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FinalCall.com Special Coverage

FCN WEBCAST
Press Conference
by the Hon. Minister
Louis Farrakhan
Washington, D.C.

June 17th, 2002

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PRESS CONF.
TEXT TRANSCRIPT

 

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Updates & Links


Qatar Farrakhan ‘disappointed’
with Bush plan

FCN News 06-27-2002

 

Q & A
Farrakhan answers question: Why a
Peace Mission

 

Community offers prayers and support of Farrakhan mission
FCN News 06-25-2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
WEB POSTED 07-03-2002
Muslim leaders welcome Min. Farrakhan

Tell Peace Mission delegation they reject U.S. call to oust Arafat

 

by Askia Muhammad
White House Correspondent

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (FinalCall.com)—President George W. Bush and Israel, America’s chief ally in the Middle East, could have immediate security if they would only “spell peace with a ‘J’ for justice,” Muslim and Arab leaders are saying increasingly with one voice as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s historic Peace Mission makes its way through the region.

President Bush “missed a great opportunity to win friends over here,” Min. Farrakhan said following a meeting with Yemeni Judge Hamood Al-Hitar June 27. “That’s what we’re hearing from everyone we’ve talked to.”

Earlier that day, the Nation of Islam leader met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is among a growing chorus of Muslim heads of state who have begun to express public doubts about the fairness of the Bush proposal. Two days earlier, Min. Farrakhan met with His Royal Highness Hamad bin Khalifah Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, who also criticized the Bush proposal which was outlined in a Rose Garden speech June 24.

Mr. Bush called for “new and different Palestinian leadership ... not compromised by terror,” as a condition for their statehood with U.S. support. “It will be decided by my people and no one else,” Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat—elected by an overwhelming majority of the votes cast in an internationally monitored 1996 election—countered to reporters the next day following a meeting with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin.

The Palestinian Authority did announce plans to hold new national elections in early 2003. Many others expressed surprise that Mr. Bush would question the electoral credentials of any other head of state, considering that his own ascent to the White House is tainted by widespread charges that his “selection” as president came as a result of a stolen “election,” especially in Florida where his brother is governor and where thousands of eligible Black voters were purged from the voting rolls.

“Egypt strongly supports the democratically-elected Palestinian leadership and refuses any attempt to outflank it,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told reporters in Cairo June 30, following a meeting of several U.S. Senators with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Mr. Bush’s proposal “complicates” the prospects for peace Saudi Prince Nawaf bin Abdulaziz told London-based Asharq Al-Awsat  in an interview June 29.

“We think Pres. Bush should re-think his alternative suggestions about getting rid of Arafat when he was duly elected,” the Rev. Al Sampson, pastor of Fernwood Methodist Church in Chicago, and a Farrakhan Peace Mission delegation-member, told The Final Call.

The U.S. appears to stand alone—even among its staunchest European allies in its insistence that Mr. Arafat be removed. British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed frustration with Mr. Arafat, but did not call for his ouster from office following a summit of the Group of Eight industrial nations in Canada.

“The Emir of Qatar was very favorably impressed with the mission of the Minister,” said the Rev. James Bevel, a member of the Farrakhan delegation and once a top lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his Southern voting and other equal rights campaigns, and as a part of the strong anti-Vietnam War stand adopted by the country’s premiere civil rights leader. “I think he and the Minister held very similar views.”

The Rev. Sampson is also an important former disciple of Dr. King. “We think that it is a time for the Palestinians and the Israeli government to sit down. There will be no compromise on either side, as long as they take a military strategy to solve the kinds of problems that are separating them,” he said.

To that end, he continued, “the American media needs to broaden their base of public opinion. With both the Emir and the President, they felt that President Bush would receive a ‘C’ or a ‘D’ with his message from a grading point of view. The ‘C’ is that it did not bring the character of America to make him an honest peace broker.  And the ‘D’ is that they didn’t ‘deliver’ on both sides.  Some folks feel that it was (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon that wrote the speech for President Bush.

“President Bush’s speech has given Min. Louis Farrakhan and his delegation a very, very clear justification for a worldwide peace tour into this part of the Middle East because it challenges the Muslim leadership, as well as the African countries to stand in opposition against a Third World War,” the Rev. Sampson continued. “The mission is becoming much clearer,” the Rev. Bevel agreed.

Min. Farrakhan’s Peace Mission has two goals: to stop the carnage and bloodshed in the Middle East between the Palestinians and Israelis that threaten that region and the entire world with war long enough for international intervention and supervision that can lead to a just and lasting peace; and to rally Muslim support to halt another bloodbath in Iraq—if the U.S. follows up on its announced plans to remove Pres. Saddam Hussein from power.

In addition, the Muslim leader announced his 48 years of Islamic leadership has other ambitions as well. “The work of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is not complete until the Western Hemisphere has been fully exposed to the great message of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH).  That is our mission: to bring the message of Islam to the whole Western Hemisphere,” Min. Farrakhan said to Judge Al-Hitar, a member of Yemen’s Human Rights Commission.

Min. Farrakhan’s balanced approach to peacemaking is winning allies throughout the Muslim world. “An Arabic proverb says that a person is always least under his tongue,” Judge Al-Hitar told Min. Farrakhan. “After your talk, you have (instead) become so great after what we have heard from under your tongue.”

Photo: Minister Farrakhan, wife Khadijah and members of the Peace Mission delegation are welcomed by President Saleh of Yemen.
Credit: Kenneth Muhammad


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