The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Nation of Islam:
The Relentless Record of Hate
(March 1994 -- March 1995)


In 1995 we enter a second decade of media attention focused on Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. During the mid-1980s, coverage of the black Muslim organization primarily centered around Farrakhan's hideous, often violent pronouncements against Jews, whites, Christians and homosexuals. But in more recent years, as the Nation of Islam has steadily expanded in both size and influence, stories in the press suggest that NOI has lost its edge, become more mainstream, and has even emerged as a legitimate representative of a large segment of the black community.

There have been several attempts by NOI to sanitize its public image. For the past few years, NOI has promoted the activities of several security companies it operates, claiming they have eliminated drugs and crime from public housing projects. In Washington, DC, it has constructed a treatment clinic that promises to deliver a cure for AIDS. NOI recently purchased tracts of farmland in Georgia, along with a fleet of trucks it claims will transport farm-fresh vegetables to stores in black communities. And a restaurant complex built on Chicago's South Side with money donated by NOI members was opened to the public in late February. "This is a blueprint for economic development and investment in our neglected communities," Farrakhan announced at the restaurant opening.

Such economic exploits make it possible for the Nation of Islam to distract onlookers from the group's message of bigotry. They help to cultivate an image for Farrakhan as a leader who deeply cares for the welfare of blacks, and who is encouraging the principles of economic self-help. But Farrakhan's rhetoric tells a different tale, and reveals a frightening agenda. Press reports that the NOI leader has softened suggest that the media has stopped listening to the words of Farrakhan and his representatives. For if they did stop to hear what these individuals are serving up at public arenas and college campuses around the country, or were they to glance at the pages of NOI's bi-weekly, The Final Call, there would be no mistaking the ongoing message of bigotry.

The Nation of Islam does not hide its prejudices. The organization's philosophy has been, from its earliest days, racist to the core. Its founder, Farad Muhammad [also known as W.D. Fard], taught that the white race was produced thousands of years ago in a failed laboratory experiment by an evil wizard named Yacub. This pernicious belief remains the backbone of Nation of Islam theology, and is a palpable influence on the organization's oratory.

But in recent years, NOI appears to have "broadened its horizons," borrowing heavily from what would seem an unlikely rhetorical source -- the propaganda of white supremacists. In speeches before thousands of enthusiastic listeners, Farrakhan has breathed new life into the long- discredited anti-Semitic myths of the white hate movement. He claims to deliver a message of uplift to the black community, but Farrakhan's words actually have the opposite effect. They further the cause of those most hostile to racial equality, while providing blacks themselves with nothing but misplaced anger and frustration.

At a gathering in Chicago on March 19, 1995, passing his lecture off as a scholarly history lesson, Farrakhan promoted the anti-Jewish conspiracy theories of white supremacist writer Gary Allen, whose book, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, has been heavily distributed by the John Birch Society. Farrakhan lavished praise upon Allen's work, announcing that "I'd like to get 10,000 copies of it, have everybody read it."

Referring at length to Allen's claim that Jewish international bankers financed the Nazis, Farrakhan announced that during the Holocaust, "Little Jews died while big Jews made money. Little Jews [were] being turned into soap while big Jews washed themselves with it." In contrast, Farrakhan stated, "We [blacks] didn't kill one Jew.... We were not involved there.... That was your white brother, Hitler.... How in the hell can you call us anti-Semitic?"

In the interest of attacking Jews, Farrakhan has paid homage to the rhetoric of white racists, ignoring the pain that similar words have inflicted upon the black community. Such behavior is nothing less than anti-Semitic.

In the pages that follow, excerpts from the speeches of various NOI lieutenants demonstrably follow the same narrow pattern of thought, and all subscribe to an identical primitive world view. This, of course, is because these individuals are not isolated figures, each with an active, independent imagination. All were taught in the same "school," and are the product of a well-organized, highly structured movement that peddles a slick package of odd but appealing notions to a growing number of African-Americans.

More than a year has passed since Minister Farrakhan dismissed Khalid Abdul Muhammad as his national assistant, claiming it to be a disciplinary measure for the raucous, hate-filled speech Muhammad delivered at New Jersey's Kean College. Several lessons emerge from that episode.

First, as the rhetoric in the upcoming pages will illustrate, when Khalid Muhammad spoke at Kean he was not spreading ideas alien to core NOI beliefs. Muhammad's "take no prisoners" style of delivery may be unique, but his essential message does not differ much from those of other NOI ministers. Farrakhan made this clear last February when he criticized Muhammad for the "manner" of his Kean College speech, but upheld its poisonous allegations as "truths."

Farrakhan's dismissal of Khalid Muhammad, after his words at Kean were exposed by ADL in a New York Times advertisement, also demonstrates the importance of rooting out bigotry and holding it up to the public spotlight. Farrakhan did not exhibit any signs of disgust with Muhammad's "manner" in the days that followed the talk at Kean. Muhammad remained Farrakhan's national spokesman. It was only when citizens learned of Muhammad's hatemongering and voiced their condemnation that Farrakhan was forced to suspend his representative .

The statements that follow demonstrate that the record of NOl's hatred continues to write itself. As long as such words of division are expressed by NOI -- or any group -- public exposure remains the most potent response for ADL. When Americans are confronted with injustice, they deserve the chance to reject it. This report furnishes citizens with the means to do so.

The excerpts below, taken from speeches Minister Louis Farrakhan has delivered over the last twelve months, demonstrate the Nation of Islam leader's refusal to depart from a bitter, divisive message of racist and anti-Semitic scapegoating.

The original plaintext version of this file is available via ftp.

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