Imam W. Deen Muhammad
With The Name Allah The Gracious The Compassionate
(Editor's note: The following question was asked of Imam W. Deen Muhammad by CBS newsman Tony Cox of Los Angeles, during a press conference following a March 9, 1984 speech. We hope the answer will help new readers better understand Imam term "yesterday" in excerpts of his speech published in this issue.)
CBS: As a beginning point, what I would be most interested in is the difference in the philosophy between you and your father?
WDM: First, we have to understand that the Nation of Islam, as it was called in those days, was a response to slavery and persecution of the black man. etc. We may say that it was reverse psychology to meet the challenge of that situation and inspire blacks to have a sense of dignity and to come into some kind of renewed sense of identity that would enable them to be positive and productive in their lives.
It was mythical theology designed to help that particular concern. And we understood, as ministers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that his ideas were formed to meet those conditions and situations and priority was given to that.
Priority was not given to consistency because it was out of line with what the Quran says. He claimed that Quran was our Holy Book back then.
My philosophy is Quranic philosophy. I believe in the concept of God and the concept of man as its presented in our Holy Book.
We believe in one God and the unity of man as one family.
We believe that every race is equal before God, that we all have the same human content and the same potential or possibilities for success.
This is what our Holy Book teaches. This is what the Constitution of the U.S. says, and that's what the majority of the people in this country believe.