Dissolution of the American Muslim Mission
DISSOLUTION OF THE AMERICAN MUSLIM MISSION
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Question: Why did you dissolve the American Muslim Mission, and what impact will this have on the American Muslims in the United States?
ANSWER: The main reason for ending the national office and national leadership of the American Muslim Mission as represented in myself was to make way for a normalization of the American Islamic community. This is necessary for the process of Islamic democracy to be free to grow and reach its destination for the Muslim people in America.
I believe that if that process is free to grow and reach its destination, we will have a good image in the eyes of Americans who believe in democracy. I also believe that once that process of Islamic democracy is opened up, it will give the Muslims an opportunity to contribute to the strength, health and productivity of the American people. I believe that Islamic democracy is the situation we need if we are to really progress in America.
QUESTION: And do you believe that democracy and growth has been stifled because the people looked to you as the power at the top of the organization? Do you feel that the way to grow is to decentralize the organization and give Imams more responsibility?
ANSWER: The old organizational structure of power, authority and centralization in the Nation of Islam was dismantled and removed to some extent when I first became leader of this community in 1975. And I continued to deemphasize that kind of interest, to take away importance from that kind of concern while I was in the position of leadership.
When I made the statement that I would no longer accept the position of leader for the African-American Muslim community, I was only dramatizing what should have already been accepted. I am not responsible for the conduct or decisions that have to be made locally by the masajid (mosques) Islamic centers, etcetera. Thus, it was necessary for me to say that I no longer accept to be cast in the role as leader of the organization, and that the American Muslim Mission is too burdensome and stands in the way of Islamizing the Muslim community if we are to bring in the situation of democracy that we desire. In my opinion, what hurts black people all over the earth is that they have too much dependency on individual persons and personalities.
QUESTION: What will be your role in this Islamizing process?
ANSWER: I hope to be an influence in the same way that Billy Graham or Dr Benjamin Mays have been as an influence. I also hope to be producing more Islamic books with the hope that the Muslim community will read them. All of my efforts, whether by speeches or writings will be to aid that process of Islamization that I see as Islamic democracy.