by Eric Ture Muhammad
WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com)—The Honorable Minister Louis
Farrakhan held capacity audiences spellbound during the Sept. 11-14,
Congressional Black Caucus
(CBC) 32nd Annual Legislative Conference, as
he addressed issues concerning United States foreign and domestic
policy, peace, harmony, Africa and the world.
He challenged all who would listen to follow the guidance of God in
addressing these issues, reminding listeners that prophets, warners and
messengers are sent to to challenge the powers that be and encourage them
to obey God, His commands and be in complete submission to His will.
Minister Farrakhan told religious leaders that it is not the job of
the spiritual leaders to seek the guidance of the kings and rulers of
this world. God produced prophets and messengers to guide them into the
correct path, he said.
The Nation of Islam leader was the special guest of Reps. John
Conyers (D-Mich.) and Earl Hilliard (D-Ala.). His presentations were
delivered on the heels of President George Bush’s speech to the United
Nations and its Security Council regarding his pursuit of President
Saddam Hussein and his desire to war with Iraq.
The Minister joined a panel of religious leaders, scholars and
political analysts from the Arab, Muslim and Jewish worlds over the
course of two days within the four-day confab. He told the gatherings
that he believed this to be the first time that a true dialogue between
him and members of the Jewish community and members of government had
actually occurred. He also attended the CBC banquet at the conclusion of
the convention and was mobbed by celebrities, supporters and members of
Congress who offered their greetings, best wishes and appreciation for
his efforts in pursuit of peace.
"I must thank you (Mr. Conyers) from the depth of my heart for
creating this panel," the Minister said Sept. 12 during his opening
remarks on U.S. foreign policy and Mid-East conflict. "I know that if it
were not for you, I would not be in a panel with such distinguished
rabbis and scholars. I thank you for creating such a panel that would
allow me probably for the first time to be in a dialogue with members of
different religious perspectives but suffering a common need to find
resolution to conflict and bring about peace not only in the Middle
East, but peace in our own troubled lives and society," he said.
He also thanked Rep. Hilliard during the panel discussion "Africa and
the World" that, while well attended, staff members of the CBC
Foundation, sponsors of the conference, told attendees that the session
was canceled, leaving many persons discouraged.
"Whenever God gives to you revelation, He is giving you power, but He
is also testing you, through revelation, as to how you are going to use
the power that He gives you," Min. Farrakhan said. "If you use it in
accordance to His will, you bring about righteousness. If you use it in
contravention to His will, you bring about what is on the earth today."
Much focus was given to the Sept. 12 address made by President Bush
at the UN. Chief among the many objections raised was Mr. Bush’s attempt
to appeal to the world body before offering explanation to the American
"He has not made that case in the United States. He has not made that
case before the Congress. He has not made that case before the American
people," argued Rep. Conyers.
Also expressed was an urgent need to neutralize the power that
lobbies and interest groups continue to exercise over the U.S. Congress
at the expense of the will of the American people.
"You can never change America’s policy as long as lobbies that give
the Congress over a billion dollars a year can influence legislation
that may or may not be in the interest of the American people but in the
interest of those multinational corporations, those interests in America
that have taken away from the American people a representative
government and bought and paid for your legislators," Min. Farrakhan
said. "I want to see America made right. America owes something to the
"She got to be the world’s greatest superpower because people from
Europe came, people from Asia came, people from the Caribbean, from
Central and South America and from Africa and the isles of the Pacific
came here and made America what America is. So America’s domestic policy
should reflect her gratefulness to all of us who made America what she
is. America’s foreign policy should reflect her gratitude to all the
nations that gave her, her ‘huddled masses’ that were yearning to
breathe free," he said.
The Middle East is such a critical area of the world, it dominated
the discussions of all panels involving the Nation of Islam leader.
"It’s really the heart of the earth," Min. Farrakhan said, out of which
has come all of the revealed words and all of the prophets of God that
we admire and love.
Reps. Conyers and Hilliard said the issues abroad bring to light
serious questions. First, how can peace be brought to the Middle East
and what will happen if the Bush administration is able to persuade her
allies that a preemptive strike in Iraq is an appropriate activity on
the part of the family of nations?
"Now the questions that Muslims have to ask and Arabs have to ask
themselves—if nothing happens except by the active or permissive will of
God and the state of Israel is there, then the question is: Will you
accept its reality and deal with it or will you continue with the idea
that that state has to be thoroughly destroyed?" Min. Farrakhan asked.
And the Jews who say they want Ha’aretz Israel or the whole thing,
"Neither one of those views can bring peace right now," he acknowledged.
"The Middle East needs more peacemakers and fewer troublemakers,"
said Mr. Omar Kadar, former head of the Arab American
Anti-Discrimination League. "Right now we have a lot of troublemakers
with a lot of power and getting rid of these troublemakers is going to
be difficult because too many of them got to where they are through the
democratic process. President Bush and Secretary Powell enunciated and
laid out what the conditions are for engaging in peace in the Middle
East. But, they are not very realistic and they are not very bold and
they do not show an ounce of leadership," he said.
Mr. Kadar cited previous progress made in Mid-East peace talks during
the Clinton administration, the "good faith proposals" formulated by
former Senators Grudman and Mitchell, and the March proposal presented
in Beirut by the Arab League calling for the creation of a Palestinian
state, and a return to the original borders of 1967 by all sides.
"The president didn’t even touch it," said Mr. Kadar.
Georgetown University Law Center professor and cantor Jonathan D.
Strum took another perspective. He said the recent firing of President
Yasser Arafat’s cabinet in Palestine is progress and a direct result of
the positive pressure of the United States.
"The fact that the cabinet was fired was a tremendous revolution in
Palestinian politics," he said.
Rabbi Binyamin Bibber and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the
Philadelphia-based Shalom Center and leader of the American-Jewish Peace
Movement addressed the audience as well as Mr. Mahdi Bray, president of
the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations.
Rabbi Waskow, a former legislative assistant on Capitol Hill for
several years, said he has learned that the representation of the will
of the people is a sacred one and not always easy to achieve. He also
said it was no accident that the call for such a momentous dialogue with
such diversity among its panel would occur at the behest of the Black
lawmakers of this country.
He said the collaboration of violence and destruction are the deepest
violations of the teachings of God, Torah and history.
"We are taught to face the truth. A rabbi once commented that
justice, peace and truth are the three great pillars that uphold the
world. Another rabbi responded that these are not three pillars, but
simply one. For where truth is spoken, justice is affirmed and peace is
achieved," said Rabbi Waskow.
Min. Farrakhan responded that, "Both the Bible and Qur’an agree, that
the heavens and the earth are created in truth and that Almighty God
Himself is not only the author of peace, but the abode of peace."
"I don’t believe that the originators of the state of Israel were in
fact messianic. I believe they wanted a place for Jewish people who had
suffered for the past 2,000 years. And with the help of nations, they
were mandated a territory. The Arabs and the Palestinians never agreed
to that, therefore, from day one there was conflict," he said.
"It doesn’t please me to be against the president of the United
States. I don’t like to be opposite the head of the house. But if I see
the head of the house going wrong, what is my responsibility?" he asked.
"He’s not a king ruling by divine right. He is a president and a
servant of the people. And if you are my servant bringing me my dinner
and I don’t like the way you’re serving me, I have a right to tell you
that I don’t like your service," he said.
Photo: Min. Farrakhan participants in CBC panel
discussion on U.S. foreign and domestic policy with Christian and Jewish