Dr. McCloud: Minister Farrakhan’s Trip To Iran As Commitment to the Principle of Ummah

Now, in the last decade of the twentieth century, while the overall number of traditional black Muslims living in America continues to swell, the realities of the Muslim condition in the world community and the tensions between the ummah and the domestic realm remain constant. 

Minister Farrakhan is trying to bridge these two worlds-and link his at-home concerns with the greater ummah.  When Farrakhan visits leaders in Iran or Libya, an uniformed observer might see only that the Minister is willfully consorting with America’s enemies, rather than recognizing the visit as an expression of his commitment to ummah…

In the same way that the five-times-daily prayers erase one set of class and gender issues, the notion of ummah obscures nation-state borders.  This detail is critical in beginning to place some of Farrakhan’s thoughts and actions within a larger Islamic context.  For instance, by his continual condemnation of neocolonialism on the African continent and in the Caribbean, Louis Farrakhan demonstrates an understanding of the notion of ummah, however unorthodox his methods of expressing this understanding. (Alexander 1998, 175-177) 

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