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WEB POSTED 06-18-2002

 
 

 

PEACE INITIATIVE:
Africa & Middle East Tour
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Press Conference
Text Transcript

FCN News 04-02-2002

 

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's
letter to President
George W. Bush

FCN News 02-14-2002

Finalcall.Com Exclusive Webcast  - June, 17, 2002
Peace Initiative: Africa & Middle East Tour

WASHINGTON, D.C. (FinalCall.com) - June 17, 2002

Farrakhan announces mission to Middle East and Africa to avert war

 [Editorís note: The following text is the opening statement from a June 17, 2002 press conference by Minister Louis Farrakhan at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During the press conference, he announced his intention to lead a peace mission to the Middle East, Israel and Africa in an effort to avoid total war in that region that could lead to world war.] 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.  We give praise and thanks for His mercy to the human family in raising up messengers and prophets from among us to bring us closer to His reality and to help us to solve the problems of our time and to bring us back into His divine favor.  We thank him for Moses and the Torah.  We thank him for Jesus and the Gospel.  We thank him for Muhammad and the Quíran.  Peace be upon these worthy servants of Allah (God).  I am a student of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and I could never thank Allah (God) enough for his intervention in our affairs in the person of the great Mahdi, Master Fard Muhammad, Who saw one from among us worthy to place on his shoulders a weighty word and a weighty responsibility to perform a duty for the Black people of America and the world, and a duty for this great nation, the United States of America.  And what is that duty?  It is to raise the Black people of America from the grave of spiritual and mental death, to make us a civilized people worthy of being members of civilized societies of our planet, and to warn and to guide America out of the place of judgment that America has entered for past sins I greet all of you with the greeting words of peace, As Salaam Alaikum.

 Distinguished brothers and sisters of the audience, distinguished members of the Corps of Ambassadors, distinguished members of the press, I want to thank the National Press Club and all those who worked to make this afternoon possible.  I have called this press conference to inform the media, and through you to inform the American people and the people of the world, of my reason for this planned trip into the Middle East, this most troubled part of our planet.  In previous press statements concerning the Middle East crisis, I have said that neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis, in their present state of mind, are able to find a solution to this problem.  What this problem needs is a dispassionate, honest broker to help both sides see beyond where they presently are.  In my humble judgment, America is not showing herself to be dispassionate enough to be the honest broker that she should be and can be to fulfill the serious need of the Israelis and Palestinians.  America can, America should, and America must play a meaningful role in solving this most serious problem.  I and we in this peace mission would like to serve as a bridge. 

 As a Muslim, I believe that I understand the Palestinian and Islamic point of view more than most Americans; and this is why I think that our visit, God willing, may make a difference.  This is regarded as a Judeo-Christian society.  The American people in that context have some difficulty in understanding the Islamic point of view.  However, I have grown up as a Christian and love my Christian roots, and I have worked tirelessly for 25 years to produce unity between Black Muslims and Christians. And because I have worked for 25 years with those of the Jewish faith who are Hebrew-Israelites, who also are Black, I believe that we have a spiritual point of view that may be able to connect the three branches of Abraham--Jews, Christians and Muslims.  It is out of this understanding that I truly believe that I am called of God in this serious hour for the sake of peace to do whatever I can to help solve this problem, for in helping to solve this most urgent problem, in serving the cause of peace in that area of the world, we can serve the cause of peace right here at home, and in so doing serve the cause of world peace.   

Winning a war is much easier than winning the peace.  There is no doubt that the world is skilled in the use of the weaponry of war, but unskilled in the use of wisdom to resolve the conflicts that rage on our planet to win the peace.  Could this be the reason why Allah (God) says in the scriptures of the Bible that, the wisdom of this world is as foolishness with God?  All of the use of the present wisdom that we have has not enabled us to find the way to peace.  This is why I believe that Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."  It is out of this spirit that I speak to you today, and it is out of this spirit that we embark upon this mission.  Is this mission fraught with danger? Absolutely.  Could we possibly be in harmís way? Absolutely.  But nothing is greater than truth and justice, and there is no state of being more beneficial to the human spirit than that of peace and contentment of mind. So, our lives are for the cause of truth; our lives are spent in the cause of freedom and justice; our lives are properly spent in the pursuit of peace.  We embark on this journey recognizing its dangers but not fearing, for we put our trust completely in Allah (God). 

 Unfortunately, the prophecies of the Bible say that the leaders of the world will seek peace but they will not find it.  Why?  Peace can never come through the weapons of war.  Peace can only come by our return to Allah (God) and coming out from God through that which He has revealed through the mouths of His prophets.  In this is the solution of peace.  You canít leave Allah (God) out of this equation.  You canít leave the revealed Word of Allah (God) out of this equation.  Politics cannot bring peace--at least not the politics that we observe.  I, like you, am witnessing the carnage and the daily loss of life of Israelis and Palestinians.  I, like you, am witnessing the efforts made by serious, well-intentioned politicians to find the solution to this serious problem that can and is affecting the whole world.  In my humble judgment, a political solution can only be found if the spiritual problem that lies at the root of the political problem is discovered, uncovered and resolved.  Then from the base of our understanding of the root spiritual problem, it will make the political problem easier to resolve. 

 What are we dealing with here?  We are dealing with the Jewish peopleís view of themselves in relationship to that land based upon their understanding of the Word of Allah (God) revealed throughout the mouths of His prophets found in the Torah.  We are also dealing with the Palestiniansí view of themselves to the relationship to that land in which they have lived for thousands of years and now are being displaced.  Jesus was born in Palestine of an Egyptian mother, according to the scriptures.  Jews and Arabs have lived in that land for thousands of years.   

What has made the problem so great today?  The anger, frustration and hatred between these two members of a family have reached the boiling point and the cycle of violence continues unabated.  Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Yasser Arafat are both recognized as great warriors of their people.  But these warriors have spilled the blood of the people of each other believing their cause to be divinely just.  Can these two men find the solution to this problem unless they both are given a renewed vision that comes from a deeper understanding of the Word of Allah (God)?  How can the men and women of Allah (God) leave the politicians alone in an hour like this to go in this reckless course without offering a deeper understanding of the spiritual root out of which they say they function?   

On this trip, it is our desire to talk to the leaders of the Arab and Muslim world, to listen and to share with them our view and to listen to theirs.  It is our desire to visit Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem.  The composition of the delegation is Christian and Muslim, political, religious and civic.  So, if we go to Jerusalem we canít go there without visiting the Church of the Nativity, the Wailing Wall, and the Dome of the Rock--Al Aqsa Mosque. Three holy places sacred to the three branches of the faith of Abraham. 

 It is our desire to meet with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President Arafat to listen to and to learn from and to share with them our view.  It is our desire to meet with both political and religious leaders, to discuss with them the problems of prophecy and, Inshallah (God willing), give another view of the prophetsí predictions concerning that which is presently going on in this crucial area of the world.  Secondly, and equally important, it is our desire to help our own government to see the danger in the course that our government is on in preparing a war to unseat Saddam Hussein from power and giving instructions to the CIA that he should be overthrown and possibly murdered.  While on the surface this may seem to the American people to be the right thing to do, as Saddam Hussein has been and is being portrayed in the American media as a man worthy to be unseated because he allegedly is developing weapons of mass destruction, he has gassed his own people and he has kicked the UN weapons inspectors out of Iraq to keep them from seeing his cache of weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, a man like this must be overthrown, from the administrationís perspective and from the perspective of Senator (John) McCain of Arizona and many of Americaís congresspersons; heís (Hussein) considered a clear and present danger and therefore is justified in being eliminated.

 But I ask, what is the truth of these allegations?  Is it a fact that he is this, or is this propaganda to whip the American people into a war frenzy and to stir up the passion of the American military for war?  What is this?  Can truth be found on the battlefield, or should truth be found in deliberate legislative bodies in lawfully constituted judicial processes.  We totally disagree with the policy of murder and war, which runs counter to all civilized judicial processes.  In a speech made by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965, he said, ďOur mission is at once the oldest and the most basic in this country, to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.Ē What is our mission today?  I would ask President Bush, before any order is given to assassinate Saddam Hussein or overthrow his government, that we need to ascertain the truth or the falsity of the charges. 

How can we do this?  There are qualified American citizens who will stand up before the President and the Congress to say Saddam Hussein did not gas his own people.  These are voices that should be heard.  These are not people on the street. These are people from the War College who have searched out the truth of these things.  Did he kick out the UN inspectors to hide a cache of arms of weapons of mass destructions?  What is the truth of that?  Let us hear from those people; bring them before Congress; have a hearing. And if America really wants the American people to be informed, then invite the Iraqis to defend themselves before us against these charges.   

Well, what about the United Nations as a body? Ineffective as it may be, if we have any respect for world opinion, why not present the case before the United Nations?  And if you could seize (Serbian leader Slobodan) Milosovich and bring him before court on a trial, if you think Saddam Hussein is a criminal, what is the process by which you prove your charge? And, is any American President free of spots and blemishes that you can take the mote out of their eye before you take the beam out of your own? 

 Is this really a Judeo-Christian society?  Are Christian principles only for those of us who fight for simple justice in the streets of America?  Are the principles of Jesus Christ that say to us that hate destroys the hater, is that good for us when we seek redress of our grievances from White America, that we should be non-violent in our pursuit of justice?  Is that good for the citizens in the house but not good for the State?  If hatred destroys the hater, why is the media being used to produce hatred for those whom you would desire the American military to destroy?  Yet, if I speak truth, you call me a teacher of hate.  Are you not becoming what you say you despise?  

In Chicago last year, 666 murders took place. Iím sure in Washington, D.C., there were many murders last year, and in every major city of America there has been one too many murders. Can we stop murder on the streets of America and raise our children out of a gang mentality if the leader of the free world can openly advocate murder and give young peopleís lives to death and destruction in war? Thereís a book that recently was released called ďWithout SanctuaryĒ, and it deals with the lynchings of Black people in America.  Being Black and growing up in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, we have seen where a White woman could say, ďThat Black man raped me,Ē and a White person could whip up the frenzy of a mob. There was no due process. And the mob said, ďletís go hang the Nigger.Ē  And so strange fruit have hung from American trees, denied of due process.   

It [White supremacy] is the social ethic that produced the mentality of a lynch mob. Is that now what the American leadership has become? Are members of the American Congress a lynch mob?  Is the President of the United States the leader of a lynch mob crying out for the murder of another human being and the bombing of Iraq as though that will solve problems?  I appeal to the President of the United States not to pursue this course, which will cause America to be looked at in an unfavorable light among the Nations of the Earth.  The European Union will not agree with this; the United Kingdom will not agree with this; and no Arab and Muslim country will go along with this.  They will see it as: if itís Saddam Hussein today, itís Muammar Gadhafi tomorrow; itís Bashar Asad in Syria the day after; itís the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia; itís Fidel Castro the day after; itís the President of North Korea the day after that.  Whoís next on your list?   

The citizens have a responsibility to the government, as the government has a responsibility to the citizens.  This is a time of patriotic fervor and nobody wants to seem un-American.  I donít wish to be seen as an enemy of the country in which I live.  I donít want to be seen as aiding terrorists. I donít want to be seen as some ďfifth columnĒ inside America.  I want to be seen as I am.  If I disagree with your policy, you said that as a citizen I have the right of free speech.  I have the right to dissent.  Not free speech and dissent for the sake of such, but with responsibility.  So in an hour like this, should I hold my tongue? If the New York Times says it will take from 70,000 to 250,000 American soldiers to unseat Saddam Hussein in a bombing campaign even greater than that which was just seen in Afghanistan, how can I sit silently when the Army is composed of Black and Brown and poor White? Who will speak for the parents and families whose childrenís lives will be lost on the basis of that which has not been proved?  I have to speak. Who do you represent? I represent those who want to speak but have no forum in which to speak.  I represent those who want peace but they risk being called Un-American, so they hold their tongues.  I want to speak for those persons in Congress who canít speak. I want to speak for those in the media who know the truth but canít print it.  I speak for the voiceless.  It is my right so to do. 

 I go with hope that we might make a difference. We go, hopefully, with the prayers of well meaning people in America who would like to see the carnage stopped.  I pray that our mission will be successful. I wrote to Secretary of State Colin Powell, asking for a meeting because I wanted to explain to him my aim and purpose for such a visit, to share with him our views.  Due to the urgency of the time, I did not give him enough time in my letter.  He said, however, his assistant, Ambassador (William) Burns, would speak with me.  We had an appointment, tentatively, for 11:00 this morning and then our Chief of Protocol was called and said there would be no meeting. But, just before coming here, I spoke with Ambassador Burns.  I donít want to leave these shores--even though I disagree--for my own government to see me, and the American people to see me, as some enemy. 

 Martin Luther King saw the war in Vietnam as unjust. He felt that a war with the little Brown people in Asia would take away from President Johnsonís ďWar on PovertyĒ and the suffering of American people.  Because he dared to take such a position, he lost the friendship of many Christian pastors and, unfortunately, he lost his life.  This sense of conscience that drives me causes me to believe that I will beat history.  W.E.B. DuBois and Paul Robeson and those before me, before us, suffered because their views were not liked, but now what does history say?  History says that Martin Luther King was a great patriot.  History finds him innocent, though if you walked during his time the media found him guilty.  I walked with Malcolm X.  He was my teacher for 10 years.  He would be surprised to see his face on the U.S. government stamp.  Many of you that heard Brother Malcolm during those days--those in public service, those in the know, those accepted by the Establishment--would run and hide from Brother Malcolm, but today you find it easy to have a picture of Malcolm on your wall.  Itís so easy to give people their [due credit and respect] when theyíre dead and gone.  How will you judge me, and how will history judge our effort to bring peace?  That question remains.   

May Allah (God) Bless each of us.  And I say, in closing, to the members of the press, you are the most important members of American society at this time.  I pray that you will not be used as an arm of propaganda of an administration bent on war that you will fail to do your due diligence to find the truth and then find the courage to print what you have found.  You can save a nation, or you can cause the damnation of that which you say you love.

 To all of my brothers and sisters who are present, to the religious leaders who are present, America, as the only remaining super power, is today what Pharaoh and Egypt were 4,000 years ago.  Pharaoh had so much power that he saw himself as a god beside God.  Therefore, when a humble servant from among the slaves came to advise him and warn him of the consequences of the path he was on, his pride overwhelmed him.  He fought the servant, not knowing that he was fighting God.  

No terrorist can destroy this nation.  No combination of Osama Bin Ladens can destroy this nation.  This nation was not set up for any nation to destroy.  This nation is inviolable.  If the CIA, the FBI, and the intelligence units of this nation work as they should with the help of intelligence units throughout the world, there is no plan against this nation that will not be known and thwarted before it can be carried out.  We donít need to fear the terrorists; we need to fear Him who has control of the wind, the rain, the storms, the tornados, the earthquakes, the turning of Nature against you. 

 Wake up, America! Look at what is happening to this country while you sleep and party.  Floods, fire, wind, rain, drought, hailstorms, you have not seen the destructive power of Allah (God).  If America goes on like sheís going, I say this from the depth of my heart as I leave this country, Watch! Allah (God) says He will bring calamity after calamity against you.  Submit! Get away from the arrogance and become the great nation that you were set up to become--the base of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Or, (become) that nation that Allah (God) destroyed so that the people will know that He is Allah (God) and besides Him there is no God. 

Thank you for listening as I greet you in peace, As Salaam Alaikum.

Source: FinalCall.com News

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