In the midst of sorrow, the country needs divine guidance

By Richard B. Muhammad -Editor- | Last updated: Dec 18, 2012 - 6:25:40 PM

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( - The killings of 20 children and six adults in the rural community of Newtown, Conn., has brought much grief and soul-searching to the American people. Memorials have been created in the place where the tragedy occurred and vigils have been held thousands of miles away as the nation struggles with yet another mass shooting.


The killings occurred in a somewhat rural and predominantly White area and the alleged shooter was a 20-year-old White male, similar to other mass murders. But with the false tendency to equate race and crime, the questions always arises, how could such a thing happen here?

The situation, however, is bigger than the small town where the shooting occurred and really speaks to the heart and soul of a nation and a society that increasingly seems to be imploding on itself. This is the America of no compromise-my-opponent-is-my-enemy-politics. The America of road rage and bullying. The America enamored with the power of guns and weapons and the allure of might makes right—whether on the streets of cities or on the lands of foreign nations. This is the America of high tech assassination and drone attacks that kill civilians.

Woman cradles a small child after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Dec. 16, in Newtown, Conn. Photo: MGNOnline
This is the America of fewer and fewer investments in health care and services. This is the America that seems to have no haven for peace and a growing disrespect for life, whether the gun is fratricidal ghetto violence or police officers riddling the bodies of unarmed suspects with bullets. In a society like this, so fractured, so violent, so unwilling to consider an alternative way to peace, is it any wonder that children in a school house would eventually be cut down?

Any loss of life outside of the law of God is painful, hurtful and can make one reflective, but after the initial grief subsides will our nation be willing to undergo the deep introspection needed to muster the strength needed for change?

With the bodies of children still in classrooms, the almost immediate response from many who believe in guns was the problem was not the guns but the person who wielded the weapon. That skirts the question of why were such high powered weapons needed in the first place?

The followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, are forbidden to carry weapons or to keep weapons in their homes. We are instructed not to carry so much as a pin knife and to do good to others, to respect others, to respect the laws of the country that do not conflict with our religion, and to obey those in authority over us so long as such obedience does not violate the principles and practices of our faith.

Sandy Hook Elementary School

We are taught to have respect for God, respect for ourselves and to have respect for the sanctity of life. But such teaching, belief and practice stem from a faith in a higher power, God Himself, and a consistent yardstick by which our actions, behavior and thoughts are to be measured. We reserve the right to self-defense but we are never to be the aggressor. We are to avoid arguments where possible and to think several times before we speak and act.

Our way is not motivated by a feeling of destructive power or an attitude of war making, but by the desire to walk in the path of peace and to promote peace. We begin in our own homes and neighborhoods, which have some of the highest rates of violence, and then we can go abroad to help others. In our own way, we humbly suggest to the dominant society that perhaps a group that has been maligned and lied on is worthy of study and our way of life worthy of consideration.

In this time of trouble and sorrow, we humbly suggest that the country reconsider a view of a man with no history of violence but a track record for peacemaking—whether the problem was among warring gangs, religious gangbanging or leadership divides and jealousies—and that man is Minister Farrakhan.

When God chooses a people and anoints a man with a divine mission, as he did the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam; and God makes a man for his divine servant, in this instance Min. Farrakhan, these men are given divine guidance, the most precious commodity that could be had as one world goes out and another world comes in. The divine guidance and warning can benefit a country that has been judged by God, if the warning is heeded in time, as was the city of Nineveh after heeding the voice of the prophet Jonah.

“There is a saying that reads like this: ‘Children do what is natural until they learn what is normal,’” wrote Minister Farrakhan in an article published in The Final Call titled “The Cause and Effect of a Violent Society.”

“Any child that you see, whether it is Black, White, Asian, Hispanic or Native American; whether it is Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, the child does what is natural, like learning to crawl, pull up on things that will help it to become erect and to walk—we didn’t teach it those things. But then, the child learns to become normal. Normal means that you learn the norms, which are the folkways and the mores of the society or the culture in which you live. But then if we keep watching, we go further and further away from the natural; but yet, we are still considered normal,” wrote Min. Farrakhan.

“Everybody is looking for somebody to straighten out a mess that was made, unfortunately, by those in authority. We cannot stem the violence that is here at the bottom, which is an effect, unless we look at the violence that begins at the top, which is the cause. We are the effect of a cause that we did not stem the tide of, and now it’s manifesting in the children.”

“Do we need guns? No. Where did they come from? Who gets these violent weapons into the hands of our children? Why aren’t those responsible being prosecuted instead of our children?” the Minister continued.

“In this world, power is what moves people, and because many of us don’t realize that the real power is in the youth, a gun is put into a child’s hand, where they are told, ‘This is power.’ This misconstrued concept of power in a weapon is what causes you to get a man to give up his wallet; or causes somebody to give up their own self to you if you are going to rape them. That is the misuse of weapons.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is our teacher, and he taught us that none of us, as Muslims, should carry a weapon—we don’t need them. We are not permitted to carry as much as a pin knife, because our aim is to show the world that we are a people of peace. We are not even permitted to argue with one another, because when you quarrel with one another, you destroy the spirit that would bring you unity, which would give you power to eradicate the impediments in the pathway of your progress.

“But if we are always arguing and fighting, particularly in our homes where most of the problems take place, then it’s ‘I reach for my gun to settle my problem;’ or, ‘I shoot my wife,’ or she shoots her husband. Now the child sees guns every time they look at the TV. This is violence that is being promoted, so the violence is now down in the kindergarten. If we have a problem, then we must practice talking it out, because we must not harm our brother. … Let’s be truthful in our dealings with each other. Let’s learn how to love, which starts with loving our own self. If you don’t know you, you can’t love you,” said Min. Farrakhan.

These are not the words of a man who hates, these are the words of a man who loves and who loves intensely. The words reflect the heart of a man whose breast has been expanded to have a deep respect for human beings and life because he has respect, love and regard for the author of life.

Though America has abused and misused us as a people, we don’t gloat or celebrate death when it comes. We don’t mock the tears and suffering of parents and loved ones, nor the heavy load carried by those impacted by this tragedy. We do say, God has healing in his wings and that healing can be dispensed with God’s permission through his servant in our midst. We ask a simple question: Does America need a healing?