By Brother Demetric Muhammad
In the spirit of the great Black voices of dissent from the past like the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is warning President Barack Obama not to go to war against Syria.
The President should heed the advice of Minister Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan is not tethered to any corporate interests, whose advice to the President is tainted by potential profits made through contracts both to supply munitions and to rebuild war-torn countries. Minister Farrakhan has not been the cause of any of the President’s woes. Not the economic recession of 2008; not the war in Afghanistan; not the divisive climate in Congress; not the effort to repeal his healthcare reform bill. Minister Farrakhan has, instead, worked around the clock, at the ripe age of 80 years of age, to abate the violence in Chicago (Obama’s hometown) and around the country. The Minister has personally led leagues of Muslim men into crime-plagued areas of Chicago and New York while he dispatched his ministers nationally to do the same in cities around the country. The Minister is also participating in America’s economic recovery by re-opening the Nation of Islam’s Salaam restaurant, which hires local Chicago residents to work there. The Minister even used scripture to show how the election of President Obama might be viewed as a herald of the Messiah or Messianic Age of American Politics.
These are all reasons why, at this critical point in President Obama’s last term, he must seek the counsel and heed the cautionary warnings of the one man who is the most important unique and credible voice from both the Black and Islamic communities—Minister Louis Farrakhan. Of Minister Farrakhan, former President Reagan advisor Jude Wanniski said: “I believe Minister Farrakhan is the most important Muslim leader in the world, who can best represent the concerns of the Islamic world to our government.”
President Obama may not be aware that his own historic rise to become America’s first Black President is due largely in part to the influence of Minister Louis Farrakhan among these 2 key populations: Blacks of America and Muslims across the world. For it was in 1983 that the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson took Minister Farrakhan with him on a mission to secure the release of a Black American Naval pilot, Lt. Robert Goodman. After his plane was downed after flying over Syria, Lt. Goodman was held by Syrian authorities. At that time they had no intention to release him, and it appeared that President Ronald Reagan had no intention of seeking his release. So Rev. Jackson took a group of Black clergy to make an appeal to President Hafez Al-Assad of Syria. President Hafez Al-Assad was the father of the current President of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad.
Several witnesses to this historic and significant heroic act on the part of the Black clergy have written accounts that highlight Minister Farrakhan’s role in the difficult negotiations. Professor Clifton E. Marsh writes: “Minister Louis Farrakhan played a significant and vital role in enabling Jesse Jackson to secure the release of Navy Lt. Robert Goodman. Minister Louis Farrakhan accompanied Rev. Jackson to Syria…. The charismatic Minister Louis Farrakhan impressed Syria’s heads of state, Imams, Muslim scholars, and true believers with his knowledge of Islam and ability to speak perfect Arabic. He led the Jumah prayer service with all the grace and eloquence of Bilal himself. So much for those who said the international community of Islam would not accept the ideology of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in America.” (The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in America, page 120)
Another observer and supporter of Rev. Jackson, Chicago attorney Thomas N. Todd, said that Minister Farrakhan: “was a ‘substantial part of the success’ of Mr. Jackson’s Syria mission to free Lt. Goodman, although he got little publicity at the time.” “To assume Minister Farrakhan is on some lunatic fringe, away from the mainstream, is not true,” Mr. Todd emphasizes. “His influence extends far beyond the Nation of Islam, to black professionals, educators and others who agree with Farrakhan’s position on some of the social ills and how we got there.”
The reason the release of Lt. Goodman in Syria is so important to the election of President Obama is that this event gave Rev. Jesse L. Jackson his “international credentials.” Rev. Jackson needed international credentials to rally support for his own run for the presidency in 1984. His successful negotiation for the release of Lt. Goodman enabled the American public to view him as a realistic contender to become America’s first Black President. Though Rev. Jackson ran for president and lost in both 1984 and 1988, it was his failed but inspirational campaigns that served as dormant seeds of yearning in Black America that were reawakened when Sen. Barack Obama began his run in 2008. Rev. Jackson’s “defeat” laid the groundwork for President Obama’s victory.
And once Senator Obama won in Iowa during the Democratic primaries, the Black electorate began to fertilize his campaign with love, encouragement, and material support. The attitude in Black communities was that maybe Senator Obama could finish what the Reverend Jackson started. The Black community’s love and endorsement have been indispensable to President Obama. Certainly, the Black electorate alone is far less than the millions of white voters that voted for President Obama in both elections. But it has been the Black community as a whole, with the exception of a few people, that has refused criticism and condemnation of President Obama despite receiving the least benefit of all the groups considered to be in the President’s base of support. In fact, some have commented that were the Black condition as miserable as it is now in terms of crime, unemployment, the wealth gap, healthcare and education under a white President, that Black people would be protesting in the streets!
At the end of his second term, will Barack Obama be welcomed home as a hero by the Black community? Or will his reputation be so tarnished by his errant foreign policy and lack of domestic policy that he will be ostracized as one who rose to prominence but ultimately forgot where he came from? As a member of the Black electorate who voted for him I strongly encourage President Obama to listen to the one man whose insights best harmonize with the President’s own Bible-based faith and early desire to right the wrongs of past administrations. I encourage him to listen to Minister Farrakhan and heed his advice to not go to war in Syria. The Minister, in Part 34 of his series, The Time and What Must Be Done (www.noi.org/thetime) warned the President that the lure to go to war in Syria is a trick wherein the nobility of a humanitarian cause is being used as a cover for ulterior political and economic motives.
(see also: http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Minister_Louis_Farrakhan_9/article_100727.shtml)
The fact that Minister Farrakhan’s diplomatic presence in Syria is at the historical root of President Obama’s presidency is, historically speaking, the coming full circle from Syria to the U.S. presidency and again to Syria. And in the background is the significance of Syria being the burial home of the most important Black man in the history of the religion of Islam, Bilal Ibn Rabah.
Bilal was given by divine inspiration what is known as the adhan or Muslim call to prayer. The adhan, begun by Bilal, is used by all of the nearly 2 billion Muslims around the globe to invite or call the faithful to prayer, cultivation, and the worship of and obedience to Almighty God, Allah. There are numerous traditions about Bilal in Islamic sacred texts. One popular hadith or saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is that he heard “the footsteps of Bilal going into paradise ahead” of his own.
Some have interpreted this hadith or saying of Muhammad to mean that Black people would lead the world to peace on earth after a long protracted season of war. The Muslim world held out hope that President Barack Obama would be a “Bilal type” of figure in his foreign policies—a fair and courageous son of Africa that would be a blessing to the Muslim world.
So far President Obama has not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Muslim world. So far President Obama has not lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Black community. So far President Obama has lived up to the hopes and expectations of the Zionists, the neocons, and the global war machine.
Yesterday Minister Louis Farrakhan helped Obama’s predecessor in Black American presidential politics, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, gain his much-needed “international credentials.” Today Minister Louis Farrakhan can help President Obama save his diminishing standing in both the Muslim world and the Black community in America.
(Bro. Demetric Muhammad is a member of the Nation of Islam Research Group. Visit them online at www.noirg.org and join the conversation on FaceBook.com/NOIResearch and Twitter @NOIResearch.)