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Minister Farrakhan’s interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon

By Ashahed Muhammad
FCN Online Correspondent | Last updated: Apr 24, 2007 - 1:18:00 PM

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Minister Farrakhan and Don Lemon share an intimate conversation during the one-and-a-half hour interview. Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad

THE NATIONAL HOUSE ( - On Mar. 7, for the first time publicly, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went into graphic detail regarding his near death experience, and how his survival is a testament to the miraculous healing power and will of God, during an interview with afternoon edition CNN Newsroom anchor Don Lemon.

“How are you feeling?” Mr. Lemon asked at the start of the one-and-a-half hour conversation, to which Minister Farrakhan remarked that he was feeling “100 percent” better than before the 14-hour surgery—a complete pelvic exoneration.

“I didn’t want the operation, but God forced it on me, and I am so grateful that He did,” he said.

In fact, Minister Farrakhan’s doctor, though normally overly-cautious when making comments following surgical procedures, remarked that his recovery was “nothing short of miraculous.”

“To all who are ill, never break your faith with God, by whatever name you call Him, because in the final analysis, He is the Master of life and death and if its not my time and if He doesn’t want to bring me in, and He wants me to continue to work, then He brought me back. Some are very happy and unfortunately, some may be a little disappointed that they did not have a funeral to attend, but tell them to be patient,” Minister Farrakhan said, and pleasantly laughed.

Mr. Lemon asked questions related to the future of the Nation of Islam, as well as the future of the Black nation. Though questioned several times about those subjects, Minister Farrakhan declined to name a successor, and instead chose scripture to use as a guide.

“I think that any person in leadership is always concerned about what will be after him.

“The Holy Qur’an, which is the book of scripture of the Muslims, asks the question, ‘Were you present when death visited Jacob?’ Of course, you weren’t present and I wasn’t present, but God was present, so He revealed the context of Jacob’s death. [Jacob] called his sons to his bedside and he asked them ‘What will you serve after me?’ And the sons said ‘We will serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ Once he knew that they were going to follow in his path, he closed his eyes for his eternal sleep.

“I need to know that this is not the fiefdom of a charismatic Brother who knows that he will pass away. I need to know that those who are around me are infused with the love of Muhammad; the love of his idea; the love of the Holy Qur’an, and want to see the growth and development of the Nation beyond where the Minister leaves it, and I believe I have a group like that around me.”

Minister Farrakhan cited the examples of the Mormon Church which is governed by a council that carries out the principles of its founder. He placed emphasis on the principles that are the foundation of the religious organization, rather than the titular head being the focus.

“I’m hoping that these [around me] will carry out the principles that Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan taught, so you won’t need any charismatic individual. The group that is leading, infused with those principles, wrapping their lives around those principles, will lead the Nation in the proper direction,” he said

The conversation then shifted to the mischief created by those in control of the media and Minister Farrakhan repeated his offer for dialogue with members of the Jewish community and their representative organizations.

“I have never said words about the Jewish religion or about the Jewish people that I can’t defend with truth—that is why dialogue is so important. I’ve sat with rabbis who have visited me in my home; I’ve visited with them in their homes, but the things they ask of me are not things I can do.”

“You want me to apologize, but you don’t want to face me in a dialogue and show me where I’m wrong. I’m not a proud man. If you show me where I’m wrong, I’ll go before the world where I made a statement and not only apologize, but I will seek your forgiveness in a repentant spirit. That’s better than what America has done. That’s better than what Jewish people have done in their part in the horror of the Transatlantic slave trade. We’ve never gotten an apology from the United States Government. Nobody wants to apologize to Black people and repent for the action and do something in atonement,” he added.

Mr. Lemon probed further and asked “You feel that you have been misunderstood; am I hearing you correctly?”

Minister Farrakhan forthrightly stated “Absolutely. There are those who have a vested interest in coloring me this way. They raise money off of me. [They say] ‘This is a vile anti-Semite, he’s anti-white, he’s anti-American, he’s anti gay.’ But when you come in my presence, or they come in my presence, you can’t feel any spirit of hatred emanating from my heart, but my words of correction, my words of rebuke, my words of exhortation, my words of condemnation of a nation that has done us wrong—that doesn’t mean I don’t love the country in which I was born, but I want to see change for the better of America. Change for the better of my people.”

He then delivered the contextual underpinnings of the war of words that has been going on in the media for over 20 years.

“Sometimes, you might get in an argument, and in the heat of the argument, you are speaking the truth that you believe, but the passion that comes in the heat of an argument can sometimes distort the beauty of what you are trying to say to try to get that person to change that behavior that is ill-affecting you.”

Minister Farrakhan recounted the hostile atmosphere in the mid-80s when groups such as the Jewish Defense League (JDL), the Jewish Defense Organization (JDO), and others protested at venues where Minister Farrakhan was scheduled to speak, saying: “Who do you want? Farrakhan! How do you want him? Dead!” These actions were aided by a relentless media disinformation campaign waged by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

“How should I respond to that?” Minister Farrakhan then asked. “Well, I’m a warrior [and] you can bring that out of me right now if you go the wrong way with me. I’m still a warrior; I’m a warrior for truth and I’m a warrior for justice, but the climate is not the same as it was in 1983 and 1984 when Jesse Jackson threatened the status quo in terms of the Palestinian-Jewish relationship within the Black community when he wanted to be president.”

Minister Farrakhan noted that times are different now, and during his recent health challenges, Jewish rabbis and their congregations prayed for his recovery instead of calling for his death.

“The message of Jesus, though nationalistic in its inception, became universal in its application. The same with the Prophet [Muhammad]; it’s the same with Louis Farrakhan. I started specifically with Black people, and that is my focus, but there is no way coming out of the experience that I have just come through, that my message should be anything but a universal message that touches Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White—people of all religious faiths, all ethnicities, all racial identities, with truth coming from a heart of love, mercy and compassion.”

He pointed out that Armageddon not only has spiritual significance, but provides guidance for what is happening politically in America today.

“Armageddon, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us, begins with truth clashing with falsehood. That’s what’s creating the division. The masses of the people are beginning to rise, and the only thing that makes the masses rise is the presence of truth, and that’s why Jesus was hated. Not because he just brought a new kingdom; he was hated because the poor heard him gladly. The poor hear Farrakhan. When the poor listen to Farrakhan, whether they’re poor White or poor Black, it will produce a change in the way they think. Our government is wrong and it needs to change, and if it will not change, then we need to get rid of it and put in a government that will guarantee the American people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the [U.S.] Constitution.”

When Mr. Lemon asked about his legacy, Minister Farrakhan stated that this was not a concern of his because it is not the reason that he does what he does, in speaking for the voiceless and defending those who are in need.

“I don’t concern myself with legacy at all. That’s vanity, and when people are so concerned about how history will view them, they do things to enhance a legacy.”

He added, “There are forces that don’t want to see the Black man rise and the Black man free and the Black woman uplifted up from a degraded state, because they make merchandise of us in the terrible condition that we are in at present.”

When asked about the Million Man March, Minister Farrakhan pointed out that those with the mindset to stop the rise of the oppressed are the very same people with the desire to diminish the power and historical significance of the Million Man March.

“They wanted to make it seem as though it was not what it was, because if it was what it was, then you have to look at the man that God used to bring a crowd like that. No other Black man, or White man for that matter, has been able to do anything like that. So, who is Farrakhan?

“People will have to question the magnetism of a man. Who magnetized him? He didn’t magnetize himself. Who made him that attractive to Black men? That’s what made me dangerous to those powers that be—the Satanic mind that governs this world. But, I’m on Satan’s trail, by the grace of God.”