WEB POSTED 07-10-2002
corrects Iraqi news report
CHICAGO (FinalCall.com)--The following is a transcript of a
July 10 morning interview with Minister Louis Farrakhan by
Chicago NBC affiliate television station WMAQ-Channel 5. He was
interviewed by co-hosts Nesita Kwan and Art Norman.
Co-host Nesita Kwan: The Nation of Islam leader met with
Iraqi officials over the weekend. In his statements to the press
Farrakhan has expressed support for the Iraqi people and their
government, but the Iraqi News Agency is saying he went a step
further with his latest remarks. Minister Farrakhan is in South
Africa and has agreed to join us on the phone to talk about
these alleged statements and his trip to Iraq. Good morning,
Minister Farrakhan: Good morning, and good morning to all
Kwan: Let me first start by asking you, and quoting from
the (Chicago) Sun Times (newspaper) this morning that the
government-run Iraqi News Agency claims that you said that you
admire the Iraqi people and you hope for a victory to Iraq and
you are praying, the Muslim American people are praying to the
almighty God to grant victory to Iraq. That's what the Iraqi
News Agency is saying you said. Is that true?
Farrakhan: No, that absolutely is not true. The victory
for Iraq as well as for the United States of America would be
peace, so that no United States soldier would be put in harms
way, or one bomb dropped on the Iraqi people. That would be a
victory for both sides; and that's the victory that I and those
with me are praying for. Not a war and a victory, but peace as
the victory for both sides.
Kwan: You did not meet with Saddam Hussein when you were
in Iraq over the weekend, but you did meet with some government
officials. Tell us a little bit about what the government's
stance is, what you came away with from that perspective.
Farrakhan: I met with many of the ministers of the Iraqi
government, including the vice president. I also met with
religious leaders as well. What I found was that the spirit of
the Iraqi people is strong and resolute. They do not want war,
they want peace. They would hope that the United States
government would not attack them, but if they are attacked,
naturally they said they would have to fight in defense of
themselves and their own sovereignty.
Kwan: Are they preparing for military conflict? Did you
see that when you were there?
Farrakhan: No, I saw no such thing as a preparation for a
military conflict. What I saw was the people going about their
daily chores and their daily business, even as the American
people are doing the same in spite of the threat of terror. They
are continuing their business and I would pray that they would
be able to continue that without the fear of United States
Co-host Art Norman: Minister Farrakhan, we talked to
Minister Akbar Muhammad this morning. He told us about the
statement, that you denied it. What is your next course of
action? Are you going to call the Iraqi News Agency and say you
quoted me out of context? Where do you go from here because this
story is just now breaking across the world?
Farrakhan: Well, that's very unfortunate. It falls into
the hands of the enemies of myself and all I can do is speak the
truth. I have a tape of everything that I did say, which, of
course, you all are welcome to. But I never, never asked for
victory in war. The victory must be peace and an end to murder
and an end to war. That is the victory that I hope for, and that
is the victory that I pray for. I would never ask God to allow
the American people, of whom I am one, to be slaughtered in a
war, or to die in a war for really what I see is a vendetta of
our government against Saddam Hussein. We have no right
whatsoever to go into another man's house and sit another leader
down. We don't have that right.
Norman: Minister Farrakhan, we'd like to say thank you
very much for talking with us and getting that part of the story
out. We appreciate your time.
Farrakhan: Thank you.