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Muhammad Mosque No. 60 hosts 3rd Annual Prison Reform Gala

By Donna Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Dec 10, 2019 - 10:52:09 AM

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Min. Ishmael Muhammad, National assistant to the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan, speaks on the importance of the Prison Reform Ministry to a capacity audience celebrating the 3rd Annual Prison Reform Gala.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—He came that we may have life. That was the theme of the 3rd Annual Prison Reform Gala hosted by Muhammad Mosque No. 60, at the St. Joseph’s Parrish Center.

Over 150 people from as far away as Atlanta, Holly Springs, Miss. and Memphis, Tenn., came to celebrate the effectiveness and commitment of the Nation of Islam’s Prison Reform Ministry and hear from the National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad.

“This is a very important ministry. This service of the Nation of Islam, to our incarcerated, is a very important part of our work. Malcolm came from prison. Malcolm, while he was in prison, did not serve time, but after discovering the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he learned how to use time to serve him,” Student Minister Ishmael shared with the audience at the Nov. 9 gathering.

He reminded the audience that though Malcolm X only went to the eighth grade, he was able to defeat scholars and professors with the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who only went to the fourth grade himself.

“These are some hardworking, devoted, dedicated men and I encourage you to keep on doing that great work—taking this word that transforms minds, corrects behaviors—nobody does it better than the Nation of Islam. That’s a fact,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad.

(L) Min. Ishmael Muhammad takes a moment with Mr. Larry Turnley, who was formerly incarcerated and is now the Outreach Violence Coordinator for Gideon’s Army. (R) Prison Reform Student Minister Eric Muhammad presents Min. Ishmael with an award of appreciation.

“As the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan—you have it here in the program— speaks on prison reform and he says, ‘True prison reform starts with the enlightenment of that inmate of who that inmate is in reality and not what he or she has become because of circumstances. True prison reform connects the soul to its creator and begins to provide those human needs and then we begin to see a change in attitude in the inmate that leads to behavioral change. The problem will never be corrected until our people are given self-knowledge,” he concluded.

Among the attendees were those who directly benefited from the NOI Prison Reform Ministry, such as Larry Turnley, who served 20 years in federal prison and is now the Outreach Coordinator Violence Interrupter for Gideon’s Army, whose focus is to eliminate the root causes of the schools to prison pipeline. “I came because meeting Brother Ishmael Muhammad was on my bucket list, being that the Nation of Islam teachings during my incarceration was very pivotal in my transformation into manhood. The event was powerful and informative, also the food was great!” he said.

Tribute and acknowledgements were given to Minister Abdul Majied Muhammad, a pioneer of the Nation of Islam and an integral part of the Prison Reform Ministry establishment in the area before his passing. Also recognized were the Nashville Prison Reform Student Ministers: Bro. Eric Muhammad and those who aide him; Student Fruit of Islam Captain Andre Muhammad; Student Minister Theo Muhammad; Bro. Christopher 3X; Bro D’Mitri Muhammad; Student Secretary Robert Muhammad and Student Minister Samuel X, the Nashville representative of Minister Farrakhan.

Additional speakers included Chaplain Gore of Hardeman Co. West Tennessee and Student Minister Kenneth X of the Holly Springs Study Group.

Participants also enjoyed the vocal styling of Raquel Payne and poetic words of inspiration by Sis. Karimah Muhammad, along with a sumptuous buffet prepared by the MGT and GCC (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class), the women of the Nation of Islam.