November 19, 1999
Imam W. Deen Mohammed Speaks in Baltimore, Md.: "A Spiritual and Community Vision, Building Upon Faith in G-d, Contributing to the Improvement of our Neighborhoods and the Moral and Financial Strength of our Families" - Part 3
The issue is no longer race. Not that we have solved all of our race problems, we haven't. It is more now the cry of humanity in all people who have been denied and unfairly dealt with, denied opportunities, short changed, misguided, deceived, exploited. It is the cry of humanity in all of us now around this world.
If you have traveled like I have traveled and if you have seen suffering like I have seen suffering, outside of these United States, you would say: "Hell, let's not cry so loud. There are people out there suffering much more than we are. Let us lower the volume of our cry, so that we can hear the cry of those who are suffering much more than we are."
The times have changed. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad recognized that before he left us, before G-d willed that he should finish his life on this earth. At one of his last annual addresses, where he was addressing the convention of Muslims - there were 15,000 to 20,000 present -he said: "And I tell you that from the bottom of my heart."
I had never heard him speak like that before. And what was he telling us? He said that if the White Americans can respect you, then you respect them. Now he could not go too far with that because he had been too strong in the position of asking us to separate from them and condemning them as a race of devils from whom we could not expect any good.
He had been so strong in that position that he could not be free within a year or two to tell you what he really wanted to tell you. But he prepared us in the years before he got sick and weak. He said, "If you work for a White man, give him an honest day's work. Don't cheat him." He also said, "Respect the laws of this land; don't disobey the laws." He said, "Be mannerable with the White man, with the White people. Show good manners."
He was telling us then, don't put yourself in a situation with them, where others and them will point to you and say, "You're a racist, You're evil, and you are unjust, too." Show them that you uphold the better of humanity, so that they will not have the argument against you that you have had against them.
That was a man who was good and a man who was wise. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad was a wise man. And he went even further and did something the Christians who wanted to be integrated with White people have not convinced me that they can do. He acknowledged the great achievements of the White person and asked us to follow him in acknowledging their great achievements.
He said they have built the best roads that you will find anywhere. He would say, "Look at that scoundrel." And he said it that way so you would hear him. If he didn't call them something bad while he was praising them, you wouldn't have hear him. "Look at that scoundrel, he has built an airplane. He gets into it like he is sitting in a mansion." He was talking about that big jumbo jet. "He lifts it up from the earth high in the sky."
He was trying to get you to recognize the White man's great achievements. We were sensitive, and some of us still are. I am here to continue that work of the Hon. Eli-jah Muhammad. Because you yourself will never be able to have great achievements to your credit to equal the achievements of the Western world, until you develop an unselfish heart. A heart that will recognize good wherever it is and embrace good wherever it is. And goodness is on the rise!
The cry is not that of any particular or one people. The cry today is the cry of suffering everywhere. It is the cry of humanity in us asking for a response for all human groups. I am the leader of this human group, the Muslim American Society. I will be going in the right direction and registering the suffering cries of all people. And I will be your leader for as long as you love and accept that in me.
There is a great need for us to continue to present the Muslim life that is not in disagreement with the Commands of G-d in Qur'an, the spirit of that most beautiful Qur'an, and the life example of how to live that Book that we have been given in Muhammed, the Seal of the Prophets, the Last of the Prophets, the Messenger of G-d to all the worlds, to all people, a mercy to all the nations — as G-d tells us in His Book, the Qur'an.
Again, I have to remind you of the good work of Earl Abdulmalik Mohammed, my son-in-law, in this area and also anywhere that he knows there is a calling. He goes to answer it and gives them in beautiful language, in beautiful logic and in beautiful sensitivities. He conveys this to the people of the Christian faith and they embrace him and their fears subside. They say, "If this is Muslim, then we are not afraid to have them live in America and prosper in America."
Don't you want to live here and prosper here? Then follow this man, E. Abdulmalik Mohammed. He is with me. And others are with me. Follow them home; they are with me. These men are with me, and follow them home to the destiny of peace and justice, where our souls will find fulfillment and satisfaction.
You have to be a student of psychology to appreciate this: The slaves and the children of the slaves have something in their psychology, something in their genes, something in their souls, something in their spirit that says:
"Hey, you have not lived free enough yet. You haven't lived free enough yet. You have plenty of money and hoping for an increase. You have plenty of money and plenty responsibilities. But you are not free enough, and you are not recognized yet as a people who can establish themselves and take care of their homes."
Let's go home to the full destination. Let's work together. And we are not asking the rich to lead us. This movement is going to be led by the poor. I'm poor. And we are going to show them that we can do what the first man did. G-d created him and put him on the earth and didn't give him any help. G-d just gave him the earth and told him that he was responsible for it and to do something with it.
G-d said we are responsible for it and we are going to do something with it.
We are not motivated by greed. We are not motivated by money. We are not even motivated by intellectual appetites. It is not our intelligence that we are going to put on the top of the mountain. It is our humanity, our human soul is what we want to put on top of the mountain. We want spiritual freedom and spiritual peace.
We don't have that until we do the same thing for our environment that G-d did for the faithful believer. He gave them a material body that is like an instrument. The wind needs a horn through which it expresses itself. And out of the human body comes the talking wind. It comes out and has a language. It is communicating in abstract; it is communicating the unseen to the listener.
They are not only hearing the conversation, they feel the conversation. They can taste the conversation. And if the expression is vulgar, it is said, "Oh, it is nasty. Oh, that is in bad taste." They can smell it: "If too funky; I don't like it." They see how it forces the physical body to perform, to witness that communication is coming through.
The G-d Who gave me my material flesh through which I express myself, and also you and all your senses, wants us to have schools and mosques of quality and beauty, factories, financial institutions financing our schools, financing our people who have automobiles to have insurance and not have to go outside of themselves to get that insurance.
Why do we have those building structures? So our spirit will be in many instruments. As-Salaam-Alaikum.
"We are not the first to make this change, to recognize the word dog in the reverse reading of the Name is distasteful. Many Jews agree. We favor such Jewish sentiments and share the concern." -Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Sept. 30, 1998