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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

You Have To Get Prepared To Make It In The Land Of Plenty: Part 4

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this presentation in Dallas, Texas on March 19, 1989. It was Southern Texas that gave Imam Mohammed proper and due media coverage and recognition. Please know that the editing of this page for the Muslim Journal is being done by Imam W. Deen Mohammed.)

Have you heard the story of the lost boy who was lost in the woods? He lived and survived among animals: When they discovered him, he was behaving like an animal. He could not speak any human language at all, It is the same for a child born into America's "peculiar" slavery.

If you know the true history of that infamous period of slavery, you will know it was forbidden for anyone to give a slave any literature. They were not even permitted to read a Bible. They were not permitted to have anything come to them of true history and civilization. Nothing was permitted to come to the slave except what would serve to keep the slave in a condition of animal existence. This is history.

Now knowing the circumstances which produced the southern man and knowing the circumstances which favored the northern man, I also know how the northern man played the "master" against the "slave" and the "slave" against the "master," The northern man did that for his own selfish exploits. I know how the northern man won the Civil War, occupied his southern brother's land and then rubbed salt into his brother's wound by bringing the slave of his brother and putting the slave in a position over the master. The northern man made the slave the soldier in command, and the white man of the South had to come to his slave who had been put in officer's uniform and ask to get permission for certain things.

When the North occupied the South, the northerner put members of our race in positions of authority over members of their race. We may be foolish enough to say, "That is what they deserved for treating us like that." But the white man who planned for the African American and for the "white" South is more clever. He knew it was not good for your future situation that he take you right from slavery and during wartime and put you over southern "whites" suffering the bitterest 01 defeats and fresh wounds. The southern white man was already saying, "My own brothers have killed us, wounded us, dominated us, and occupied our land, just because we had these black nigger slaves and would not let them free."

The real reason being slave-based economy stood in the way of the free enterprise system. That northerner knew that this would make any future relationship for the freed slaves with their former masters impossible. He knew they would never be able to come together and live together in the South in peace. The northern man had to eliminate all risk of "blacks" and "whites" uniting.

The northern scheme was to get us up North for the labor-hungering new plantation of northern factories. Study the early history of America's factories. They presented bad health risks. Workers in many early factories were given to a similar humiliation, hardship and brutal existence. More lives sometimes were lost in the factory situation than were lost on the southern plantations. Our people had to accept the worse jobs and the worse risks.

But what slave saw all of that ? The slave only saw freedom, and that helps to explain why I say that we nave to sharpen our sensitivities. We have to grow with experience, and our senses have to become more sharpened with experience. So now, it is not too late to look back at those circumstances and extract from them the lesson we need for today. Many northerners sold slaves to southerners. And the lesson is to never let the people who victimized you, dominated you, and abused you — never let them decide your future independently. I don't care how much they say their hearts have turned. I don't care how much they say they love us now. They, themselves, are also victims. Both the northerner and southerner are victims of a monstrous past that they created for themselves. They are not in a good situation to plan my future.

In fact, I think the African-American today is in the better situation to plan "the future," not only for himself but for most European Americans as well. But we are going to have to do a lot of soul searching and educating and a lot of research. We are going to have to study with a sober mind. We are going to have to be able to study our social situation of the past. Study those situations, and study them like a scientist in the laboratory. He does not let his feelings get involved, for he is looking and studying for the "fact" in the situation. The scientist is looking for the natural development in the situation. He is not given to emotions.

It doesn't make him less human because he is not dealing with this matter from his emotions. He still goes home and grabs his tender little baby and kisses it. He feels good and holds his baby while watching television. He is not less human because he has divorced his feelings from the problem at hand. And we have to be able to do that also. When we grow up and mature in our sensitivities, we should have sharpened sensitivities.

We should be cautious then with sharpened sensitivities, when we go into new areas. Don't just go into the "white man's" neighborhood with no caution. That is wrong. Go in there with some caution. That is not your neighborhood. But you will have to even go into your own neighborhoods with some caution. Be cautious! Be cautious to respect him and cautious to not be hurt by him. There are dangers in this world, You can't expect one hundred years of so-called freedom that is marked up with decades of lynching and terrorism by the Klan and all the evils of discrimination and Jim Crowism to disappear for us to just drop our guard.

We shouldn't be moved to want to walk down Broadway with a "white woman." This is much too soon. We need two thousand years yet. And these are the kinds of concerns we need to face to make it in the Promised Land. And there is much more.

Many in America want to see Khoemini as a monster, but look at what he did. On one side as a victim maybe he does look like a monster to many of you. But Imam Khoemini did a very civilized thing, too. Upon his recognizing that the new leader of Russia, the great Mr. Gorbachev, had truly come into a new mind as a Russian man and leader, he invites Mr. Gorbachev to accept A]-Islam.

There is another man that you sometimes see as a monster — President Qadhafi of Lybia. I have observed him, also, and I think he is just another victim of circumstances. He can present himself in a very fine way. I know this, for I have met him in person. But a real monster just cannot present himself in a very fine way. A monster will be trying to present himself and a fang will show up over here. There will be something to tell on him.

So I think the victim who has control over himself and can present himself in a very fine way, when the situation calls for it according to his own thinking, then he deserves respect.

I am told Qadhafi went to Saudi Arabia in his own plane, although these two do not get along — in fact, I don't believe that if I was Qadhafi that I would have gone to Saudi Arabia in my plane. The Saudis questioned him concerning what he was coming for while he was still in the air. Qadhafi told them that he needed to borrow some money, and they let him land his plane. Now anytime a man can come to a people or a nation that he is in great trouble with, I have to respect him for having something special going for him. Qadhafi has something going for him, other than just financing terrorism.
And that is a charge that hasn't been proven in the opinion of many.

What has been proven is that Qadhafi is a victim of terrorism. All you have to do is study the history of the Libyan people for the last fifty to seventy-five years or more, and you will see that he is the victim of terrorism and terrorists from Europe. We just want to be truthful and straight.

At this point we are going to look at our religion in what I call its true and obvious excellence. First of all our religion requires of us that we do not engage or join any movement or activities to promote or support something that is wrong. If we join a movement or become organized for something, we must be ourselves right. Allah says, "Cooperate with each other in the effort for righteousness, purity, and reverence." That reverence is for Allah and it is reverence for those things that He has established or for those things having received universal regard.

Allah also says that we are not allowed to join secret meetings and secret organizations unless it be for this: "To order what is just and truthful, to promote what is honorable and right, and to promote fairness between men." In fact the Arabic word used means fairness and righteousness between "all people." We can meet secretly if our intent is good and honorable, sincere and pure, and good for the human beings at large. If we are meeting for the good of the human beings at large, for honorable and upright or righteous purposes, then we can meet in secret.

There may be some of us who are so silly as to think, "We aren't supposed to do anything in secret!" In this land of plenty you had better do a whole lot in secret! But you must be well-meaning and do not have any purpose that is not honorable, (as Allah says) nor do anything that you would be ashamed of if it were made known publicly.

"Do not mix into the charity or into what you spend that that is corrupt." Do not spend the dope money for the progress of the society. Do not bring the money that you stole to the masjid. Don't give that which if it were to be made public, you would be ashamed to identify yourself in it.

This is the best religion. This is the pure religion. This is the perfect religion. There are no defects in it, so Allah says, Himself. Again Allah says, "And do good..." But the Arabic word for "good" also means excellence; that is, to come from one's refined side. It means to do that which will be appreciated by a people who are refined and decent, "Do good by others as Allah has been good by you. And do not spread corruption in the earth."

In the view of such clear Quranic teaching we see we are obligated as Muslims to present ourselves always in our Muslim form and to strive for more and more excellence in terms of the overall excellence of the human being. Your virtues, your moral side, your intelligence, your rational side, your social life, your political aspirations, and whatever the particular interest or concern may be: we are able and upright. Moreover, we are to be respectful of the good in the society, whether it be to the credit of Muslims or not.

As the community has done here under the able leadership of Imam Yahya Abdullah, Muslims are to cooperate with those who share those honorable concerns. Cooperate with those who want this same idea for human beings. Cooperate. We already have enough people on the enemy front. Why invite more enemies? That would be stupid. You have too many of those already to deal with, and many of those are right at home (African-American).

Our religion sensitizes us to grow in intelligence and to grow in virtues, to grow in appreciation for good common sense, and to grow in appreciation for common decency. That is what this world lacks most of all. That is what this land of plenty lacks most of all. And that is what we should be about. Our religion influences us to think before we leap, to plan before going out and getting ourselves involved in heavy activities. Do some planning. Putting it very simply, our religion teaches us to watch where we are going and to have light on the situation and circumstances.

Of the Prophet it is said that the revelation was given to him that he may bring us out of the "oppressive darkness" into the light. The world in darkness oppresses us. When we cannot see what we are doing or cannot see the circumstances around us, then there is no light on the situation. When it comes to race problems for our African-American people, we need light on the situation. Do not act impulsively. Let us have light on the situation.
(To be continued)