Beware Of Psychological Warfare: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this presentation at the Annual Conference of the Islamic Committee for Palestine using as example the African-American plight. He compared it to the possible outcomes the Palestinian people face. This conference was held at the McCormick Inn of Chicago on December 23, 1989.)
I came to the conclusion that if we are to solve our problems we are to first consult the Qur'an and the life of Muhammed the Prophet. After we have gotten the needed material from those two sources, we are created by Allah to make good use of our thoughts, our own ideas, our imagination, skills, and resources. We are to test what we are going to use before we use it. We first rely on what has already been revealed in Qur'an and in the life of the Prophet. Test what our minds produce, and that which is not approved by Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet, reject.
We will rind great support for much of the genius of the African-American man and the genius for any people in the Qur'an and in the life of Muhammed (PBUH). But as Muslims we have to be willing to throw that which is rejected away, no matter how much we love it or how much we are obsessed with our own ideas.
We have to have the strength and the courage to say, "I am Muslim first. I am Muslim before I am African-American. I am Muslim before lam anything. "And that which is rejected as Muslims must be thrown away! If it conflicts with what Allah has revealed and with what our Prophet has lived and demonstrated for us, reject it. Then we will be successful.
We, as African-Americans, have come away from that strong desire to have an identity of our own, to be our own man and to know ourselves. We came from that position to get into a situation that I call being one of conflicting interest. And that is what will happen to anybody and to any people, if you don't have what Allah intended for you — the Qur'an and the life of the Prophet. If you don't have what our Creator, Allah, gave for us, then eventually you will end up having conflicting interest.
The African-American people are still weak. We have all the laws on the books for us. We have equal opportunity for us. We, as individual African-Americans, can get rich; that's no problem. We can become mayors and governors and senators, as you have seen. And we have been that before. In fact, during the days of Reconstruction we had more political giants than we have now, considering the time back then and the number of us back then and now. So that is not out of our reach — money, wealth, political power and positions.
I don't see the presidency within our reach, but who knows. If it becomes convenient for America to put an African-American up as president, then we will have an African-American as president. It can be four years from now or it could happen at any time — any time it is convenient for the American people. I think there was a time in the past when we also had one of us as president for a brief moment. Although it was very brief, it too was during the Reconstruction period. Something happened, the Chief of State was out, and they had this black man who came in and was President for just a moment or a very brief time. So it can happen.
But will that solve our problem? We had an African-American mayor of Chicago. Our condition did not improve that much in Chicago. We have mayors in many of the cities here in the United States, and still look at the condition of African-Americans. Having these positions is not doing it.
The only answer is to have our lives based on something real and have an authority in our lives and over our lives that brings all of us under that One Authority. Then we will have a chance for real unity. We need an ideology that we can all share.
Without that we will continue to have all of these conflicting interests. Some African-Americans want to have only the church for African-Americans and do not want to see the mosque here for African-Americans. Some African-Americans still want to see us integrate and get closer to the white people and just get rid of our identity. They want us to lose ourselves in the white people.
There are some of us who still want to stay as we are and keep to ourselves. We want to see a serious African-American culture develop and for us to have some real identity established. We want that once that identity grows and becomes stronger and stronger, then we will have true cultural identity as an ethnic group in this country. Some of us want that, whether we are Christian, Muslim or other.
Some of us think that economics and money are going to solve our problems. Some of us think that education is going to do it. This goes for Muslims and Christians alike. All of us are divided on these things. Some think that the combination of education and money will do it. Most of the preachers and politicians think that we just need more opportunities in the government with more political positions.
A very few of us think that we have to work on an ideology and a philosophy of life and have it written for the African-American people to give them identity. Some of us think that there is nothing wrong with marrying out of your race, and that we should not be alarmed if black men are marrying out of their race and black women are marrying out of their race. Some of us think that something is wrong with that. We do not like it, and that is the majority of us.
We have conflicting interest, for some of us think the Arab people are "Arabs" and are not liked by the Jews, so they should be forgotten as meaning nothing. They think the "A-rabs" are a heathen people. Some African-American people are more prejudiced against the Arab people than the average European-American. I am building up to a point here.
Some of us feel that the religion of Al-Islam is the Anti-Christ. This is for some African-Americans. Now that the religion has received popularity over the last few years, and the truth is being told more and more on television and in the media, in the newspapers and magazines, those African-Americans who hold that kind of position and have that kind of attitude towards our religion are now ashamed to come out boldly as they used to, but they are still there. They have not changed. They still feel that our religion is the Anti-Christ and that our Prophet is the Anti-Christ. They feel they have to work secretly to keep this religion from spreading among the African-American people. They are working to keep us from growing in this country and are very deceitful.
I have met with many of the African-American preachers who have this kind of attitude. They are very deceitful and are a very hypocritical people. I am talking about this minority in the African-American church who have this opinion and attitude towards our religion and towards Arabs.
So how are we going to manage all of this? We have managed it! Right now, I have thousands of people who share my feelings about this religion who are African-Americans. They also share my admiration and my happiness and my pleasure of being a Muslim and a follower of Muhammed the Prophet of Arabia (PBUH). And we are so happy that we have thrown off that other old idea.
We have thrown off the attachment and dependence of the false idea of our superiority. We are happy to be rid of that and to say that we are brothers with every man, and Adam is the father of all of us. We are happy to say that we are brothers with the Christians and the Jews and the Muslims and with Abraham as father to all of us. We are brothers indeed with all Muslims, because the Qur'an is our Book and Muhammed is our Prophet.
We are very happy, and we see an opportunity for ourselves to grow economically, to grow in education, and to grow also in culture. We see that we have the opportunity in adhering to the Qur'anic teachings and the excellent example of Prophet Muhammed that, in time, we will grow naturally into our own ethnic identity in America as Muslims.
If we stay Muslim, follow the Qur'an, follow the Prophet, apply the knowledge and the wisdom and hold to the spirit of the Muslim, we will be using our intelligence. Then our intelligence in the run of time and over the generations to come is going to give us a unique identity.
We are going to have our unique taste for food. We are going to have our unique taste for dress. We are going to have our uniqueness as a people with our distinct cultural identity. That is going to happen. All we have to do is stay with the Qur'an and be sincere. We must be sincere to the life of the Prophet.
Do not take on artificiality. Do not try to be something that you are not. We are not Arabs, we are African-Americans. We are not Pakistanis, we are African-Americans. We are not Sudanese, we are African-Americans. So keep that in our minds. Be what we are. But we will not have that unique identity, if we look for artificiality and if we just copy other people. We are not to copy anybody. Our unique identity will come naturally.
To be continued.