HISTORIC ATLANTA ADDRESS-PARTs VI IX
HISTORIC ATLANTA ADDRESS-PARTs VI IX
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editor's note: Following his historic Atlanta address on Sept. 9, 1978, Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad returned to the rostrum to speak briefly about former members of the WCIW who "had to more out because we changed our policies and principles.")
With the Name Allah, (In the Name of God) the Gracious. the Compassionate As-Salaam-Alaikum
As of today, (September 10, 1978), I am resigning from the position of Chief Imam. I refuse to accept the position of Chief Imam. The Chief, the authority is in this Council and that's what you have to respect.
This new Council of Imams that we have formed is your leadership, that's what you have to accept. They are responsible for seeing that this Community progresses in the role that we have put it in.
Don't come to me, go to the body of Imams. An Imam over a masjid will write me and tell me somebody committed adultery. What should we do? I have other things more important to do. You know what to do. Expose them. They committed adultery, put them on restricted punishment. We have already decided that years ago, but they keep asking the same questions over and over again.
Somebody sent me a package, that thick. I've got to spend hours reading something that thick. They want to ask is it okay to import shoe laces. Where will we get? Nowhere.
Brother Imams, you're getting ready to take this headache now. I'm going to tell you what I do when they give me something that thick....I see what the top says. I pick it up from the middle and see what the middle says. I look at the end and see what the end says. If that doesn't tell me it's worth reading. I take it and plop...right into the trash can. I finish two hours reading in two minutes, and that's what you have to do.
I have told you all, I'll tell you again, if you want to get attention for something, make it two pages at the most. If you let something go into three and four pages, don't expect an answer. And don't mail stuff to us expecting us to mail it back.
Get support in your own local area. If it's worth anything, show us what the community you are in thinks of it before you send it to us. We don't have time to waste going through pages and pages of proposals.
Some of us just like to come up with ideas. We can come up with a thousand ideas but won't put 25 cents in charity, won't come to one Jumah, won't make one prayer a day, but have a thousand ideas for the Community.
If you don't learn to read like me, Brother Imams, you are going to be in trouble. When they send you something with a cross, a crescent and some dots or some crazy markings on it, don't even read it. You know what that is.
I get a big letter; it has a verse from Eziekel on it. "Surprise" written where you open it up. "Eziekel Chapter 3, verse 20." Now you get some idea of what I've been going through?
Several of them write me and just curse me out, saying some of the most vulgar things. You'll have to read those sometimes because you want to know who's writing you and what they have on their mind. You might have to report them to authorities. I don't ignore those. I read them. You have to.
Sometimes you start it off and you know a sick person wrote it. Nothing but a lot of mess, so you don't go through it. You know what it is. Throw it aside. Throw it away.
My future relationship with the World Community of Al-Islam in the West, if you accept it, will be one of representative to the outer community. If you want me to represent the World community to outer communities, I accept that position. And as much as I can accommodate you, I will come and speak wherever you invite me.
At the present time, I hold a position on the Masjid Board in Chicago . I also hold positions in business organizations. If you have no objections, I will keep those positions until we can find better replacements.
What do I intend to do now with the extra time I hope I will have? I intend to read some of the precious books that I have been given as gifts by wonderful Muslims in the U.S. and out. I just haven't had time block into them. I'll take some time to advance my own knowledge and understanding.
I will spend some time doing what I have always wanted to do and that is write a comparison of Bible and Quran.
I would also like to have time to work with educators in the community on a social science textbook for all grade levels kindergarten through high school.
Kindergarten classes should get social science. They should get it on the level they can accept, in the form of symbols and figures. They can get it with little wording.
I can make a greater contribution to your community working on these things than I can being tied up in some room reading volumes of nothing and being tied up for hours listening to you tell me what you know.
They will ask to see me to tell me what they know. Sometimes I get something good, but that's very seldom. The average one of us will tell what you have already heard before. Every now and then a nice gem comes out and I say "Thank you, it was worth it."
I listen because I love to help people and I find that they feel better after they talk to me. But aren't there some people who have more time for this, who could sit down and listen to the brother and sister? That's all we want, somebody to talk to. One man can't listen to a hundred thousand people.
We all should be considerate. Love our brothers and sisters. Give our brothers and sisters a little time. Talk to them and hear them talk. Socialize with each other. Share burdens with each other. Listen to the sister's problem. Listen to the brother's problem.
Imams, you should spend some of your time doing that. But most of the Imams they put it all on me. They won't take time. We have some that will, but there is a great number that won't, they push it right on somebody else. That's not right.
I'm going to be a horn for Al-Islam. A horn gets attention; what I mean by that, I'm going to keep a noise going. If I get a chance to speak to the public, I want to speak to the public.
I don't think we should stay right here in America . I have invitations now to go outside of the country. I really believe if we can get people outside America to recognize what we are doing, their recognition will do more to bring support to us from Americans than the work we do here in America .
I know this Bilalian mentality. The Bilalian will stand by and see you work yourself to death. He will see you spill all of your blood and die as a sacrifice. After you die, he will be the first to pay tribute, make a long, flattering eulogy, flattering you with praise and ask the whole world to lift you up as the Saviour.
But while you are alive, he won't do anything but stand around and watch you beat yourself to death. This is the Bilalian mentality.
But go outside of America and let one foreigner say you are great, Bilalians here will say, "Ah, man, that leader is a great man. Better listen to him, man." Isn't that the Bilalian mentality?
Even when I followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and didn't see the wide fields of Al-Islam, I said then, "As wicked as America is, I challenge their Christian leaders. I challenge the Communist people. I'll go to the Communist society and defend what we represent." At that time I was a little, I would say mannish. You know what mannish means, feeling more Cheerios than you have. But I'm glad I still have that same spirit.
I want to go to Chairman Hua Kuo Feng and tell him that we have something better. We have something that'll bring you the results you want better and quicker.
I want to go to those socialist countries that used to be Muslim, and tell them "what you are being offered is inferior. You have never seen the real precious gems of your religion."
I want to go to South Africa and tell the South African, "You are disrespecting your worth as a human being. You are denying yourself the opportunity to grow into greater value as a person. You are buying the dwarf for the giant. We have the giant."
I want to go all over the world and tell the world, "We have found the knowledge. Not only the spirit but the knowledge."
I want to tell the world that the throne of God extends over the heavens and the earth. "God is not only ruling in heaven but He rules on earth. He can bless your material efforts as well as your spiritual efforts. He can give you material security as well as spiritual bliss."
I want to tell them, "If you accept the message of God, your intelligence level can rise, your nation can come to a higher level of intellectual worth, you can see genius that's locked up. If you have the faith you can bring the people."
The people know their sicknesses. They know their shortcomings and believe me, when you come with the word of God, with faith in the power of God, to make you successful, and to convert hearts because we can't convert any hearts. Believe me, wonders are performed.
We can be around here for generations and never have anything but what we have now. And believe me, if we continue in the same habits that we have behind us, we will stay where we are now.
Believe me, when I pass Allah may not bless us with another man who could come behind me and evolve higher what I've done and save the community.
If I pass what would happen? In the habit you have now you'd go down. Why? Because you don't have leadership. You have personality. That's not leadership. Leadership is not the worship of a personality.
Leadership is respect for an office. If the man dies respect is not diminished for that office. That's what we need.
America will join AI-Islam in great numbers, especially the Bilalians. You know the mentality of the Bilalian: Look how the great leaders of social reform and Black Nationalism sacrificed beat their brains out, died weary, tired and worn out. They're only recognized when they die.
But an African leader can stand up and right away the black man in New York will go to hell with him.
Patrice Lumumba! Jomo Kenyatta! You know. All of a sudden we had a whole lot of Jomo Kenyattas and Patrice Lumumbas who never met Jomo Kenyatta. They don't know his philosophy. All they know is that he was an African who stood up.
The poor Bilalian brother, African-American brother, who has been standing up every morning for 40 years, they don't see him. They can't appreciate him. We know the psychology, the mentality of the people, we should use it wisely.
It's only justice that we go to people who love us and invite us. If we get great recognition in the process and it hits the news and excites the African-American, that's wonderful!
Believe me it will happen. If we go to New Zealand and they hear that 50 per cent of the New Zealand community has adopted Al-Islam, that will change things in America , especially among the Bilalians.
Don't think it can't happen. It can. Right now most of the Third-World of deprived societies are afraid of capitalism. They are afraid of communism and they are afraid to remain where they are in their own isms. They are looking for something that will give them security and dignity, and AI-Islam is the only ideology.
It is not doing service to Al-Islam to refer to it as an ideology because AI-Islam gives birth to ideologies under its teachings. If you carry AI-Islam to those people they will see that here is the happy medium.
This is the perfect alternative. We don't have to be capitalists; we don't have to be socialists. We can be Muslims.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, if you would take just one note of AI-Islam and sing that note to your fellow men and the people in your community wherever they give you an opportunity, you will change this society. You have to have faith.
The Jehovah's Witnesses, what do they have? Look how bold they are. Look how dedicated they are. Look how they sacrifice their time. They are not afraid for you tell them, "get away from my door." They don't mind you hurting their feelings. They care more about the mission than they do their feelings. They knock on doors Saturday morning, Sunday morning, they're out on the streets different days of the week selling their publication.
What are we doing? We're waiting to hear when is the next national hook-up. Isn't that pitiful? I'm going to get a bat or something and come out here and just start acting like a crazy savage to wake you all up
"Brother what have you done to propagate Al-Islam since the last national hook-up?"
"Well, I'm just waiting on the national....
"Bam!" Take a bat and put you in the hospital. Maybe while you're getting well in there you'll get your mind together. Here you have the product that the world will buy, from the lowest man to the highest. Believe me; the Pope would rather have what we have than to have what he has.
They should be happy and we who are still here should not blame them for our problem. Why? Because I know and you know that no one person was responsible for what went on in this community in the early 1970's or at other times. It was a result of the whole national spirit and change. The national spirit and mind that developed brought about all those things that left us with losses and ugly kinds of things in our community. But I don't blame any of them.
Some of the Imams, some of the ministers that left think I blame them. I don't blame them. Some of them have two wives and a girlfriend, babies, carrying on polygamy. That's their business.
I know what influences bred this kind of thing and made it possible for them to go into that. I don't blame them. I don't blame anybody. It was something that none of us could control. It was something that just had to happen to make us open our eyes so we could see better.
You can't blame it on the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. You can't blame it on his ministers. It was just something that crept in and we all allowed it. Nobody stood up and checked it.
We know a lot of things fed it and there are many ministers who thought they were doing wrong. But who do you blame? Nobody!
Minister John, Minister Muhammad, Minister Hasty, Minister Farrakhan, all of them as far as I'm concerned are free. They're free and clean as far as this community is concerned.
What they did after they left, that's their problem. What they do on the outside, that's their problem. We don't hold anything against them. We make no demands on them. Nothing at all!
Who is to blame? If we blame anybody, we have to blame all of us. Everybody that was present at that lime. If you didn't like it, you should have walked away from it. But you didn't.
A lot of them had excuses. You can't condemn a man for that can you?
Right now, if I should suddenly start allowing things, can you blame the people that do what I allow them?
If I come up and take on another wife and I don't tell the brothers that this is wrong, and he takes on another wife, don't blame him.
If I take the money and buy two Cadillac's, and he takes the money and buys a Rolls Royce, can I blame him? No!
To get at the root of it, you have to really attack the evil in this society, because it was really the outside evils that sneaked in and found weaknesses in our community. Then called the Nation of Islam, and they fed those weaknesses and corrupted our society.
We can't blame anybody on the inside, all of us were guilty who stood for it and stayed with it.
Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.
O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.
Peace be to you Your brother in service to Allah, Wallace Deen Muhammad