National News

Unity, action, independence!

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Assistant Editor- | Last updated: Feb 9, 2016 - 12:04:50 PM

What's your opinion on this article?

Various member of the F.O.I. ang M.G.T. from the central region traveled to Detroit to promote Saviours' Day 2016. Photos: Hashim Hakim, Dwayne Muhammad, Cartan X Mosley

Self-determination fuels Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day 2016 in Detroit

DETROIT—Anticipation and excitement grows as final preparations are being made for the Nation of Islam’s annual 2016 Saviours’ Day Convention.

Saviours’ Day is often referred to as “The Crowning Event of Black History Month.” Each year Muslims, supporters and participants from across the country and different parts of the world attend the weekend convention for fellowship, networking, information dissemination and spiritual renewal. This year marks 86 years of the Nation of Islam’s existence in North America and Saviours’ Day commemorates the birth of its founder Master W. Fard Muhammad and the work of his servant and Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad.

A keynote address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is always the highlight of Saviours’ Day weekend. Minister Farrakhan’s subject this year is “Divine Instructions: Commands for 2016.” His address will be viewed in over 190 cities in the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean live via internet webcast.

Convention activities and workshops will be held Feb. 19-20 at the Cobo Center and Minister Farrakhan’s keynote address is set for Sunday, Feb. 21 at the legendary Joe Louis Arena.

 “There are a lot of people that have listened to me for generations and some of them have been bold enough to say ‘we’re tired of speeches, Farrakhan. I don’t want to hear one more speech.’ As I heard such criticism and thoughts, I said, “You know everything that needs to be said, I have really said it. It’s now not things to say, it is things to do,” said Minister Farrakhan, in a recent interview.

What lies ahead for America?

The F.O.I. of Muhammad Mosque #1 in Detroit, the Central Region and Eastern Region have been going to strip malls and intersections, selling tickets and distributing flyers in preparation for Saviours’ Day.
On the domestic front, President Barack Obama enters his last year in office, and many who held high hopes eight years ago when he won election have mixed feelings when addressing his legacy. Among Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump uses incendiary rhetoric to target immigrants and Muslims, while Sen. Ted Cruz espouses a militant Christianity that many feel reflects deep Islamophobia. Both are leading candidates for the GOP nomination for president of the United States. On the other side, an e-mail scandal and an uneasy feeling of distrust envelops the campaign of Democrat and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who is being strongly challenged by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. Economically, the wealth gap between the “haves and the have nots” is wider than ever and strange weather occurrences are seen coast to coast.

The collective impact of a nationwide boycott of businesses on the retail holiday the day after Thanksgiving commonly referred to as “Black Friday” shook the country following the Justice Or Else! gathering last October in Washington, D.C. Min. Farrakhan introduced the demand for a spending boycott in the run up to and during the 20th commemoration of the Million Man March in October. Many businesses experienced tremendous drops in foot traffic and retail earnings with a continued drop in sales during the Christmas shopping season as a result of the call for economic withdrawal.

During the “Justice Or Else!” tour, Minister Farrakhan also called for “10,000 Fearless” who would be trained in strategies aimed at making Black communities safe and decent places to live. Many men and women have answered his call, but more are needed.

The voice of Student Minister Troy Muhammad of Detroit’s Muhammad Mosque No. 1 has been heard on the city’s airwaves as Saviours’ Day 2016 posters go up, tickets are sold and flyers are distributed throughout the metropolitan area.

A Divine Solution:‘Be the Or Else!’

Dr. Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Min. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, is on the Nation’s Executive Committee and working around the clock coordinating workshops and activities for Saviours’ Day 2016. Justice Or Else! may have grabbed the world’s attention on 10-10-15 but that was only the beginning of a unified effort to establish a separate and independent reality for Black people in America.

“We now stand poised as a people to fulfill prophecy and to build a nation of our own,” said Dr. Muhammad. “This Saviours’ Day 2016, the convention is centered around nine ministries. Ministries are specialized fields of government that provide services to the citizens.”

Black communities nationwide are in need of quality health and human service delivery systems, improved commerce to create and develop an economic base that will harness Black spending power estimated $1.1 to $1.3 trillion to urban farming and agricultural industry to grow clean, healthy food and provide for other pressing needs. There is also a need for a new educational reality not rooted in White supremacy and Black inferiority, Dr. Muhammad noted.

The Peacekeepers founded by Dennis Muhammad have chapters in 25 cities.

“When Minister Farrakhan uses the term ‘instructions,’ ‘commands,’ that is profound,” Dr. Muhammad continued. “It says to me we have exited the evangelistic phase of his ministry where he is seeking to inspire and influence people to obey the will of God, and now he is telling the people—through the revelation he is receiving—what God’s instructions are to us as a people in this hour. It’s either do or die. It is time for us to go for self.”

Those with specialized knowledge will conduct seminars and share their ideas during SD 2016 to create a clear working vision of how a nation functions. This is consistent with the theme of Minister Farrakhan’s message.

Student Minister Nuri Muhammad has been invited to many cities to speak since the massive October gathering in Washington, D.C. He has continued to spread the word about the mission and the movement. During a recent tour, Nuri Muhammad spoke with a few East Coast pastors who had turned down offers to be a part of the organizing push for Justice Or Else! last October. However, since the event, these pastors have had a change of heart and are ready to be a part of the next phase, said Nuri Muhammad. The Minister’s words are filled with divine guidance and his actions are filled with the spirit of a merciful God, who gives his people multiple warnings and opportunities to see the error of their ways and make amends, he added.

David Muhammad (second from left), Abel Muhammad (third from left) and Davi Trusty (blue hoodie) helped to lead a group of brothers to serve and assist the people of Flint, MI. Photos: Abel Muhammad/Facebook

Minister Farrakhan represents a real time servant and voice of God that doesn’t give an interpretation of old biblical texts or Qur’anic texts but he gives real time revelation that’s perfect for the time, Nuri Muhammad said.

A ‘Black Money Mob’ and more work on the ground

Meanwhile supporters of the Justice Or Else! movement  and others have been busy:

  • · In Memphis, the Justice Or Else! Local Organizing Committee (LOC) initiated a “Black Money Mob” which began Feb. 8. Black consumers were directed to specific Black-owned businesses in different parts of the city to spend money and business owners were asked to reinvest a portion of that money in the community.
  • · In Columbus, Ohio, led by Fruit of Islam Student Captain Dennis Muhammad, the Peacekeepers, an organization he founded which has 25 chapters nationwide, trained 125 men who are a part of the “10,000 Fearless.” Dennis Muhammad is well-known for peacemaking with street organizations and speaking all over the country promoting reconciliation and combatting violence in Black neighborhoods. Dressed in distinctive bright orange hoodies and hats, the Peacekeepers are working diligently as the Black community wages a war on two fronts—to stop police from killing unarmed Blacks and to stop Blacks from killing each other.
  • · In Philadelphia, one heavy emphasis for the Justice Or Else! LOC has been supporting Black-owned businesses and circulating Black dollars within the community. During Kwanzaa, the Philadelphia Justice Or Else! LOC held a screening of “The Film Black Friday,” which emphasizes financial empowerment and building a legacy of generational wealth for Black families.
  • · Dr. Ava Muhammad has used her weekly show on legendary Black talk radio station WVON 1690 AM in Chicago to highlight Black business and institutions.
  • ·Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony magazine senior editor, appeared on Dr. Ava’s show to talk about the importance of supporting publications that tell Black stories. The Justice Or Else! movement encourages support of Black newspapers, magazines and news outlets.
  • · Justice Or Else! co-convener Tamika D. Mallory of New York has been discussing continued justice mobilization efforts while Chicago theater company owner Margaret Mahdi has stressed the importance of Black directors, stage actors, and writers. She has a major production, “Bronzeville: The Musical,” featuring Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Karen Clark-Sheard, planned for Feb. 26 at the Chicago theater. All of these efforts to strengthen and return pride to Black communities nationwide are a part of the Justice Or Else! movement.

In Detroit, each Saturday at 1 p.m. EST, radio station WCHB AM 1200 and  radio station 99.9 FM will feature a 30-minute radio broadcast to deliver information and answer questions leading up to Saviours’ Day 2016. Additionally, the voice of Student Minister Troy Muhammad of Detroit’s Muhammad Mosque No. 1 has been heard on the city’s airwaves as Saviours’ Day 2016 posters go up, tickets are sold and flyers are distributed throughout the metropolitan area.

  • · Moved to assist the residents of Flint, Mich., who activists say are victims of environmental racism sanctioned by political officials with little regard for their health and welfare, Yonasda Lonewolf Hill is spearheading the #HipHop4Flint movement. Over 45 cities will be hosting events on March 19 to show support for Flint residents. The activist is also a Justice Or Else! organizer.

Student Minister Jeffrey Muhammad in Chicago has consistently led conference calls with Local Organizing Committees across the country. The call for Justice Or Else! is the right message at the right time, he said.

“As long as we keep moving, we can bring about the changes we desire, we just have to stay out there in the community, and stay strong,” Jeffrey Muhammad said. “The desire to push for our own independence and self-determination—I love it because our people are learning that no matter how much we have tried to come into this system and work with this system, it just does not care for us. Until we set up our own reality, we’ll continue to be the victims of White supremacy.”

Saviours’ Day 2016 includes workshops on education, economic development, housing, concerts, a military drill competition, First Lady Mother Khadijah Farrakhan’s fun-filled and educational Children’s Village, a youth essay and art contest as well as a youth town hall meeting, a “Writer’s Row” featuring Black authors, an historical exhibit and much more. The workshops and those events will be held at the Cobo Center, located at 1 Washington Boulevard.

(For more information on Saviours’ Day 2016, such as a schedule of events, how to register and to buy tickets for the keynote, go to The social media hashtag for the entire convention is #SD16DET.)