by Askia Muhammad
Washington Bureau Chief
MANILA, Philippines--Amid furious diplomatic
efforts to resolve the tense Persian Gulf crisis without more destruction and loss of
life, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam
has raised his voice in behalf of peace and an end to the suffering of the world's
innocent people, especially those in Iraq.
"I see myself as not just a Black American, and not
just a Muslim," Min. Farrakhan said at a press conference here, Feb. 8, the 24th
country on his World Friendship Tour III. "I see myself as a warner from God. The
nations are headed for total destruction if they continue on the path that they are
going." A Third World War, the Muslim leader insisted, is inevitable. Indeed, it has
already begun, and it could engulf the entire earth, the Minister warned. His job, Min.
Farrakhan said, is to call the world's rulers to pay attention to their government's
policies, and to listen to the cries of the people.
"Justice must replace injustice," the Nation of
Islam leader said, "and governing bodies must see that "might is not
right," but "right is might." Then I have discharged my duty, warning
America that she faces the same consequences as ancient Egypt, Babylon, Rome, and Sodom
and Gomorrah. America with all her power cannot win against Allah (God).
"My role is the role of a warner. The words that I
speak, no matter how insignificant I look, or seem, those words will come back to haunt
the kings and rulers of the Earth, because we are now at the threshold of the final
war," he said, likening his position to that of a "solo voice," when it
should resound as a part of a "chorus" of opposition to wrong-headed policies
made by arrogant world leaders, especially those in the U.S.
"We will do everything we can to utilize our power,
communications and mass media," the Muslim leader told reporters in Sharjah, United
Arab Emirates, "to let the American people know the truth" about
"oppressive U.S. policies toward Iraq, and (to) foil its attempts to strike against
the Iraqi people."
"They keep moving the goal-posts," he said,
explaining that whenever Iraq has complied with the provisions of United Nations Security
Council resolutions over the last seven years, further demands are added.
"Persecution is worse than slaughter and the West is persecuting Iraq," Min.
Farrakhan said, referring to an Ayat (verse) in the Holy Qur'an.
The Nation of Islam leader urged both Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein, and U.S. President Bill Clinton to work and find a solution to the
mounting crisis over access by United Nations arms inspectors to Iraqi presidential sites,
which have been made off-limits to the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM). American and
British UN officials insist that dangerous biological and chemical weapons are hidden at
the sites UNSCOM is prohibited from inspecting.
Min. Farrakhan also called on Iranian President Muhammad
Khatami and other leaders of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to send urgent
letters to President Clinton, calling on him not to strike against Iraq.
"I am not an anti-American," the Nation of Islam
leader said in answer to a reporter's question. "It is the country of my birth and I
love my country. But I do hate the American policies which are not for the benefit of the
Min. Farrakhan believes that America is "too great a
power to use her awesome might to make an example of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi
people" in an effort to frighten other world leaders and nations into thinking that
they must please the American administration, according to a source in the Muslim leader's
World Tour delegation.
"If I as an individual, am able to weaken U.S.
policies," Min. Farrakhan said, "then that is clear evidence that such policies
are actually very weak." On the other hand, Min. Farrakhan said, �I hope that Saddam
Hussein will find a solution to ease his problem. I ask (the Iraqi president) to find a
solution and not give the American government a pretext to bomb Iraq."
If Islamic history, the Holy Qur'an, and the Sunnah of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) are a precedent, according to Islamic scholars, and a tactical
retreat by Iraq's President at this time might not constitute a total loss, despite the
possible appearance of a "loss of face" in the political showdown with President
Sura 48 of the Holy Qur'an-"The
Victory"--describes the Hudaibiyah Truce, in which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) negotiated
a compromise, even though many of his companions wanted to fight.
The ensuing peace and the resulting cessation of the
persecution of Prophet Muhammad and his followers, permitted a season of great Islamic
development and growth, rather than giving the enemies of Islam a pretext for war against
a contingent that was weak from years of persecution and flight from Mecca. "Baghdad
is in the focus of the world," Min. Farrakhan told a press conference, "because
the clouds of war hover over this great city, and the winds of war are threatening not
only this city and the nation, but the entire region, which could lead to war that could
engulf the entire world."
While in the Philippines, the Nation of Islam leader urged
cooperation for the good of the nation, between Muslims--most of whom reside on southern
islands in the now-Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which settled a
24-year-insurgency by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1996--and the
Christian-dominated central government.
Min. Farrakhan was greeted on his arrival at the Manila
Airport by Mindanao Governor Nur Misuari, who led the victorious MNLF struggle. During his
visit, the Nation of Islam leader also had meetings with President Fidel Ramos, and with
Jose de Venecia, the powerful Speaker of the House.
[Photo: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (left) greets
Bangladeshi Muslims after Friday Jumah (congregation) prayer Feb. 6 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Min. Farrakhan was invited to Bangladesh by the International Islamic Representation
Organization and met with religious and political leaders.]
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