, Messiah, and Mahdi would take place.
The Minister told the audience that for Black people, the process of delivery was begun on the coming of Master Fard Muhammad to America in the 1930s. Master Fard Muhammad is the man who taught the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and raised the first 25,000 members in the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America . The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, upon the departure of Master Fard Muhammad, established Nation Of Islam temples across the country and in the process attracted and taught such men as Muhammad Ali, Malcom X and Minister Farrakhan.
It is Master Fard Muhammad's birthday, on February 26, 1877 in Mecca Arabia, which the Nation of Islam commemorates every year as Saviours' Day.
The Minister asked that the audience recommit their lives to God and the upliftment of humanity and indicated that he expected to resume his normal working schedule in the near future, after his recovery was complete.
Monday, February 26, 2001