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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

Calls Leaders to Moral Task

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate

As - Salaam – Alaikum

(Editor's note: After his address at the Clara Muhammad Foundation Benefit in Chicago, Feb. 10, 1979, Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad made the following comments to Bilalian News regarding the increasingly active participation between himself and other Bilalian leaders in efforts to regenerate the spirit of faith and hope in the future for our people. Reprinted from last week.)

There's an area that was once addressed by the Bilalian leadership that is now being neglected—the need for us to keep progress in the family and in our neighborhoods and to keep the spirit of hope and faith in the future in our people. Without that, the opportunities mean nothing.

I intend to address the need for internal development in ourselves, our communities and the need for our leadership to respond.

As leaders, we are responsible and we have to make sure that our people are not neglecting to develop those things that they have at their fingertips — good family life and personal development --so that when opportunities arise we have people to present who are qualified to take advantage of those opportunities.

If we seek opportunities and are not working at the same time to make sure that our people are qualified, that their minds are being developed and that they are aggressive and trying to achieve for themselves, then we don't have any fellowship.

Bilalian leadership needs to support the positive things the Carter Administration is doing, the positive things the country is doing. If we knock all the things that are not happening and ignore the positive things that the masses can feed on and grow — and they have to grow — if we feed on the positive things, we can continue to grow and there will still be hope. If we don't feed on positive things, we're going to see fewer.and fewer Bilalians qualfiied for any position.

During our upcoming public addresses (Detroit, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles), I hope to appeal to the consciousness of our Bilalian leaders so we can return to the job of keeping hope, faith and an aggressive spirit alive in our lives for achievement academic achievement, moral achievement — for the improvement of the individual life and safe streets for a healthy community.

I hope that more of the leaders will join people like myself and begin to promote excellence in education and speak on the moral issues like the Rev. Jesse Jackson is doing.

I hope we can direct at least 50 percent of our energies towards keeping the community strong and keeping the community looking forward. We can't do this if we're just harping on negatives all the time.

Because of recent lines of communications opening up with the Department of Commerce, the Department of State, and the Organization of Minority Business Enterprise, we (Bilalian leaders) are beginning now to get better acquainted with each other, but we want more than that.

When we meet, we usually listen to criticism of the Administration. We listen to complaints against the Administration that really are provoked by the bad unemployment situation, especially of teenagers and youngsters, and certain other issues presently being addressed by the Black Caucus and other leaders. Certainly, these are serious problems, these are real issues, but there are other ways.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad preached the doctrine of Booker T. Washington - "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" - but we're losing faith in ourselves again. I feel that our leaders have to get together and start putting faith back in our people, that they can do something for themselves.

If we don't believe in doing something for ourselves, if we don't believe we are capable of doing something for ourselves, and we continue to believe that everything must be done by the leadership, that the leadership has to give direction, that the leadership has to give all the inspiration — then we will always be at the mercy of the changing winds of politics.

Politics are not certain. Right now we have a moral leadership in President Carter and in many of the people supporting him in the government, but how long will this last? We don't know.

President Carter will not be there forever. We need to have some program of our own for keeping progress in the cities, in the ghettos, for keeping progress in the individuals of the ghettos. We need to find some way of reaching individuals.

We just can't be spokesmen for the people ; we have got to find some way of giving individuals the doctrine of faith, the doctrine of hope political hope, economic hope.

In giving the doctrine of hope, we have to find some way of giving the kind of philosophy that points direction. I believe the way to do this is to give faith in the individual — faith in the individual's worth - the kind of faith that becomes a sacred faith, a duty to self to keep myself healthy, to keep myself looking forward.