Memo to Alan Keyes Re: Minister FarrakhanBy Jackie Muhammad -Guest Columnist- | Last updated: May 14, 2012 - 3:53:56 AM
To: Alan Keyes
From: Jackie Muhammad
Re: Your Attack on Minister Farrakhan
Notwithstanding such universal praise, you leveled several unfounded allegations against The Minister, accusing him of that age-old canard of being anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-American. Not one ounce of evidence was offered to prove any of your charges.
You also went on a rant against what you call Islamic sharia law, a topic that is usually reserved for experts to address. Your harangue was a means for you to appeal to your audience for money. You thereby used The Minister and Islam as a means to fill your organization’s coffers.
Why should Minister Farrakhan be considered anti-American when he points out the ills that plague this nation, particularly when those very same ills have also been addressed by America’s religious leaders, pundits, educators, business leaders, as well as politicians and social activists?
As a Christian theocrat you believe in a Christian theocratic dictatorship. As you know, a Christian theocratic dictatorship is an anomaly in a pluralistic society. America, as she is presently constituted, is not designed to be dominated by any one religion. That’s why in some jurisdictions Christians and non-Christians object to open displays of Christmas trees, menorahs and Easter bunnies in government institutions and on public property.
If we do a cursory study of the great nations and empires that have existed over the last 6,000 years we will discover, from a religious perspective, a methodology that God uses that is quite consistent. He sends warners, or prophets, to correct the aberrant, sinful behavior of that nation. He offers that nation an opportunity to change, to modify the destructive course it has chosen. God’s warners offer that nation an opportunity to choose an alternate path. Such was the case with ancient Egypt, Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel, Judah, Greece, the Roman Empire, and the Muslim empires of the Abbasids, the Umayyads and the Fatimids. The arrogance of the leadership and the control they exercised over the masses led to their downfall and destruction. One of the greatest empires in the last 6,000-year history is the American Empire; indeed, America encompasses all of the good and bad characteristics of the nations mentioned.
Though all of the aforementioned nations were great, all were not good. The spiritual laxity inherent in each led to their demise. If God’s methodology is consistent, then why would it not apply to America? If God would send Moses and Aaron to warn the Egyptians, and if He would send Micah, and Jeremiah, and Daniel to warn Israel and Judah, and if He would send Jesus to warn the Jews and the Romans, and if He would send Hud and Salih, great Quranic prophets, then could we not charge Him with being woefully inconsistent if He did not send a warner to the most violent and racist nation in all of history.
I know among some conservatives such a characterization of America is considered unpatriotic and foreboding, but to ignore her historical record would be foolhardy. On the other hand, some would argue that America has been a source of good and benevolence for the world—though, others would argue, only to the extent to which such seemingly altruistic action has served her own purposes and interests.
No nation on Earth is as violent, commits more murders, consumes more drugs, has a higher abortion rate, has a higher institutional racism rate, commits more national voter suppression, and has a greater concentration of wealth in the pocketbook of the wealthy at the expense of the poor than America does. Moreover, we incarcerate a higher percentage of our poor and underclass than any other nation on Earth. Our two-tier criminal justice system—one for Whites and another for Blacks—has devolved into a new form of apartheid, a new Jim Crow system, a system that incarcerates over one million Black men.
If all the above is true, and it is, then the question becomes, who will God send, and what will he or she say, and how will he/she be received by those who are being warned? You may not agree with me that Farrakhan fits such a mold. But surely we agree that there is no one on the contemporary scene who has consistently warned this nation of her shortcomings and transgressions and her ungodly, racist behavior—for over half a century—as Farrakhan has.
As we study history we find that God’s methodology has been to reach into the ranks of the slave class, the downtrodden, the dispossessed, take the most vulnerable in a society, elevate them as His representatives and send those persons to reprove, admonish, scold, and warn the people—both the slave and the oppressor—of their pending doom. J. Edgar Hoover understood this. That’s why he scanned the American horizon looking for a “messiah” to emerge from the bowels of the American ghetto. This is a consistent theme in both the Bible and the Qur’an. Farrakhan and his teacher, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, parallel that theme perfectly.
So to disparage The Minister for his admonishment of America for her sins is to express a profound ignorance of how God has dealt with all nations that have fallen short of His glory. One of the principal concerns of the New Testament, and one of Jesus’ main concerns, was the elevation of the status of the poor. Minister Farrakhan, his teacher The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.) have focused on that theme as the hallmark of the Mission of the N.O.I. The results of that work have been recognized by religious leaders of all persuasions, governmental leaders, and foreign leaders as well.
The Nation of Islam, under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, has done more to address the ills that plague our community than any combination of human and social service agencies that I am aware of. The major presidential candidates, the government, the private sector, for the most part, have abandoned the poor.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is focusing on that aspect of the mission of Jesus that has been abandoned by all the major sectors of this society—and for that, people like you are criticizing him. By the way, according to the Book of Luke (4 chapter), didn’t Jesus come to free the prisoners? Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have been at the forefront of prison reform for the last eight decades. What else does he have to do—walk on water? He is not using his fame and notoriety to enrich himself or for purposes of self-aggrandizement. He is not using the American flag and hiding behind “patriotic” slogans to hide a desire to fundraise for self-serving causes. I am afraid the same cannot be said of others in your sphere of influence.
In reference to your comments concerning banning sharia law in America, let me remind you that your position is strictly anti-American. If sharia law is to be banned, according to the logic extended by you, then Native American tribal courts on Indian reservations and rabbinical courts for Jews are to be banned along with Catholic Cannon laws, which serve approximately sixty million Catholics in America. Cannon law is not designed to dissolve or replace the American Constitution, anymore than the Jewish Beth Dins, or the Native American tribal judicial system or the Muslim sharia laws are designed to replace the American judicial system—however unfair that system may be to Black people in particular.
The Catholic Church, for example, does not believe in divorce, but church Cannon allows for an annulment; therefore, in the eyes of the church, the marriage never took place. Civil law, however, holds both parties responsible for having entered into a viable contract.
Sharia law, likewise, does not trump or negate or replace American civil ordinances. Muslims are obligated to respect the laws of this country as long as those laws do not violate the articles of their belief system. How is that any different from any other monotheistic religion? To insinuate otherwise is to display a severe case of Islamophobia. And I am sure that as a Christian theocrat that is not your intention. For Christ came for the salvation of all people who believe in Him, and Muslims surely believe in Him, as that is one of the staple principles of our faith.
Because of America’s pluralism, Native American courts, Beth Dins, Cannon law and sharia law are not a threat to the American body politic. In expressing such ignorance, irrationality and bigotry concerning sharia law, one risks being considered not only anti-Semitic, but anti-Indian, anti-Catholic and anti-American as well.
The essence of your attack seems to be more a projection of your own biases. Instead, why don’t you give The Minister credit for his clear delivery of an uplifting, spirit-filled message to the future leaders of our community as he follows in the footsteps of Jesus and expertly addresses the ills of our society.
(Jackie Muhammad is a former presidential appointee, member of the Oxford round table, educator, youth-trainer and businessman. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)