Patriotism Day Address
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Continued from Last Week)
When we uplift the common essence of all people, that common dignity that God gave as a foundation for all people in society, Jesus will be uplifted. Uplift that and human beings will be uplifted.
People, this is the key. Now I know you don't like to hear Muslims get into your business, but this isn't any Muslim business anymore and it's not Christian business anymore; this is survival, and America is not going to survive unless it faces facts. Some people want to be drunk in their minds. Some people are so comfortable with a drunk mind that they want everybody else to shut up so their minds can stay drunk.
America will not become the America that the Constitution promised for all of us until we get the courage to break out of this narrow Christianity and break out of this narrow Islam that won't recognize the universal truth, the universal facts.
Believe me, people, believe me — the force that I'm talking about now — the spirit of God, the will of God, that man be respected all over this world equally for the common human essence that He, himself created — this force is in its season and if we don't get behind it, the world is going to leave us.
You think that Muslims are only a few numbers, that we have lost membership since the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We have more numbers now than we ever had. Our numbers have increased so that we don't even talk about numbers anymore.
But we are not anxious to tell anybody that we belong to the Chicago Mosque on the South Side; we are anxious to tell people that we belong to the universal, human family and this is a new world and a new day. This is the day of the human being, that's what we are anxious to say.
So you don't see us pushing anything ... shoving anything down anybody's throat trying to get you to accept our brand of religion. We have awakened to the fact that there are no brands of religion, there's nature. There is universal human nature and if God has established a religion — I'm using the Qur'an now — He has established it on the pattern of universal human nature.
Now I invite all of you to have the courage to say, "Yes, America has been ugly and bad." But don't lie to yourself; you know America is much more beautiful today than it was in the days of Jim Crow.
And let me tell you something again: if we don't respect what the Civil Rights Movement did and the significance of the Nation of Islam as a gadfly or a thorn in the side of America; if we don't appreciate what the Civil Rights Movement and the Nation of Islam did under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; if we don't appreciate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; if we don't appreciate the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; if we don't appreciate that combination — a moral force telling America, fulfill your promise, and a scourge of God telling America you can't fulfill it, you don't have the moral nature to do it... That was a powerful combination.
Dr. King was inviting America to fulfill their promise and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was saying, you can't do it. Don't you know that any nation that will allow Jim Crow, that will allow people to be mistreated because of their color, that nation is a baby in their minds?
So these two forces working the baby mentality of America brought the babyness out of the mentality of America and made our leaders stand up and be men and risk bloodshed in this country so that blacks will sit with whites where they both have the right to sit. We can't forget that. We can't turn our eyes from the progress America has made.
We used to be in physical chains. I'm not saying that's something to brag about — "Oh, well time has changed." Yes, tune has changed, but believe me, politics is just like the wind; world politics is like the wind. Politics can change and you will find people carrying the yoke in some country that is now free. Politics can change and you will find people in America bearing a yoke whereas now we say we are free.
Freedom in the world situation like we have is really subject to the winds of politics. But people, America has no more chains on anybody. I'm not chained. I'm speaking out here before a gathering of Christians, Muslims, Chrisna people, Hari Chrisna people; I imagine some Jews are here too — there has to be. And I'm speaking here to Irish, Italian, everybody — Indian, American-Indian — I am given the freedom to speak.
No police say, "Hey, be quiet." This is America, nobody said, "Hey, be careful. Imam. Check what you're saying, watch your words."
This is America, and any time a nation will allow the freedom of expression, it's just a matter of time before there is dignity for every man and woman in that country. And America has allowed the freedom of expression. She works her own scheme sometimes to make sure you have a small audience, but this day in time is new for us.
We have a big audience; everybody that wanted to come could be here today. America is allowing a man who just yesterday was a black Muslim calling all white folks devils, to speak his piece before the public. This is America, this is America! Look at this and look at what the Constitution promises us and get yourself back into America and let nothing take you out.