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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

News American Interviews Imam W. Deen Muhammad


Editor's Note: The following excerpts from an interview with Imam W. Deen Muhammad of Masjid Elijah Muhammad in Chicago was conducted by Martin Evans of the New America publication of Baltimore. MD.

Question: How can we better serve this country?

Answer: We cannot make much of a contribution to the country as citizens if we ourselves don't have those healthy sensitivities that the citizens have for the future of the country in politics and even in business.

Q: Healthy sensitivity for the country?

A: Yes, and it's essential needs.

Q: What were the messages you brought here today?

A: You know most of our members have recently been converted to the religion. When I say recently I mean the past five, ten years. Because of that much of the Christian life or American life is still there. I feel that the Muslims have to understand that a lot of beliefs and notions that we have in our past experience as Christians or Americans may be hurtful now to us as Muslims, not that we want to take those beliefs away from the American people, but as Muslims we have to conform to Muslim identity and Muslim life and we can not see business concerns and political concerns separate from our religious concerns. For us this is a religious obligation that we respect. We are not working to change that for this nation but at the same time we think that even the American people shouldn't go to such extremes that they cause themselves to live on one side, a spiritual life and on the other side, a secular life. The Constitution has that provision for the protection of the government and for the protection of religion but citizens in this country should be unified in their life. This is what we want to try to bring about.

Q: So government should separate Church and State and not the individual?

A: Yes! The Church should realize that it has a roll separate from our government but the individual should see their life as one unified life. Whatever is done good for your family, neighborhood or city should be understood to be a credit to you in heaven with God.

Q: Is there a split in the Nation of Islam?

A: Let me first say that the religion and the Nation of Islam as we received it in the early years was really an invention to serve the work of bringing social dignity and race pride to African-Americans.

Q: The Nation of Islam served this purpose?

A: Yes, social reform and race pride for African-Americans. We must understand that the symbolic Nation of Islam of that day was a reality for us but not a reality in the international world of Muslims. There is no such thing as a separate Nation for Muslims. We do not think of Egypt as a nation for all Muslims. Egypt is a Muslim nation, a Muslim government for Egyptians. When we think of a Muslim nation for all Muslims we think of a religious community. Therefore, it would be best for us to say in English, World Community or International Community of Muslims. It is a community more than it is a political nation.