December 1997

Editor's note: The following text is a speech
delivered December 10, 1997 by Min. Farrakhan in Baghdad, Iraq.

Blood of the
Farrakhan calls for lifting of
Iraqi sanctions


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

IN THE SIXTH CENTURY, civilization teetered on the brink of disaster. Mankind had left the knowledge of self and were preying on each other like wild beasts in human form. The light of civilization was extinguished, and it appeared that no Prophet of God had ever appeared to the human family. Into this darkness, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born, to bring a new light from which a new civilization would come, for the benefit of all humanity.

Fifteen hundred years later, in spite of the advancement of science and technology, civilization once again teeters on the brink of disaster. It appears again that no Prophet of God ever appeared among the Muslims, the Christians or the Jews. There is no regard for the sanctity of human life. Killing humans is as easy as drinking water or breathing air. Into this darkness, we pray that the spirit of light and knowledge which came with Prophet Muhammad and the Prophets before him can cause us to experience a rebirth.

The greatest gift to human beings is Divine guidance. We pray that the message that God has put on our heart will bring guidance to this troubled world and this troubled situation.

Why are you in Baghdad, Minister Farrakhan? Baghdad is the focus of the world because the clouds of war hover over this great city, and the winds of war are threatening not only this city and nation, but this entire region and could lead to a war that could engulf the entire world.

Why Baghdad? Allah (God) brought me here. What better place to deliver a message of peace to the American administration and the American people? What better place to deliver a message of hope to the Iraqi government and people? What better place to deliver a message as a reminder of the Qur'an to the 54 nations and governments in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) now gathered in Tehran? What better place to deliver a message to Muslims, Christians and Jews? What better place than this, the birthplace of Abraham, the father of the three monotheistic religions, to deliver a message of peace to the troubled children of Abraham?

The United States of America is at the pinnacle, as the only remaining superpower, leading the world in military, economic and cultural influence, as well as scientific and technological advancement. Allah says in the Qur'an, "Every people has a turn at ruling, and God will see how they will act." It is Allah who has brought America to the pinnacle of power and success. The rise and fall of nations is determined by obedience to, or transgression from, immutable laws and principles. A nation that has power, wealth and influence can become blind if that nation becomes arrogant.

The question for America is: "How will America act at the pinnacle?" For America will not be judged by Allah for her technological advancement; she will not be judged by Allah for her enormous stockpile of weapons or her institutions of higher learning. She will be judged by how she acts toward other nations, particularly those weaker in power and influence, and those which are less fortunate.

Since the end of the Cold War, America is struggling to adjust to the reality of her unique historical position. A great debate is raging in America. There are some who believe that the only way that America can remain at the pinnacle is to use her awesome power and influence to force weaker nations to bow to her will. But there are others who are saying that the only way America can maintain her position at the pinnacle of civilization is to help the less fortunate through her blessings to become stronger and better, to increase the quality of life of the less fortunate nations. At this point, however, those who favor the bullying of smaller or weaker nations seem to be prevailing.

We believe that America stands in need of a moral awakening. But who and what will cause the moral awakening of America? Allah says in the Qur'an: "He will raise a party from among you that will enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil." But will America listen to a small group of persons who would call her to what is right?

The 54 nations that are gathered in Tehran represent the entire Muslim world, and they have a moral duty to America and the West. What is that duty? Allah says in the Qur'an: "You are the best nation raised up for men. You enjoin good and forbid evil, and you believe in Allah."

This is the Islamic Nation's duty to America? You must enjoin good, and you must forbid evil. But to do this you have to speak with the voice of unity, otherwise you have no appeal. If the Islamic world speaks with one voice, America will listen, the West will listen.

In America, some of the most powerful companies are those that sell insurance to individuals, selling them protection against fire, theft, earthquake, floods, or loss. Muslim governments are now buying insurance, or security from the West at the cost of deviation from the principles that would allow us to unite and remain united. Allah says in the Qur'an: "I am the grantor of security and I am the best of protectors."

If we come back to the path of Allah, we have assurance, we have insurance, and we have security. This will make the Muslim world the moral rudder to the ship of civilization that has lost its way. The Muslim world then can perform its duty to America and the West, which is to guide to that which is best, and to forbid that which is wrong.

AMERICA IS LEADING THE WORLD today in a campaign against terrorism. Terrorism is described as acts of violence that take the lives of innocent men, women and children for political purposes. Those who engage in acts of terrorism do so because they see no redress for their grievances in the halls of justice that have been set up to give justice to those who are aggrieved.

All acts of violence for political purposes against the innocent must cease. If the Muslim world unites, then our voice will be heard and there will be no need for any Muslim individual or group to engage in such activity. If we become the voice of all who are deprived of justice, they will have no need to engage in the killing of innocent people to achieve political ends. Our unity on the basis of the Holy Qur'an is the end of all acts of terror.

In this regard, sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction and should be viewed by the nations as the greatest form of terrorism, for sanctions kill the innocent to achieve a political end. Since the conclusion of the Gulf War, 1.4 million lives have been lost in Iraq. If you take that total of lives lost as a percentage against the total Iraqi population and compare that loss, percentage-wise, to the population of America, if similar sanctions were imposed on America, her losses would total 18 million people. How can we remain silent in the face of this slaughter? What nation has suffered more than 10 times as many losses after the war was over than during the war?

Would any Muslim like to be charged by God with being an accomplice to murder because we remain silent in the face of this slaughter? Allah says in the Qur'an: "Persecution is worse than slaughter." Therefore, all civilized nations must reject terrorism in all its forms as evil, and the Muslim nations must forbid what is evil and guide to what is best! Therefore, we are asking the representatives of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to call on United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to urge the lifting of U.N. sanctions on Iraq, Libya, and the Sudan, and to call on Britain and the United States to lift sanctions against Iran, Nigeria, Cuba, and North Korea.

The OIC must demand of the Secretary General of the United Nations that the two Libyan nationals charged with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, be tried in a neutral country, that their guilt or innocence may be ascertained. The families of the victims deserve closure to this, and certainly the Libyan people should not suffer if there has been no proof in a court of law that her citizens are guilty of such act. Sanctions should be lifted from Libya because innocent people should not suffer these acts of terror for political purposes.

The U.N. must not be the instrument of the foreign policy objectives of the only remaining superpower. If the UN fails to respond to the OIC, then the Muslim world must act and defy these sanctions. Some may say: "But the West will use its power against us." But there is a verse in the Bible that says: "Let the Kings of the East dry up the River Euphrates." The Kings of the East cannot dry up the water in the River Euphrates, but there is a river that the West depends on, which the Kings of the East can dry up.

I call on the world, from this Cradle of Civilization, to cry out against this reign of terror. Member nations of the OIC should contribute to build a center in Mecca that features an Institute For The Resolution of Conflict among Muslim states and organizations that never again should Muslims shed the blood of Muslims.

As America and the West are entering the Christmas season, where the celebration of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace is heralded, the theme at Christmas is "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men." As we, the Muslims, are entering the Holy Month of Ramadan, where we sacrifice things that are natural to attain closeness to God --feeding the orphans, the widows and the needy--what better season to appeal to the nations for peace?

The American people stood against the killing of children in Vietnam by United States forces. Some even sang in the streets of America: "Hey, Hey, LBJ, LBJ, how many Vietnamese children have you killed today?" President Clinton, in your youth you had the moral courage to oppose the war in Vietnam. Would you want history to write of you as the killer of babies through sanctions? Where is your courage today?

I believe it is time for the American administration to sit down with President Saddam Hussein to begin a dialogue. Knowing that each party has terms for peace, sit down and reason together and determine what is just. If we follow the course of justice, peace will surely follow.

The 21st century can be a century of peace, if we move back the clouds of war. President Clinton said he wanted to build a bridge to the 21st century. Will it be bridge over a river of blood, revolution and war; or can we build a bridge over these troubled waters toward peace?

If you, Mr. Clinton, cannot hear my appeal because I am a Muslim, a descendant of slaves, and Black, will you listen to His Holiness the Pope, who has called for a political solution to the problems of Iraq and has called for an end to sanctions? I hope that as His Holiness goes to Cuba, that the bridge of reconciliation that he builds will affect your policy toward that nation.

In closing, let me say to the Muslims from the Qur'an: "And hold fast by the covenant of Allah, all together, and be not disunited. And remember Allah's favor to you when you were enemies, then He united your hearts, so, by His favor you became brethren. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes clear to you His Messages that you may be guided."

To the American people, I know that some in my country will say: "Farrakhan is a traitor, and we should try him for treason for giving aid and comfort to our enemies." However, if Mother Teresa or Lady Diana came to Baghdad and went to the Saddam Hussein Hospital for Children, and cradled a baby dying for the lack of medicine due to sanctions, you would call her a Saint. But because I am a descendant of slaves, because I am a Muslim, and because I appear to be defiant, some will say that I should be dealt with harshly.

I am not defiant. I am obedient to God's command. I feel the pain and the suffering of my Muslim brothers and sisters, wherever they suffer on this Earth, and I feel the pain of human beings wherever they suffer. As a servant of God and an emissary of peace should I not feel the pain of those who suffer and visit them and offer them comfort?

Sometimes the most patriotic citizens are those who love their country enough to stand against the will of their leaders, if they believe the will of their leaders is wrong. A Canadian woman stood up against the destruction and maiming of innocent life by land mines. A few days ago, 125 nations signed a treaty against the use of such weapons. As a citizen of the United States I have a duty to America, but my first duty is to God. I have a duty to all humanity, whether they are Muslims or not. As it is written in the Qur'an as a command for me and for all Muslims: "Keep your duty to Allah as it ought to be kept, and die not unless you are Muslim."

The new century can be a century of peace. May Allah (God) grant the President of the United States the desire to please God. May Allah grant the people of Iraq and all those who suffer under sanctions to remain steadfast in faith, and remember that after difficulty comes ease. May Allah grant us the ability to remove the scales from the eyes of the spiritual leaders of the world, that we will give direction to the Caesars of the world, that we may render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and render under God what is God's.

As I return to the United States in the future, will you receive me as one who has grown up in your midst by the Power of God to bring peace to your land and to the world? Will you see me as a great emissary of peace, born from you, and a blessing to you from God? Or will you receive me as a villain, an enemy? Will you receive me as some wicked person and deal with me thusly? The choice is yours.

Whatever is your decision, I will come home to face it; but I say, with all humility, God and the nations are watching how you act.

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