Foreign affairs and the Nation of Islam's global missionBy Jehron Muhammad | Last updated: Mar 26, 2014 - 11:26:38 AM
DETROIT - When you read press reports about the Nation of Islam, the reports are generally framed in the context of U.S. domestic issues. The fact that the Nation’s influence spans the globe, with special emphasis on the Caribbean, was a hot topic of discussion during this year’s annual Saviours’ Day Convention, held here at Cobo Hall.
During a workshop titled “Foreign Affairs: The Nation Of Islam’s Global Mission,” N.O.I. International Rep. Abdul Akbar Muhammad, who has traveled to 144 countries, opened the two-hour session discussing Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan’s “global impact.”
And though the Nation’s teaching has had tremendous influence in English-speaking Caribbean countries, recent moves by N.O.I. representatives, with heritage in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, show the Nation expanding its influence to non-English speaking countries.
A letter from Dominican Republic-born Vladimir X, who was unable to attend the workshop, showed the expanding nature of the work of the N.O.I.
“We have … sent thousands of audio recordings in Spanish to be given to our people. We have also purchased a projector, a stereo system, DVD and CD duplicators and other electrical equipment, so that our brothers and sisters (in the Dominican Republic) can duplicate our recordings,” the letter said.
Miami Mosque No. 29 student minister and Haitian representative Patrick Muhammad, who grew up in Haiti and speaks French and Creole, was recently featured on Island TV. The entire program, which was dedicated to the N.O.I., was done in Creole, the language of the masses of Haitians.
The student minister said after the N.O.I. delivered a much needed water purification system to Haiti in 2011, he decided to concentrate efforts on building a support base with the half million Haitians living in Florida before taking his efforts to Haiti.
On the television show he was asked why Islam was the fastest growing religion among Haitians. “Islam is just something that is returning back to us,” said Patrick Muhammad.
Other panelists included David Muhammad, the N.O.I. eastern Caribbean representative, and Hilary Muhammad, the Nation of Islam United Kingdom representative.
The Caribbean has produced many of the Western hemisphere’s most prolific Black thinkers, including Marcus Garvey, Kwame Toure aka Stokley Carmichael, George Padmore, Walter Rodney, Ivan Van Sertima and Franz Fanon, the author of White Skin Black Mask and Wretched of the Earth, he said.
Both of Min. Farrakhan’s parents are from the Caribbean, he added.
Hilary Muhammad, coming off of sponsorship of a successful Black leadership summit in London, said the N.O.I.’s job is not just preaching the word. It’s about making the Teachings of the Most Hon Elijah Muhammad a reality in peoples’ lives, he said.