by Askia Muhammad
Washington Bureau Chief
[Editor'snote: Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, the leader of the Libyan
Jamahariya, recentlywas interviewed by a delegation of Black newspaper publishers from
America.The Black publishers were in the North African country to investigate the affects
of UN-imposed sanctions on Libya. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, publisher of The
Final Call, was part of the delegation, during a stop on his World Friendship Tour. The
following is a transcript of the interview with Col. Qadhafi.]
Question (Q): How has the imposition of economic and political sanctionsaffected the
people and development of Libya?
Colonel Muammar Qadhafi (MQ): I guess the answer now lies
with the representativeof the Secretary General of the United Nations, who I believe just
leftthe (Libyan Arab) Jamahariya and who acquainted himself with the injusticeand the
damages that were inflicted upon the Libyan Arab people, whichare unfair and unjust
because of the sanctions which were unfairly andunjustly imposed on Libya. He will submit
a report to the Secretary General,and you will be able to acquaint yourself with this
Q: There have been reports in the United States that
you may givea billion dollars to Black groups, or to the Nation (of Islam), I'm notsure.
Would you please put that on the record for clarification?
MQ: We are committed to give our support and confidence to
the Nation of Islam in America led by my dear brother and friend, Mr. Louis Farrakhan.This
help and assistance is not expressed and manifested in numbers, becauseit is not an
account in a bank and it is not a kind of a loan. We givesupport and confidence that is
unlimited and unwavering and it is the responsibilityor the problem of those who want to
translate this kind of aid and assistanceinto numerical figures.
Q: How great has the affect of sanctions been on the
people of Libya?What can the people of America do to convince our government to lift
MQ: First thing, I don't believe that the American people have any
influence in affecting the American policy because the system in America is a
dictatorship.Because all the establishment, namely the White House, the CIA, the
Pentagon,the National Security Council and the foreign affairs (State Department),all of
these establishments rule and ... they (American public) only knowthe world through the
American newspapers. These newspapers are ruled andgoverned by hostile, racist circles.
Hostile to the Blacks, hostile toIslam, hostile to the Arabs. Most of them are under the
Zionist controland hegemony. The Zionists hate the Arabs from the racial point of viewand
from the ethnic point of view. For this reason the American peopledon't know the truth. If
you ask them, "How do you know Qadhafi? Howdid you come to know Qadhafi?" They
will answer, that they knew fromCNN or The Washington Post.
Q: You've been known as a revolutionary all over the
world. You helpedsupport the African National Congress and Nelson Mandela a long time
ago,while the American government supported apartheid. How does it make youfeel, looking
back in history, knowing that you were on the right sideof history?
MQ: First of all it was considered a historical defeat to
America andall the blocs that were giving support to this apartheid regime. It hasalso
given credibility to what is mentioned in The Green Book, that "theBlacks will
prevail in the world."
Q: How can the Black newspaper publishers that are
helping to promotethe cause-we're at a great sacrifice to tell your story-how can we be
mutuallybeneficial when we tell your story?
MQ: You should have correspondents stationed here in
Libya, so theycan understand and take the truth right from Libya and it can be
publishedover there (America). Consequently, you will be able and in a positionto help
contribute to the enlightenment of the American people of the Libyanquestion or the Libyan
issue. This is considered also in the interest ofthe American people because it will help
them to know the truth. Truly,the American people are imprisoned by these imperialist
circles that Ijust mentioned. There is a body in Libya called the Department of
ExternalInformation, responsible for that. You conclude an agreement with thisDepartment
so you will be in a position to have a permanent correspondenthere for your newspapers.
There are correspondents in Libya (who can be)working for you, or you can send your own
correspondents to be stationedhere.
Q: I was watching television and I saw a program about
the need forthe Arabs to unite with Africa, and you have held many conferences on
thissubject. Why is it important for you to achieve Arab-African unity?
MQ: I think the Arabs and the Africans are a people who
are connectedto each other more than any other people. Half of Africa are Arabs. Halfof
Africa are Muslims. The African continent when we look at it, we findthat the Arabs and
the Africans and the Arab Muslims are integrated together.It is very evident in the
African continent. This creates a common destiny.It also creates common enemies. For this
reason we should be united todetermine our common self-determination, and to face this
common enemytogether, united. Just a point. The Arabs and the Blacks are very muchkindred
and related together, more than any other peoples. In Asia, wedon't have Blacks. In
Europe, we don't have Blacks either. In America,they know Blacks as slaves brought from
Africa to work there. But the Blacks(Africans) and the Arabs live together on one
territory, on one land.
Q: I don't believe-especially in light of what you've
just said,in light of what's written in The Green Book-that you or anyone under
yourauthority would order a bomb to be placed somewhere that is frequentedby Black
soldiers, yet the American (National Security Agency) has takenthe unprecedented step of
releasing what they say are "super secret"transmissions that they recorded from
a Libyan embassy that they say, giveorders for the Berlin disco bombing. Please tell us
that it's not so.
MQ: Yes. The minute that it is said that there are Black
soldiers, theaccusation would be far away from Libya.
Q: How has Abdel Gamal Nasser affected your life? What
has been yourdriving force, to keep you so strong, and to keep your people full of
thespirit of love, and never weakening?
MQ: As regards Abdel Nasser, when we were young, Abdel
Nasser at thetime was leading the battle against imperialism, against colonialism, forthe
liberation of Africa, for the unity of Africa, for the independenceof Africa, for the
unity of the Arab world, against Zionism, against apartheid,racial discrimination. We felt
very touched by these noble principles andvery affected and very moved. As regards part
two of your question, since1977, I handed over the power to the people. We seized power,
and thenwe handed the authority and the power to the people on the second of March1977.
For these reasons, the Libyan people have no opposition in politicsor in authority or in
power because they wield power. They are in power.My all-out objective and goal is to
instigate and inspire the masses andthe people to govern themselves and to reach
authority. What is takingplace in the world is just the opposite. The rulers are using
power againstthe people to reach authority.
Q: Would you tell us how the Jamahariya has affected
the health statusof the Libyan people. What are the major accomplishments in the
MQ: We have a system which is called the Health Security
Insurance.There is also free medical treatment. The only country that has (free)medical
treatment is Libya.
Q: Last year we observed in the military units, women
soldiers, whichis widely discussed in America, but is particularly unusual in a
Muslimcountry. What is the status of women in Islam in Libya, and the treatmentof women in
Islam in Libya?
MQ: Islam is not a hindrance upon a people, upon mankind
so that theyare not free. Besides, and moreover, Islam does not differentiate betweenman
and woman. These are all sanctions that were made up after man-maderegimes and systems.
Even in the creation of Eve and Adam, they were withoutclothes, or naked in Paradise.
These veils and the coverings came afterward,sanctions that were brought up afterward.
They were not there in the beginning.What happened is that women were exploited in the
name of Islam. But Islamis free of that. They exploited and misused Islam. On Judgment
Day, Allah(God) does not differentiate between male and female, man and woman. Allahlooks
upon us as human beings, mankind. Allah sees our deeds. He does notlook to our complexion,
to our clothes. Furthermore, the Islamic womanshould be strong. She should be trained so
that she can defend herself,she can defend her religion, she can defend Islam. She is
strong to defendthe home, the house of Islam, to defend Islam. When she is
well-trained,and when she is a pilot, and when she is an officer, she can do that. Thisis
what is taking place in Libya.
Q: Today, you are in need-yourself and Libya-of support
from manyother countries to fight against the sanctions that this great countryis facing.
How many from the so-called Arab leaders and countries, andof course African countries you
have helped, come to support this causeof removing the sanctions, apart from the Honorable
MQ: This is a very important question. This is the first
time that thispolicy has been heard. We were trying to make it public (but) we couldn'tsay
it loudly. So it comes from our brother to speak publicly like that.There is no doubt that
the Libyan Arab people incurred upon themselvesa great sacrifice for the sake of the
African people and the sake of theArab property, for the people of the world and the
Muslims-at-large. Thereis no people who are fighting, struggling for their just cause that
theLibyan Jamahariya did not give comfort to, after the Revolution. As a matterof fact,
the Libyan Arab people are waiting for the support of these peoplenow that the Libyan Arab
people are facing this confrontation. And now,what you witnessing, my dear Brother Louis
Farrakhan, the Nation of Islamin America, he is taking the risk to come to Libya because
he feels thatthe time is now for the Nation of Islam and the Blacks in America shouldcome
and support Libyan Arab people in this ordeal. When we gave supportto the Nation of Islam
and Brother Elijah Muhammad at that time, we didn'texpect that a time would come and we
would be in need and difficulty, andexpecting our brothers, the Blacks, the Nation of
Islam to come and supportus and give us help in the time of need.
And now the world is hearing the voice of Nelson Mandela
saying thattime is now right, that time has come that we should repay the good favorthat
Libya has done for the peoples of the world who have been fightingto gain their liberty
and independence. When there was injustice and apartheidagainst the South African people,
Libya gave support and help, and nowit's time to pay back the help and support, because
Libya is in need ofthat now.
Q: Libya contributed hundreds of millions of dollars
and aided Palestinein many other aspects. You ordered the Palestinians who were living
andworking in Libya to leave and go back to their country, when you knew thatthey could
not go there. Why did you do that? And what is their status?
MQ: First of all, all of them have returned back to Libya.
Indeed, thereare thousands of Palestinian people living in Libya as refugees. They cameup
with this story that agreement had been reached, recognition had beenexchanged, and the
issue of Palestine had been solved. Abu Ammar (YasserArafat) said (Palestinian refugees)
were able to come back; we said, "Okay.If the case is like that, Abu Ammar said the
refugees can go back. Thoserefugees from 1948 and from 1967, they should be in the same
position tocome back to their own homeland, as others did so."
We said to them: "Thank God that the issue has been
solved andthe question has been resolved, and it is not good that you should be
refugeesfor the rest of your life, so you should go back to your own homeland."When
they did so, and went to the border-line with Egypt, they stoppedthere and they refused to
go because they were told they don't have landand the issue is not solved. They made a
We said to the world, "Didn't you tell us that the
problem of thePalestine people had been solved? Look, the Palestinian people are
stillliving in camps and tents. They are at the border." By this action,truth has
been exposed before the world because it has been a lie, andit was exposed in the eyes of
the world. It has been clear and evidentthat the (Israeli) occupation is still in
existence, is still there, andPalestinians, all of them, are still under occupation, still
occupied.Palestine of 1948 and Palestine of 1967 is still under occupation, andnobody can
go there. And this is what has been recently emphasized by (IsraeliPrime Minister
Benjamin) Netanyahu himself.
Q: From the Libyan perspective, what can be done to end
sanctionsbefore the end of this century?
MQ: There is nothing from the Libyan side because these
sanctions areimposed by America upon the Security Council. It is the responsibilityof the
Security Council to find ways and means to lift these American sanctions.Because now the
problem is between America and the United Nations SecurityCouncil.
Q: What do you think about our President of the United
States, Mr.Clinton, as opposed to the earlier Presidents, Ronald Reagan and GeorgeBush?
MQ: My view, vis-a-vis Clinton, is clear and evident and
the whole worldknows it, and he himself (Mr.) Clinton knows about it. We don't hate him.We
consider him a good man. The poor man has been overwhelmed. He has beenbesieged or
encircled by terrorists (and people who) are very deceptive.But he himself is a good man.
But he cannot achieve what he wants.
We want to hear from you!
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