By Ashahed M. Muhammad
DETROIT—The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan called for urban renewal through an action-oriented strategy and work driven by a spirit of self-determination and desire to establish safe, industrious and productive Black communities during his annual Saviours’ Day keynote message here Feb. 21.
The crowd of over 16,000 at the legendary Joe Louis Arena cheered loudly, greeting Min. Farrakhan with a standing ovation as he returned to the city where the Nation of Islam in North America began.
“Detroit was the mecca of industrialization but it became the Mecca—the place where the knowledge and wisdom of the Original Man first started in this country when the Black man and woman of America who was lost, was now found,” he said.
His message, titled “Divine Instructions and Commands For 2016,” wrapped up the yearly Nation of Islam convention held to honor the birth of its founder, the Great Mahdi Master Fard Muhammad who began teaching Islam in the area known as “Black Bottom” on July 4, 1930.
“We (Black people) have been made into a great problem that only God can solve,” said Min. Farrakhan. “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said our problem is not a problem that can be solved by traditional methods or means, our problem is such that there has to be divine intervention and the offering of a divine solution that will enable us to come up once and for all out of the condition that being under 400 years of tyranny has made us,” he added.
Although he is known as a great orator, the Minister said he thought it might not be good to deliver another address, noting he has delivered words of profound guidance throughout the years. Now, he stressed, it is time to do something.
“You’ve got the teaching, what you need are the commands and the spirit to do after the command,” said Min. Farrakhan. “You are by nature soldiers. You just have not had commands to follow that would demonstrate the power that you possess!”
The Minister addressed police brutality and inordinate use of lethal force and attacks against Black women throughout his message. Min. Farrakhan recalled a time when he was a young minister in Harlem and the mosque was attacked by police. One of the police officers died. Min. Farrakhan, who was very popular in the city, was very angry at what the police had done. When the police chief came to meet with him, the Minister spoke with passion and told the chief, “we would bathe the city in blood.” He ordered all White policemen out of Harlem by sundown, and the chief complied.
While Muslims are commanded never to be the aggressor, he said, they are commanded to fight in Allah’s (God’s) name against those who attack them. If one is attacked and then God gives the person attacked the upper hand, “it is not wrong to take (the aggressor) off the planet,” he said.
There comes a time in life when one is forced into a position where “death is sweeter than to live under oppression,” said Min. Farrakhan.
“When your love is deep enough, you will lay down your life for what you love,” he added.
Later that he was summoned to Chicago by his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who “was not happy” about what he heard his young minister had told the police chief.
He asked his young minister: “How many of them did you kill?” When the Minister told him only one passed away, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Brother, never speak ahead of your actual power to do because if you speak ahead of your power to do and you are called to do and you cannot do, then your folly is laid bare as a big mouth with no substance,” said the Minister.