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WEB POSTED 04-11-2002

 

 

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Full Press Conference
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FCN News 04-02-2002

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's letter to President George W. Bush
FCN News 02-14-2002

 
Mid-East conflict needs an honest broker

[Editor's note: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan addresses the Palestinian/Israeli conflict via a press conference at Mosque Maryam, in Chicago, IL Tuesday, April 2, 2002.]

First, let me thank all of the members of the media who are present, the community leaders who are present, religious leaders who are present and, of course, the believing community. After viewing the carnage of the last few days going on in Israel and on the West Bank among the Palestinians, I felt that it was my duty, indeed, a command from Allah (God), to raise my voice to try to answer the question, what and who will stop the carnage that is presently going on in the Middle East?

Of course, the simple answer is justice. Though the word is easily said, it involves the will, the mind, and spirit of well-meaning people whose desire is peace, to sit down at a common table to work out a solution for peace based on the principle of justice. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that, “Justice is a principle of fair dealing.” He said that, “Justice is the law that distinguishes right from wrong.” He also warned that, “Justice is that weapon that Allah (God) will use in the Day of Judgment, which we believe is now.”

Jesus said that, “As a man soweth the same shall he also reap.” He also said, “If you sow the wind you will reap the whirlwind, and, those who live by the sword will ultimately perish by the sword.” The two sides, Palestinians and Israelis, are at a point mentally and spiritually where they of themselves cannot find a solution to this problem in their present state of mind. Thus, without dispassionate and strong intervention by the United States and the United Nations, the cycle of violence will continue to escalate until the whole region has gone to a point of no return. Thus, the War of Armageddon, which will involve all nations and cause, as the Bible prophesies, “Blood to rise up to the horse’s bridle,” will not be able to be avoided. The time for strong, dispassionate intervention is now. If this moment is missed, the results will be catastrophic.

One writer said of America, “We can avoid reality but we cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” So, I say again, this is the time for strong, dispassionate intervention by the United States and the United Nations.

There are two diverse and prevailing views held by the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the Arab and Muslim world that appear to be irreconcilable. On the one hand, we have the Jewish people having suffered for 2,000 years and being persecuted in various countries of the world as they have been scattered throughout our planet, their desire has always been a Jewish homeland, which was promised to them by Allah (God). So, in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people who have immigrated to the state of Israel, there is a feeling of justification of their presence in Israel by their belief that the state of Israel is promised to them by Allah (God) and written of in the Torah and is the fulfillment of Allah’s (God’s) promise to them. Therefore, by Divine right they feel justified that their presence in the state of Israel is divinely ordained.

On the other hand, the Palestinians view the Israeli presence as the result of the organization of western powers in the United Nations heavily influenced by the Jewish people and various governments that mandated the taking of land from the Palestinians to form the state of Israel. This action, taken by the United Nations in 1948, was never accepted by the Arab states and many in the Muslim world. Therefore, the Arab states made war against the Israeli state; and after each war more and more land was taken from them. So, in their anger and their perception of stolen land and the Arab world’s sharing this perception, the Palestinians, both Arab and Christian Palestinians, have fought the presence of Israelis, only to lose more and more land to a growing Israeli population. This has caused the displacement of over five million Palestinians who now are in the same state or condition that Jews have been in for 2,000 years—wandering the earth, living in strange lands, living in refugee camps under conditions of overcrowding, squalor, disease, violence, and the constant frustration of their natural desire to be free in a land of their own. Therefore, the Palestinians and many in the Arab and the Muslim world see no Zionist as innocent— no soldiers who occupy their land, no settlers who carry machine guns, no Israelis who live on stolen land as innocent. Therefore, they feel that their intafada, or uprising, is a natural reaction to Zionist occupation, oppression, racism and genocide conducted against the Palestinian people.

It is, unfortunately, their belief that the state of Israel was created through violence, exists and is maintained by violence, and, therefore, cannot be stopped except by violence. These two views are the prevailing views. There is another view among a small but growing number of members of the Orthodox community that the state of Israel is not Biblically justified. They believe that it is the Messiah and his appearance in the world and their returning to obedience to the laws, statutes and commandments of Allah (God) that would justify the Messiah’s leading them back to a land of their own. These members of the Orthodox Jewish community feel that the Zionists have usurped the promise and, therefore, have circumvented the work that is written of the Messiah. And they believe that modern Jewry has failed to fulfill that aspect of the condition of their return, which is obedience to the laws, statutes and commandments of God. These apparently irreconcilable views present us with a huge theological problem that will take great theologians among the Christians, the Jews and the Muslims who are capable of rising above their emotions into the thinking of God to come up with that which can reconcile these apparently irreconcilable views. This will take time, but time now is of the essence.

As Muslims, we believe that nothing happens except by the active or permissive Will of Allah (God). Therefore, we have to ask the question: Why did Allah (God) permit the state of Israel to come into existence? Was it to be a trial for the Arabs and a trial for the Muslims? Was it permitted that Muslims could learn from that state? What really was Allah’s (God’s) purpose? Until we can rise above emotion into the thinking of God, we will never be able to reconcile these apparently irreconcilable views.

For 54 years the Arab and Muslim world has not accepted the existence of the state of Israel. It appears, from the Gadhafi and Saudi Peace Plan, that there now could be a recognition of the state of Israel’s right to exist and the possibility of normalizing relations between the Arab states and Israel should certain conditions be met. These peace proposals are at least a basis for serious dialogue and negotiations. However, these negotiations become very difficult if the cycle of violence is not ended. So, what must be done?

America, with all of her power and leverage, is not using her power responsibly to reign in the military might of the Israeli defense force while constantly reiterating what Chairman Yasser Arafat must do. This shows that the American administration is not now a dispassionate broker for peace. The American administration is leaning so heavily on the side of Israel that this is now engendering more hatred among the Arabs and Muslims for Israel and also for America because the Arabs and the Muslims believe that America can and must do more. However, because of Jewish influence on and in the present administration, the administration does not appear willing to take the appropriate steps that are necessary to bring about a ceasefire in order to begin serious negotiations for a peaceful resolution to this conflict.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Bush and the American mass media have branded Yasser Arafat as the principle source of this so-called terror. Doing this minimizes him (Arafat) as a serious partner in the peace process. To demand of Yasser Arafat what he cannot produce is unjust and hypocritical. To join the (UN) Security Counsel in demanding that the Israeli military forces leave the West Bank while at the same time winking its eye at what the Israeli military is doing is showing the world the incoherence and the hypocrisy of America’s Mid-East policy. If Yasser Arafat is to be a partner in the peace process, look at what has been done to him. Since President Bush has been in office he has never met with Yasser Arafat. Since Ariel Sharon has become the Prime Minister of Israel, he has never met with Yasser Arafat. The President has invited Prime Minister Sharon to the White House and talks with him but refuses to talk to Yasser Arafat. This is diminishing him in the eyes of his own people, intensifying the anger and despair among the Palestinians. Let’s look even more carefully.

If America wants to get Mr. Arafat to stop the so-called suicide bombings, America must encourage Israel to give him something to use as leverage to reign in the more extreme elements of his own people. You give him nothing but demand of him everything. What can you give him? You could say to him, Chairman Arafat, we will stop all building of settlements on the West Bank. We will stop bulldozing Palestinian homes, assassinating Palestinian leaders and confiscating Palestinian land. If you gave him something, he could then appeal to the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah: Will you give me a chance and stop the suicide bombings so that a serious peace negotiation can begin? But instead of giving him anything, it is demanded of him in a very arrogant way by the present administration that he knows what he has to do. But for the last three months, Arafat has been locked down in his own compound, unable to move. What does that say to the Palestinian people? What does that say to the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah? It says that Yasser Arafat is completely impotent and, therefore, he cannot be a spokesperson for their hurt when he cannot even leave his compound without Israeli permission.

In the recent Arab League Summit, which he should have been able to attend, he could not attend without Israeli permission. You’ve humbled him. You’ve reduced him. Not only in the eyes of the American people and other administrations of governments, you have done the worst thing of all; you have reduced him in the eyes of his own people.

So everyday that this continues, Chairman Arafat is seen as more and more impotent by his own people thus enraging them and increasing the desire of the more militant Palestinians to continue that which is called the suicide bombings.

Now, these young people that are strapping themselves with bombs to wreak havoc in Israeli society, these young people whose lives are precious to them, have nothing to fight with so they use their bodies strapped with bombs as weapons against Israeli occupation. Anytime you see children doing this, don’t call them insane. Anytime you see women now doing this, young girls doing this, that should tell us that the level of despair and hopelessness is so great among the Palestinian people that death is preferable to continue life under these conditions. And then what is the Israeli response to this? It is tanks. It is rockets. It is helicopter gun ships. It is F16 and F15 jetfighters. And how can the Palestinians respond to this? The Israelis talk about secure borders but the Palestinians cannot secure their own borders. They are absolutely helpless against the military might of the Israeli defense force.

Those that throw stones at tanks, those that use AK47s are not even called Palestinian defenders. They are called gunmen by the American media. Those men and women and children that are strapping themselves with bombs are called terrorists. Yet, the 70,000 people that live in Ramallah, are they terrified to see tanks, to see helicopter gun ships, to see F16s? Of course, they are. But this is called (Israeli) self-defense while a whole people (Palestinians) are being terrorized. And Mr. Sharon appears to be using the legitimate cry of the American people and the Bush administration to uproot terror that caused the destruction of the World Trade Center and the bombing of the Pentagon as an umbrella to go in and kill indiscriminately men, women and children.

When I see the bodies of Israelis carried to the cemetery and grieving mothers and fathers, I’m touched by that, as the world is. But, I’m also touched by the grieving Palestinian mothers and fathers who are burying their children. To see Palestinian boys and men pulled out of their homes blindfolded, their hands behind their backs strapped, it reminds us of what was done by the Nazis in Poland. I would appeal to those of us who suffer, we should never adopt the way of the oppressor. We must always adopt a better way than to become what we have detested.

Asking the world to condemn the suicide bombings, which is the effect of something, but not condemning the cause that produced this effect is adding more injustice to an already intolerable situation. I would like to see these young people live. I would like to see them stop strapping bombs to their bodies. But how will that stop with what Ariel Sharon and the Israeli military are doing? And how will it stop if the leverage that America has, she is unwilling to use. This is why I’ve come before you and the media, because I think you need another voice, a voice that is not Palestinian, Jewish or Arab, a voice that is not tied to the American political situation, a man who is spiritual and religious, to maybe help to lift our sight above the carnage to a better reality.

Is it any wonder that an Osama bin Laden is formed and fashioned? And is it any wonder that people’s minds are so filled with hatred that they will kill people who are innocent? This is the situation made in America and only a dispassionate strong America can help to resolve. It is my hope and my prayer that the American administration will act with wisdom and strength. If not, what we see afar, we may well see at our own door. It is my desire to go into the Arab and Muslim world. I have met the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. I have met with Chairman Arafat. I have met practically all of the leaders of the Muslim world; I believe I can be of help.

It is my desire to visit Israel and the Palestinians. I am not fearful of losing support of the Arab and Muslim people by speaking to Prime Minister Sharon any more than Moses lost the support of his people by speaking to Pharaoh. I do not believe that we should not speak. I do not believe that we should not act to try to stop the carnage. If we fail, at least we have tried. I personally believe that these views can be reconciled, but it will take spiritual people as well as highly learned political people to implement a solution that can bring peace to this troubled area of the world. That area of the world is the heart of our planet. It is that area from which all of the Divine Guidance has come. If the heart is troubled and not fixed, the whole body will show the effect of it.

Prime Minister Sharon, in my conclusion, has vowed to destroy or crush the Palestinian militants. I humbly say to him and to President Bush, there was a similar vow made by President Lyndon Baines Johnson and by some of the United States senators, that they would bomb the Vietnamese back into the stone age and this war led to the ultimate conclusion that Lyndon Baines Johnson would not seek a second term, and, the Vietnamese became the victors. Superior weapons can never destroy the thirst and the hunger in a people to be free from tyranny and oppression. The desire for freedom has always outweighed the power of military might. History is full of examples of people in power failing to do what is just and losing ultimately in the end.

Please be warned of history that it not repeat itself today; God has never taken the side of the oppressor against the oppressed. I plead for us to consider the level of despair that exists in the Palestinian society and put that in the equation of justice with a heavy emphasis. This is not to diminish the suffering of the Israelis under these attacks. But, if there is no heavy emphasis on the despair of the Palestinians, then the equation for peace will never bring about the best results.

I thank you all for listening to what I have to say. I pray that Allah (God) will cause the words that I speak to find a resting place in the hearts of those responsible. I pray that if it is the Will of Allah (God), that we can do what we must do to stop the carnage and bring justice and, thus, peace to that area of the world, which will mean peace for all of us. Thank you for listening. I greet you in peace. As-Salaam Alaikum.

Members of the media, I will take your questions now.

Robert Jordan, WGN News: Minister Farrakhan, you alluded to the fact that you would be willing to go. Is this a proposal that you are making? Is it something that you will follow through with, to go to the Middle East and try to seek some type of settlement?

MLF: I have already planned to go. Yes.

Chinta Strausburg, Chicago Defender: What do you think about Sharon wanting Arafat to be exiled? Is that an answer? Will that resolve everything?

MLF: The exiling of Chairman Arafat is no answer. Leaving him in a compound with no water and electricity is no answer. And pledging not to kill him is not an answer because he is the symbol and the Palestinian people are the substance. So to pledge not to kill him and at the same time kill men, women and children, is not an answer. There is a better way, and I believe, with God’s help, we can help to find it.

Ali Baghdadi, Arab Journal: I would like to ask you a question which has to do really with the aspect of your speech, but later on allow me to ask you another question related to the political part of your speech. Don’t you think that the God who promised Palestine to the Jews, the God of Israel, is a racist God, guilty of promising a land to people who do not belong there? This God says that the two sons of Abraham, Isaac, who is the son of a free woman, Sarah, has the right to Palestine, and his descendents; yet, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, an Egyptian slave woman, has no right to Palestine. And at the same time, the promise that God gave to the Israelis, to the Jews, to Palestine, could you equate that to the fact that Palestinians have been living there in Palestine for thousands of years, long before Judaism, Christianity and Islam came to be. What is more important, a promise by a God who is racist—not the God of the universe, not the God of mankind—or a deed, a title that the Palestinians have and carried for thousands of years.

MLF: Let me respectfully say that I don’t believe that God is racist or unjust to promise land to a people with whom He has found favor. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. If I would call God a racist God for promising that to Jews, then I would not be able to consider His promise to us (Blacks in America).  We are in the same position that the children of Israel were in 4,000 years ago. We, too, have been persecuted for 400 years and we do not have a land that we can call our own. You can say that America is ours, and in a sense it is. But until we can enjoy the same freedom, the same justice, the same equity that everyone else enjoys, we are only claiming something that we yet do not have. So, the promise of God to the Children of Israel is the same as the promise of Allah (God) to us—a land of our own. Yes, and people may be living in it who have been living there for a long time. But when God says that you are unworthy of that land and brings another people in your place, God is not unjust nor is He racist. But if He does that, we have to look at ourselves and ask what we’ve done to lose the favor of God.

Personally, I don’t believe that that land belongs to Palestinians or Jews. It belongs to the righteous. If we act in accord with what Allah (God) demands of that region of the world, we can stay there in peace. But since that region means so much to Allah (God), then we ought to respect Him and abide by His laws, statutes and commandments that that holy part of the earth may be a home, not only to Jews, but to righteous Christians and Muslims who have lived there for thousands and thousands of years. That is theological, but we have to argue that point. And I believe that if the presence of Israel there—which has not been accepted in 54 years, and in all the attempts of the Palestinians and the Arabs to unseat the Israelis—it only has led to them taking more and more land and more Palestinians dispersed or sent into exile. Plus the fact that I heard on television this weekend by a reporter, they were saying that Israel by herself has enough power militarily to defeat the whole Arab world because Israel already has what America is denying Saddam Hussein: Israel has atomic weapons, chemical and biological weapons. When America had that (atomic weapons) and Russia had that, there was a thing called Detente. But for Israel to have it and no Arab state is allowed to have it is a policy that renders the Arabs and the Muslims absolutely defenseless in terms of the might of Israel backed by the United States of America. That is an unjust equation.

I would hope that all weapons of mass destruction be eliminated. But if Israel can have them, some Arab state should have them as well. If you don’t want any Arab state to have them, then ask Israel to disarm so that Detente will be in that area. Then there is less intransigence on the part of the Israelis to sit down, talk peace, and obey a UN resolution. Excuse me for talking so long on that, but I have never believed that God was unjust in what He Wills. It’s our lack of understanding, pitting our inferior understanding to the long-range wisdom of an omnipotent God.

John Cody, WBBM radio: Good afternoon. I understand that the way Israel sees it is, if they trade land for peace that would amount to appeasement in their eyes. Appeasement never worked for the people who are now in Israel. What guarantee would Israel have if it did trade the West Bank for peace that Hamas would not figure that suicide bombers worked to this extent, therefore, would try some more and get the whole thing. I believe that is what Israel is worried about. What guarantee that that would be the end of it and Israel would be safe?

MLF: When Yitzak Rabin came to the conclusion that UN Resolution 242, which deals with trading land for peace, was the right thing to do, I believe it was [Binyamin] Netanyahu who said he (Rabin) should be shot. And some young Israeli took his life. They were on a road then that might have led to peace. The guarantee that Israel seeks if they traded land for peace is, according to what came out of the Arab League meeting in Beirut, that even the most hardened against Israel—Iran, Iraq, Libya—they said that if the Palestinians agreed, they would go along with it. And if the whole Arab world went along with it, it would be very difficult for Hamas in that climate to continue that because then the whole Arab world would have to come against them. I don’t see anybody more fierce against the state of Israel than Iran, Iraq, Libya and possibly Syria. But, according to what I read, after the Arab League summit they said that if the Palestinians accepted this they would go along with it, unless I misunderstood. I believe, with the help of Allah (God), when I travel, Allah willing, in that part of the world I will talk with the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah. I want to hear from their lips. I know something of their despair, but I don’t know it like they know it. I think we have to give them something in order to stop what is being done. And may God bless those in power to retreat from the madness that they are on. This course that Mr. Sharon is on that is backed by our government is sheer madness. It can be stopped, but there has to be a reversal of this course. If not, all of us are going to suffer one way or another.

Susan Carlson, WLS radio: I was just wondering when you were planning to make this trip to the Middle East and what other details can you tell us about your upcoming mission?

MLF:  Sometime in May, inshallah (God willing), and before I go, I will tell the American people and the American administration what my intentions are. And with the help of God, I will not go by myself.  I hope to take with me Christians, Jews, Hebrew Israelites, Muslims, Palestinians, so that I can be guided and counseled by these that I will take; but also so that I will not be alone, that I will have witnesses that I am not a terrorist, nor am I going there to incite people against my own country.  I sincerely want to see peace. Jesus said it better than anyone can say it: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.”  That’s the light that I would like to be seen in, a peacemaker.

And may I humbly suggest to you that you pull down my letter that I wrote to President Bush. In it, I told them all the things that he’s confronted with right now that will only get worse, and offered myself to this government and to the American people as a helper.  I would like to remind you that sometimes those that you least expect the guidance of God to come from, God will raise them in hours like this.

I told Mr. Bush that I wrote him from my prison, not with bars, but a prison imposed on me by my passion for truth and justice, and by how I have been characterized in the media as an anti-Semite, a hater, anti-White, anti-American.  That is a prison, but I believe I see the keys and I’m on my way out of that prison, like Joseph, and maybe I can help this Pharaoh to ease his troubled mind over his troubling dreams. 

Sarah Downing, Newsweek:  I was wondering when you do make the trip in May, will you also be meeting with Yasser Arafat?  And what was the process that kind of guided you to the point of wanting to go? 

MLF:  If it is the will of Allah (God), I would not just go there not to meet with Chairman Arafat.  I would like to meet with him depending upon the conditions.  I would like to meet with Ariel Sharon, depending upon the conditions.  But I will also meet with all of those in the Muslim world that our President describes as part of the “axis of evil.” 

I do not want to see one more American life lost foolishly.  This does not have to happen, but it is misguided policy that will cause more and more American deaths and the deaths of innocent people in other parts of the world.  I just believe that this is the time that God should speak through one of His servants who is from among the dispossessed, the ex-slaves, the rejected, and the despised.  I have something to offer you. I do not offer it in arrogance because I know too much about how little I am and how great God is for me to be arrogant.  But what I offer, I offer it out of my love for God and my love for truth and the pain that I feel over the suffering of my own people and the suffering of those who suffer throughout the world. That is the process that has stimulated me. 

When I saw Pakistanis lined up on the border in Kashmir and India, and Indian soldiers lined up there—and these are two nuclear powers—I desired to go.  Mahatma Ghandi was a man who was a Hindu, I believe, but he was so lofty above the things that have produced hatred between Muslims and Hindus that he caused them to rise above their hatred of each other to become an independent India.  And then that hatred surfaced and Pakistan was born and East Pakistan was born.  So it’s going to take someone or ones who can lift our sights above our pain to be able to see where a solution lies that can bring peace.  And that, I believe, is what God has allowed me to live in this hour to do. 

Manal Abdeljalil:   My name is Manal.  You talked a lot about truth and justice and you also talked about the media being biased.  What is your advice for the media, since they’re present right here?  The other thing that I also mentioned, I would like to humbly ask you how do you see the role of the Nation of Islam in trying to promote the cause of the Palestinians, since you believe that we should speak out about injustice and, you know, basically, conscious Americans be aware of what’s going on to the Palestinians?

MLF:  Thank you.  This media that stands and sits in front of me do not have the power to even say what I said. They have bosses. What I said will be filtered through those eyes.  You may say, well, why did you do it?  I did it so that a record is made.  Whether they can put my words out or not, I have no control over that, but everybody knows what I said.  So when the [Bush] administration tries to paint me as anti-American, that I don’t love the country of my birth, that I have sided with terrorists, there’s enough footage here; and some of you will be bold and strong enough to stand up to your editors and say that [Farrakhan] spoke something that needs to be said.  Let’s let the American people judge.  That is what I would say to the media. 

But thank God that there’s Arab satellite television.  Thank God that there are other media that are not necessarily as opinionated, if you will, or controlled, if you will, that the message may get out.  And lastly, the role of the Nation of Islam.  Since 9/11 (Sept. 11), Arabs and Muslims have suffered and are suffering now in the United States. There’s great pain in the Arab and Muslim community because now they know what we’ve been knowing—that racial profiling exists.  Now they understand it in a terrible way.  Their homes are being broken into in the middle of the night.  They are having their bank accounts closed so that they cannot do effective peace work.  They have been detained even without counsel, or without justification.  Many Arabs and Muslims now are even afraid to speak because they love America.  They want to stay in America and they’re afraid that if they speak out their green cards may be taken away.  They may be forced to be deported. But I don’t have a green card.  I’m born in America.  The Nation of Islam doesn’t have that fear. So those who have rejected us as non-Muslims, look at us again.  We are Muslims and we love you.  It is our duty to defend the cause of justice where you are concerned.  So, we will rise to that occasion. And whatever the consequences are, we are willing to pay that price.

Darlene Hill, Fox News:  Good afternoon, Minister.  I just wanted to follow up quickly on your letter to President Bush and his administration.  Have you received any kind of response?  And if before the media puts it out there today, have you had any kind of response on your plans to travel to the Middle East?

MLF:  Thank you.  On the second part of your question, this is the first time I’m making it known.  The first part of your question, the answer is no, I have not received any response.  But if you would like to pull that letter down to read it for yourself, you can pull it down on www.finalcall.com.  It’s also on the Web site of www.polyconomics.com.  It would be, I think, good reading. 

Ben Bradley, CLTV News: I was wondering, it has been suggested recently that these two leaders, Mr. Sharon and Mr. Arafat, have lived so much of their lives filled with this conflict that perhaps they should just step down and let somebody new on both sides come in with a new vision, with a new view of that.  I was wondering what your thoughts are on that? 

MLF:  I don’t think that they can step down.  I do feel that they may have points of view that need to be heard and figured into the equation.  Maybe the Israelis already have somebody in mind, the way they’re treating Chairman Arafat.  I don’t think that America should try to choose the leadership of people.  Let them do that.  Chairman Arafat, I think, was elected by the people of the West Bank to represent them.  Why should he step down?  He’s only ineffective because he has been made ineffective by those who may not want the peace process to succeed. I hope that he, to use a spiritual term, can be resurrected from where he has been placed.  But I want you to remember, please, that he is the symbol.  The Palestinian people are the substance.  To say you won’t harm him while you harm his people is only increasing more and more hatred.  Some third-party needs to step in now to help both of them.  I will now close this with a question from Bro. Ali Baghdadi.

Ali Baghdadi, Arab Journal:  As you know, there is a proposal for a solution by the leader of Libya, Muammar Gadhafi, a proposal that he made to the Arab League two years ago in Amman.  Gadhafi, who is described as a mad man because he has helped every African country that was fighting racism and fighting for independence and liberation, he says that a solution is possible for Jews and Arabs to live peacefully together the way they have lived for thousands of years. The Jews enjoyed equality and freedom among Muslims and they have never been discriminated against, and that can happen again, he says.  The solution is for Israel to abide to UN resolutions, to all UN resolutions.  They have to abide to 194, which orders Israel to have the Palestinian people to return to their homes.  There are other resolutions, as you know, 338 and 242 that demand the withdrawal of Israeli forces and occupation from all Arab lands. 

Gadhafi says a state could be established made of Arabs and Jews, where Muslims, Christians and Jews could live equally together in one state, as one nation, with one capitol, Jerusalem.  What do you think of the solution?  This seems to me that this kind of state will be accepted by every country in the Arab world, and I think probably there will never be war again.

MLF:  At the present time, Bro. Ali, the rivers of blood that have been shared between them and the level of hatred that exists between them, will forbid their being in the same state, under the same flag.  I’m not saying that this cannot happen in the future, but I think the Israelis want their own state; and I think the majority of the Palestinians want their own sovereign state. 

If that is the core of the Gadhafi peace proposal, it may not find resonance among the Arabs and the Palestinians and the Jews, who are in the state of mind that they’re in right now, anymore than you could make a state out of Germans and Jews after the Holocaust.  The hatred, the pain was so great that to ask the Jews and the Germans to live together in Germany would not have been acceptable to either party.  But, Bro. Ali, I believe that, ultimately, it is the will of God that those of us who exist on this earth will one day live in peace and harmony.

But that begs for a process to begin, cleansing us and purifying us of the things that have caused us to hate each other and to be destructive of each other.  So, Allah (God) says in the Qur’an, “... that he will purify his community.”  And the Bible and the Torah says the same, that he will be like a refiner’s fire and like Fuller’s soap, because he will have to wash humanity of the things that cause us to hate each other. 

He would have to purify us from these things and the fire of a refiner is to break us down in the form that we have been formed and give us a new form in which to house the spirit of God.  That is why Jesus said you can’t pour new wine in  old wine skins.  And that is why Jesus, again, said, after he was baptized with water, that one was coming after John that would baptize with fire.  And this fire means that as fire destroys the form of whatever it touches—the Bible says we are born in sin and shaped in iniquity—that form has to be broken down, and a new form given to the human being into which he can pour his spirit without number.  And that is in the future, but it is a process that has already begun. 

May God bless all of you. And those of my guests and friends, I did not ask you to stand with me because I did not tell you, didn’t have time to tell you, what I was going to say. I thought it would be unfair to ask you to stand with me if you didn’t know and were not possibly in agreement with what I would say.  So if you are in agreement with what I have said as a starting point, then you can feel free to stand with me.

As I close, I ask Allah’s forgiveness, because I did not open with,  “Bismillah al-Rahman, al-Rahim.” In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.  Although, I was definitely in that Name, but it is always good to say it because something as important as this, I really needed the help of God just to get through this, and I thank you all for sharing this with me.

 

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