One On One with Dwayne Muhammad
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): As the Dean of boys at Muhammad University of Islam (MUI); mentoring, guiding, instructing and growing these New minds, how do you see yourself in this New World and the vision that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad set out before us in Our Saviour Has Arrived?
Dwayne Muhammad (DM): I see some of what the children need based on prior knowledge from the parents and watching them. I know that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is taking us on a path and journey that may be strange to an extent, to the inexperienced. However, when I watch the children, knowing that they’re not mine, it requires study. Therefore, I’ve been picking up the books to find what Minister Farrakhan would be pleased with in terms of what we offer them. Our children are growing up so fast. They’re much more mature than we were at that age, so it requires study. When considering the children, you want to present things in the proper manner; you want to be exactly what you’re trying to present.
We have activities set up for the children such as martial arts and military drill, for example. I’m a bit partial to martial arts, drill and the physical aspects of what we offer here at Muhammad University of Islam, and if you look at little boys you’ll see that they have an affinity towards that as well. I can always come through that avenue and teach them something about what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wants them to have, and it’s an awesome thing, because he says in A Torchlight for America that you have to provide avenues by which young boys can express themselves or they become destructive, just as we see today with crime coming out of the Black community. I keep them busy in that way, and those are the moments when you’ll see them perk up; when they’re involved in something physical. Yet, in teaching the physical there is always a spiritual component, and I’m always looking for that opportunity. The Military Drill is the time when they can express themselves. That’s the time when the face changes and they look like men. I try not to allow an opportunity to arise when the moment they can express themselves as men is challenged. That’s our moment.
We require that the boys fight. We train them and we have them match their skills against one another. It’s not a light weight thing, and some people are more partial to the academics, but when you’re dealing with little boys you have to give them that physical component. They have to be physical. Minister Farrakhan says, “You build businesses but you don’t build armies, and someone comes along and takes what you’ve built”. That’s how I see our young men.
Our young men have to be soldiers. Our young men have to fight. I don’t know what Allah has put in me, but I can’t receive peace of mind when a child can’t defend himself. I’m striving to become more spiritual in delivering that to the children, but I push the fighting aspect, the building facet of self, and the development of the being the protector of family. I love that. I’m not one who does not have a feminine side, nor am I unacquainted with a spiritual side. I am a tailor. I’m pretty good at it, as I’ve been told, and I’m compassionate to the needs of women and our little girls. When I see our young brothers and the unequal maturity factor between them and the girls, I worry about the sisters. The young girls are growing fast and we have to produce a group of men that will be their equal or be the ones who will take leadership and control of our young sisters.
EM: Yes sir, thank you.
As you were speaking I thought about the Educational Conference that the Nation of Islam hosts every year, those that I’ve attended and did not attend, as a great opportunity to introduce your vision and what you are doing right now to the entire world. I know that you go out into the community and to other schools as well, therefore, what are your thoughts about introducing your vision, as it relates to the vision of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to the world through this year’s Educational Conference; to introduce the building of self as men, just as you stated, to these young boys. It will equip them physically, yet mentally as well. I believe this would be a wonderful opportunity to equip other instructors as well as parents who home school.
DM: When I joined the Nation of Islam that’s what I was looking for. I didn’t have an understanding of what was happening, but I knew the men that I saw represented strength. If it be the will of Allah, at this year’s Educational Conference, we’re going to lay that out. Our girls need men. The importance of delivering that type of statement to the community and other schools is very important. I don’t believe other school systems would reject a message like that and even the implementation of such a program in their schools. When I joined the Nation of Islam and Grand Master Anthony Muhammad was presented as the trainer of the Nation of Islam, I attached myself to him and he attached himself to me (laughs) and I’m coming to find out now that he put in me not just a love for the physical art but the desire to want to be right.
I’ve said once that when you join the Dojo you not only join a school that teaches you how to understand fighting, but you enter a spiritual component of the mosque. How could any school system, or anyone who understands the needs of boys, reject a message like that? The Educational Conference this year should be one of the major topics to discuss, because our boys are impacted. Crime against young girls is rising. Yet, the male is very important, because men tend to do more damage when they become destructive. Sometimes the female is the recipient of that destruction. It’s very important, Sister Ebony, and we need to present that at the Educational Conference, and we need to take that message to the community.
EM: I wholeheartedly agree sir, thank you.
You stated the energy of the boys need to be cultivated, and you made me think about the recent attacks on not only Black men but now our young Black boys. Just recently in Pearland, a suburb of Houston, a young boy and his friend were riding in their GoKart inside of their subdivision, and in caution of the cars on the road they got onto the side walk. Well, a Caucasian woman drove her SUV off of the road and ran into one of the boys in his GoKart. The reports say that he wasn’t severely injured; however the event itself has changed this boy for the rest of his life. His mother said he hasn’t been the same since. He doesn’t want to go outside.
How do you address issues like that, which may not take place in the school? How do you prepare the boys for those kinds of things that here at MUI that’s taking place out there at such a young age?
DM: Aside from the physical component, we teach the young boys etiquette on safety. In these classes there’s a portion on how to act abroad. There are behavior and conflict resolution classes. There are classes on male/female relationships. There are components that we have instituted that hopefully will germinate in the child’s life so that they can keep safe in the streets. Too often we see Black children in the community walking around in groups and they call them “gangs”. The boys have to be trained on how to behave. They have to make good decisions especially today, because the crime is just out of control in our community.
If you see a group of young men and women walking out on the street, where are the parents? MUI is striving to institute parenting classes. We have to teach our parents. You know this as an Auditor that when you get into Child Dianetics the parent is the problem. The parents have to conform as the children do. You’re not getting to the child if you’re not getting to the source of the problem. We know that sometimes the grandparents are raising the children, which is why we have so much going on in the Black community. Yet, we have to attack that problem.
I’m all for a boarding school. That was one of the things the Honorable Elijah Muhammad desired for Muhammad University of Islam. I believe that with a boarding school we can take the children and we can control the amount or type of information that surrounds them. However, going back to the parent, they need the same thing.
In coming out of this condition we have to take drastic measures. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in Message to the Blackman, spoke about the conditions and the solution as equal to what put us in that condition; a way up and a way out. We have to take control of the Black community. We have to have willing people. We have to have those who understand. Those who are willing and understand will be the ones apart of the new paradigm; the new shift.
EM: Thank you very much. You actually went into my next question regarding the parents. You’ve mentioned before about various ways you’ve gone above and beyond what would be considered your job description. Can you talk more about that and the impact it’s had on those households?
DM: Yes ma’am. First of all there has to be a contract between the teacher, child and the parent(s); an agreement. Once the agreement is made then everyone knows what to expect, even the child. The parent is the most important when you’re talking about educating the child. I’ve heard Minster Farrakhan say that when your son or daughter comes home teach them again.
The parents whom I’ve visited…well when you get involved in this type of work Sister Ebony, they’ll call you over to the house (laughs). They’ll call you after hours. Our children are brilliant, but they’re left alone too often; that idle mind or that creative mind tends to get them into trouble. Sometimes the fathers not at home, therefore, they (the children) look for men at Muhammad University of Islam. I have to say that we have a core of, what I consider to be, strong men here at the school unraveled by anything at the public school, and I’ve been almost everywhere. Due to the absence of men in the home, the mothers are reaching out, “I need for you to talk to him”. So this will bring you to the house of a child. I’ve been fortunate to do just that due to the respect and the relationship I have with the child to bring some closure to the situation that the mother can’t necessarily affect. This is necessary. The uncles, friends and those who care have to step in and help the boys and help the mothers and help the fathers or in the absence of the father.
EM: Thank you very much for sharing your experience and vision. May Allah continue to bless you.
DM: It was my honor.
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