Muslim African-American Participation In International Gulf Conference Continues To Unfold
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Reprint from Muslim Journal's
issue dated October 19, 1990
(Editorial Note: The following is a statement made by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed to the Saudi National Radio prior to the International Islamic Conference on the Current Situation in the Gulf held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on September 10. 1990.)
With the Name Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful AsSalaam-Alaikum, and may the Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.
I am Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, from the United States of America.I am a member of the indigenous African-American or "black" converts to the religion. I was born to parents who had accepted the religion. I have followed the religion and accepted the purity of the religion and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) as the guide to us on how to live this religion. I am a member now (thanks to Allah) of several bodies (organizations) of Muslims representing the interests of Muslims in the United States and also throughout the international world. I am a member of Rabita's Council of Masajid, representing Muslim mosques and masajid of America, and I have come here in the interest of Muslims all over the world as well as in the interest of Muslims in America.
I would now like to express my concern about the situation caused by the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait and also the threat also against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the massing of troops along its border. First of all, I have to say, speaking honestly as a Muslim. I understand that Muslims are obligated to speak the truth and to behave decently and righteously. In that interest, I would like to express my position, and when I speak, I do not speak only for myself. I should say "our position". I speak for the people I am associated with as their Spokesman in America (the Muslims).
My opinion regarding the 'position that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken is that it is commendable, and the position of the Kingdom is checked by Quranic teachings and the Sunnah of the Prophet ( PBUH). The best advice from the religious teachers, (from) the Imams and scholars is invited and accepted by members (Saudi Officials) of the Kingdom. I have no problem at all with supporting wholeheartedly the position taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this blessed land, against the aggression that is threatening (it). Also, I am of the position that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait — the forced removal of its leader without the vote of the people of Kuwait — is an act that is unlslamic and also an uncivilized act.
Muslims should not in any way compromise our Islamic principles. We should have the faith and sincerity and courage to stand up against wrong, even in a situation like this when there are lots of conflicting interests.
We understand the difference of interests here: the interest of Saudi Arabia is not necessarily the interest of the government of the United States, the military, or the interest of President Bush. We have Islamic interest first, and then other interest second (not before Islamic interests). We should be able to make proper decisions as Muslims no matter how complicated a situation is for us. I want to stress that point. This (the Gulf Crisis) is no easy decision for us, because there is a conflicting interest here. But if we follow the clear teachings of the Qur'an and the clear guidance of our Prophet (PBUH) in his life, how he lived. we can come to the right decision, and we can come to decisions that our hearts would be comfortable with.
I am comfortable with the decision, which the Kingdom has taken to defend its borders and to accept the support of its friends — not only America, but other friends, Muslim nations and non-Muslim friendly nations. As an American, I compliment my government for protecting its interest, the interest of the American people and the global interest (and) for being friendly to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and for respecting the religion of Al-Islam ("Islam").I am convinced — I have met with presidents myself. I met with two presidents in my recent life as a representative of the religion of Al-Islam (in America) and I am convinced that President Bush has great respect for the major religions of the world (Al-Islam included).
Also I am told that many Muslims are believing that the military of the United States, (that) the American or U.S. army is occupying the Sacred Places. This is not true. We arrived in Jeddah and I haven't seen the military yet. We are now in Mecca. I have not seen the military. If I wasn't informed before, I wouldn't even know that there was any threatening situation or the presence of a massive build-up of ammunition and troops to defend Saudi Arabia against any aggression. I wouldn't even know it, if I hadn't been told. This build-up is at least a thousand miles away from the Haramain. We should be informed of that and seek the truth. when we don't know the truth.
Again I want to say that all nations have their special interests, and we shouldn't confuse that with the interests of Muslims for the good of Al-Islam. I do believe that King Fand and the other members of the Royal Kingdom (especially Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz; I (we] met with him). They have informed (us) the American Muslim leaders representing different Muslim groups and masajid of the position of the King of Saudi Arabia. We are convinced that we are obligated to make the proper stand.
We don't want to do anything that will weigh on our conscience and cause us to be in disfavor with Allah. nor to embarrass ourselves as Muslims or do anything that would not serve the interests of all Muslims throughout the world. We are firmly committed to stand by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. and we commend it on the position it has taken. As-Salaam-Alaikum.