The following is excerpted from the historic message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on October 7, 1985 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. This speech was historic for many reasons. For many this was the first demonstration of the widespread love and respect that the Minister has among the masses of Black people. Consider what was written by Farrakhan critic Julius Lester.
“The appearance of Louis Farrakhan at Madison Square Garden on October 7 demonstrated, without doubt that he is now America’s preeminent black leader. Benjamin Hooks of the NAACP could not have filled the Garden. There would not have been people standing against the walls on every level of the arena to hear John Jacob of the National Urban League. Jesse Jackson might just have filled the Garden. But Farrakhan filled not only the 20,000-plus seats; he also drew another 3,000 to 5,000 people to watch the whole event on closed circuit television in the Felt Forum next door.”
If people get the leader they deserve, then something dire has happened in Black America. No people should make the journey from Martin Luther King Jr. to Louis Farrakhan in fewer than 20 years. Most of these were not members of Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, and never will be. Nonetheless, they came there to applaud, cheer, yell, and shout. What they came to voice approval of was apparent from the start.”
That speech was also historic for the awe-inspiring imagery it created of Minister Farrakhan being surrounded by a fearless cadre of Muslim women. Most recently, Minister Farrakhan again appeared in a major speech, this year’s Saviours’ Day message, with a sterling security detail of courageous Muslim women. In light of this fact we share the following words of the Minister taken from his message POWER At Last, Forever delivered October 7, 1985 in Madison Square Garden, New York City. In the quote below, Minister Farrakhan explains the message he intends to send to the world about the need for greater respect for women of all races.
Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “Now if you notice I have around me tonight sisters. I want to send a message to the entire world that the world is in the condition that it’s in because the world disrespects women. The world is headed into hell because the world disrespects womanhood. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the major contributor to the freeing of women. Unfortunately traditions that are foreign to Islam have crept into Islam to push the woman out of that which almighty God intends for her. The oppression of Women in the world is a manifestation of the weakness of the societies of the earth. The HEM taught us that Allah is self-created. The Qur’an says he begets not nor was he begotten. Well if he was not begotten he’s self-created. And if he’s self-created and created himself out of the black womb of the darkness of space. Think about this now. He has so much respect for that womb, he kept going back into it creating sun and moon and stars and planets. Whenever a people disrespect the womb, they cut off their creative powers. When you disrespect woman, you disrespect that which absolutely shows you a part of the nature of God himself. This is why the oft repeated words of the Qur’an, Bismillah Ir-Rahman Ir-Rahim, you have Rahman and you have Rahim. You have the part coming out of the nature of God. Out of the love of the creator, he creates and does good for all his creatures. Then there is another part out of his love called Rahim or mercy, undeserved kindness, where he gives to you and you don’t deserve anything.
A mother will love her child when it is wrong; she will love it and be kind to it when it doesn’t deserve it. This is part of her nature. When man denies woman, he denies a part of his own nature that gives him balance. This is why the world is messed up today! You have denied woman and you have denied the quality of mercy in your own self! So I have sisters around me to say to the whole world; the woman must play an important part in the development of the nation or the nation will go to hell.
The woman must not be looked at brothers as an object of pleasure and something to bear babies with no intelligence. Any nation that has an uncultivated woman becomes an uncultivated nation. It is a foolish man who denies the mosque to the woman. The woman should be in the mosque because when she knows the Qur’an, studies the Qur’an, takes the Qur’an and internalizes it. She takes your children and she nurtures them in the Quran. But when you push her out and make her to feel like she’s not wanted, that she’s not as good as the man, then there’s a dislike in her and she passes it on to the children. And so the children go away from Allah rather than coming toward Allah. You mistreat your woman you mistreat yourself. You push your woman down you push yourself down. You pick your woman up, you and I go up.
Are you speaking about Black women? I am speaking about all women no matter what their color is. And let me say this , those who condemn me , who call me a bigot; who call me a racist; who call me a hater; who call me an anti-Semite; I want you to listen to me real carefully tonight. And if anything like that comes out of my mouth raise your hand and stop me, hear. But you’d only be raising your hand no matter what your color is and cheering me on. Because that is what they say I am; but tonight you judge for yourself.”