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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


World Muslim News

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


WMN: Would you comment on the contributions made by the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what your opinion is on having his birthday as a national holiday.

IMAM MUHAMMAD: Like most African-Americans and most other humanly sensitive Americans, I have been touched by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I felt that he was an extraordinary leader, a compassionate man, a spiritually-moved man with very deep human sensitivities. I felt that he was a moral aggravation in America and at the same time a moral nourishment for the American people.

I didn't always agree with him because I followed the Islamic religion and our views differed sometimes. But on the whole 1 was in agreement with him. And I think the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as far as he was from the civil rights principles, had great respect and admiration for Dr. King. In fact I believe they had that respect and admiration for each other.

Dr, King had faith in the future of the good American people and he believed that his race on the whole represented the good American people and that their aspirations were human, noble and healthy. And He felt that because of the inevitable movement of goodness, there was the opportunity of hope for equal justice.

He felt this justice would come and I accept him as a kind of social prophet, not a religious prophet as we understand Prophet in our religion, but a kind of social prophet as with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

I accept the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, too, as a kind of social prophet. They did a wonderful job and I think we have to remember them. I don't want to think the Nation of Islam -- the American Muslim Mission as we're called now -- would forget the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's great moral contributions and his calls to industry and productivity. Neither would we forget Malcolm or any of our bygone heroes.

I wouldn't want to see us forget any of them. I think it would be better to have a national holiday in honor of all those great stars of that particular time rather than just to have it honoring one -- Dr. King.

I don't think Dr. King's movement would have been successful without the agitation that came from the Nation of Islam.

So I have some hesitation about asking for a national holiday in just the name of Dr. Martin Luther King, but if it comes it will please me too.