Significant Landmark In African-American Muslim History
Imam W. Deen Mohammed addresses the International Islamic Conference
On the current situation in the Gulf Sept. 10, 1990 Mecca, Saudi Arabia
(Editorial Note: Following is the text of Imam W. Deen Mohammed's presentation at this critical conference.)
With the Name Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer. Praise belongs to Allah the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds. We ask Allah for assistance and we beg His forgiveness. We believe in Him, the Sublime, the Glorious. We worship none but Him. Our worship is purely for Him, even though the disbelievers are averse.
The Prayers and the Peace be upon Muhammed ibn Abdullah, the generous Messenger. The Prayers and the Peace be upon him, on his Companions all, and what follows. Oh esteemed Brothers! The Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon you.
The invitation from Rabita honors us as does King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addressing the cruel burden put upon the Kuwaiti rulers, their citizens, their guests, their families, their women and children, this statement asks that Iraqi aggressors and the Arab governments remember more of Islam and Islamic history and sin less.
I won't be giving my attention to your faces. Normally I don't look at faces of people of an audience that I consider to be above me in knowledge of the matter at hand. So I won't be looking at your faces.
Remember, our brothers, the hands of the man in the story recorded by Buhkari. He was walking with his hands to the skies, pointing to the skies to say, "Religious people look at my misery. This religion is not fair." To this man's tricky complaints, our prophet (PBUH) said, "How can help come to you from Allah while your food is haram and your dress is haram?"
I don't want to disturb your sense of dignity. Remember whatever your Arab ancestors achieved of power and glory before AJ-Islam was not something that could rescue you during the days of Jahiliyah (the days of ignorance and darkness and oppression of Arab souls and intellects). A remnant for your rescue was among you in Muhammed, called "El-Amin". Allah, the Qur'an, Muhammed the last Prophet, the religion AJ-Islam rescued you.
Arabs, our esteemed models in Islamic history before you were saved and raised up to glory by your religion, by Islam which is also my religion, you had your lands and you had your governments. Remember what occurred to transform your life and caused the eyes of other nations to look up to you was not your past glory, but it was your transformed lives. It was your religion, your Islam.
Arab leaders, our leaders, my brothers, I am a student of history and religion. I have come to know of the ancient Arabian historical greatness to value and to applaud your place in history. I have a strong admiration for Arab people in the history of "civilization". However, I have what I think is a sober admiration for you.
At this conference, we have been informed. Though the burden of our Palestinian brothers is no less painful for us, our position in regards to the occupation of Kuwait is that the forces of Iraqi (Saddam) occupation should withdraw unconditionally. Their presence there is not acceptable.
Remember clever enemies do more than study our weaknesses. Clever enemies also target the nature of our passion and nervous system and make our rage and our desperation their most practical weapon in their hands to be used against us. African-Americans know of and remember the strength and courage established for the Algerian determination (revolution for their freedom), for the Libyan determination, and for the Egyptian determination. Egypt's courage was not shamed or defeated in its wars with Israel to save Jerusalem and check Israel's aggression towards the Palestinians. However, the problem did not yield to Arab national forces. Calling national fervor "Islamic jihad" serves only to make us more despicable before Allah and also more despicable before man (the world).
Regarding threats from enemies and their cruel designs on the world of Muslims, it is clear what is needed most is improved awareness on one side, an awareness of what is missing in our constitution and in our strength as Muslims, and an awareness on the other side, an awareness of the vulnerability (the weaknesses) that are in our determined enemies. We need to know the weaknesses in our enemies which expose them (our enemies) to approved Muslim weapons (and I'm not talking about physical weapons, I'm talking about all weapons) making our weapons effective.
It may not be this simple, but we will agree that our best defense is a defense of regardfulness (taqwa in its broadest sense), truth and decent behavior befitting Muslims. We pray for forgiveness. We ask Allah for help and strength to see our enemies clearly and to also see ourselves clearly.
In America and in the West we have a saying (I'm sure as scholars you're familiar with this): "A hint to the wise is sufficient." I find that saying very helpful to me in this difficult situation for me as I address you. Without the credits of the scholars and coming from where I do, I want to say "a hint to the wise is sufficient." (I wish I had expressed this in fewer words.)
— W. Deen Mohammed