From The Final Call Newspaper

The Challenge of LEADERSHIP in a Time of World Crisis

By Askia Muhammad Senior Editor @askiaphotojourn

[Editor’s note: The following text is excerpted from a message by Minister Louis Farrakhan April 14, 2002 at Mosque Maryam in Chicago.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

The subject matter that I wanted to deal with today is the characteristic that is necessary in leadership in a time of world crisis. No one who is here today—listening and watching television and listening to the news or reading the newspapers—is not aware that we are definitely in a time of great world crisis. The world leaders that we look to for leadership are actually demonstrating bankruptcy in the qualities of leadership that are necessary in a time of crisis.

Minister Louis Farrakhan

This book, Qur’an, is called Al-Nur, The Light. Not a light—THE LIGHT. Without light there can be no revolution. Without light there can be no change. All growth must be preceded by the presence of light, for darkness represents no time, no growth—death. The Bible teaches us, “A people walked in darkness, gross darkness the people.” But then it says, “Upon them hath the light shined.” Once light strikes, the energy that is in the light causes matter to move in accordance with the law of light. Anytime light strikes you, then it forces you to move and to change. So this book, Al-Nur, is a book that produces revolution. Not the cheap kind of revolution that you see in the world where people say I’m a revolutionary with a gun in their hand. The revolutionary with the gun in his hand will take down one government only to replace it with the same thing that he is destroying.

Revolution signifies complete change. This book, Qur’an, is to bring about complete change—transformation in the heart, mind, soul and spirit of the human being. Once this book becomes the light of our lives and the example of the Prophet (Muhammad) becomes the light of our lives—not the way he wore his beard, not the way he wore his garment, not the dye that he put in his hair, that is superficial and the Prophet was not superficial and you cannot represent him in superficiality—you must address him inwardly and then dress yourselves in his character and in the way he handled the problems of his day, because the cyclical nature of history will confront us and we will be confronted with some of the same things that the Prophet was confronted with. Not knowing how he acted but knowing how he dressed will cause you to dress like him but not act like him; therefore, you will not address the problems of your time properly.

We are in a time of great problems and the solution has already been given. But the Qur’an says that they in leadership would no longer take this book (Qur’an) as their guide. They would put it behind their back. If the light is behind your back, then what is guiding your footsteps? If this book is ancient stories, unworthy of us to study it to find answers to today’s problems, then what are you following? You are following the world and its science, the world and its philosophy, the world and its precepts. But Allah (God), the Eternal and the All Wise, we have put Him behind our back.

If the leaders in the world of Islam have put the Light, the Qur’an, behind their backs, then they are leading their people by the precepts and doctrines of men, and the people can never be satisfied with the doctrines of men. Once they have come to call themselves Muslims, they don’t want to hear what men have to say. They want to hear what Allah has to say, what God has to say. It is the same with Christians. You want to hear what did Christ have to say.

I want to be the follower of God following the example of the prophets whom He raised to give us guidance. Having said that, I looked at President Bush in a time of world crisis. I wrote him a letter and I’m going to quote a portion of that letter for you because I felt that he needed guidance. I felt that he needed counsel. You say, how arrogant can you be? I’m not being arrogant. But Allah (God) can guide whom He pleases. He can take a slave and give him guidance for a master. He can take one that was a fool and give him guidance for the so-called wise, and that becomes a test for the hearer. Is he humble enough to listen?

Osama bin Laden, they say, is guilty of sending terrorists to bomb the World Trade Center, and, most Americans and people of the world have been herded like sheep into believing that without proof. I said to the President that, Mr. bin Laden and no Muslim leader could call for Jihad and make it happen. There is no Muslim leader on the earth that has that power of the Khalifah or the Khalif to call for, and actually have, a Holy War. They call for it with their mouths but there is no answer.

I said, but you, President Bush, are in a position of power like no human being has been in since Adam. And if you make the wrong moves, you can bring one billion, eight hundred million Muslims into anger against the United States of America. You have that power. You are right to go after those who bombed the World Trade Center. But, I said to him, Allah (God) has shown me what is in your mind. If you pursue what you have in your mind, the coalition will fall apart. The Muslim world will rise in anger against America. Even England will back out on you. And whatever you do, you will have to do it alone; and you will run into something that you had not counted on and Armageddon will be on.

I told him this in late November or sometime in December. He never answered. He sent Vice President (Dick) Cheney into the Muslim world to ask them to back America in their desire to destroy Saddam Hussein. The whole Muslim world turned him down. The other day, however, in a press conference at his farm in Crawford, Texas, he and Prime Minister (Tony) Blair were together and the President said, “It is the policy of this administration to remove Saddam Hussein from power.” I did not say it. He said it.

Since when has it ever been the policy of an administration of the United States openly to remove another man in another country from power when you’ve got 15 million or more homeless people in America? Where is your policy for the homeless? Where is your policy for the weak and the hungry that go to bed every night without adequate food in a land of plenty? Where is your policy to put the American people who are out of jobs to work? Where is your policy to give decent health care to the American people who don’t have adequate health care? That’s what the American people want to hear.

If the policy of his administration is to remove a man from power, and in order to do it he has to use the patriotic spirit of the armed forces of America, then young lives will be lost on an outlaw adventure that is not supported by the United Nations (or) by international law. It is supported by an executive order that he signed, but the executive order of the government of the United States of America is not binding in an international forum. If he does this, the innocent lives of American soldiers that are lost … and the innocent lives of Iraqi people that die, then he will be a war criminal. But what court will be strong enough to try the President of the United States as a war criminal? Only God, and the power of God.

In an hour like this when there is so much patriotic zeal, one would be afraid to speak a word that would cause somebody to say he or she is un-patriotic. But, to be patriotic is to conform to the meaning of the root of that word. The word patri means father. The Founding Fathers of this nation laid in the Constitution and in the Bill of Rights and in the [Declaration of Independence] words that we cannot ignore in an hour like this. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Toward these ends governments are instituted among men” for the preservation of these rights.

That’s what a government is for, to preserve the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Whenever a government’s policies and practices are counter to life, counter to liberty and counter to the pursuit of happiness, somebody who is patriotic should stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” But even deeper than this, Christians say, when they asked Jesus, teach us how to pray and he said, pray on this wise: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The highest form of patriotism is to recognize the Father and recognize His Will. In the time of the Apostles, according to the New Testament, they were forced to answer the question, “Shall I obey God or shall I obey man?” You and I are in that valley of decision today. Will you obey Allah (God) or will we be so afraid of men that we will obey men and excuse ourselves from the higher duty to obey Allah (God)?

When the President of the United States said his policy was to remove Saddam Hussein, I’m not with that. But, not only am I not with that, I’m not going to be in a hole somewhere whispering that I’m not with that. What kind of leader are you? Will you be somewhere hiding in a hole talking about you’re not with that? Or will you stand up like a man and like a woman in an hour like this?

The prophets did not lie when they saw blood up to the horse’s bridle. That’s not just over there (Israel), that’s here. If you don’t try to stop it over there, then the same thing you see over there will be at your doorstep. I have met the leaders of Hamas. I have met the leaders of Hezbollah. I have met the Palestinians who are called extremists and I have met with Chairman Arafat. I have met with Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gadhafi, Omar Bashir of the Sudan, the President of Syria, the rulers of the Emirates. I’m very respected in that area of the world. Not because they agree with everything that I say, but as they saw in my brother (Muhammad Ali) a champion, they see the same in me.

I’m not before you because I’m seeking some kind of self-aggrandizement. I was born. I will die. I soon will be 70 years of age. I thank Allah (God). He kept me alive because I yet have work to do. The Bible says there will be a time of trouble like there never was since there was a time and a nation. And in that day Michael, the Archangel, will stand for his people. Stand! Stand! Michael will stand in a time of trouble. What were the others doing in the time of trouble? They were lying down.

When Jesus went to the cross, the disciples didn’t go with him. They fled. They couldn’t stand in a time of trouble. You’ve walked with me, many of you, for 25 years. But the race is not to the swift. I don’t know what the results will be but I’m going to do everything in my power to stop this war. They may call me a terrorist. They may say that I’m anti-American. They may freeze bank accounts. It’s alright. The money has your face on it. You can have everything that I’ve got. It’s just me that you cannot have. I don’t belong to you.

I want to know, who will stand?