“Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.”
Several on-line bloggers, conservative talk-show hosts and media outlets have begun a wicked, mischievous campaign to paint a picture in the minds of the American people that the Nation of Islam and its illustrious and honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan are radicalizing young Black men and turning them into “cop killers.”
Reports have even circulated that former prosecutor Larry Klayman has filed a class action lawsuit that names Minister Farrakhan along with President Obama, Rev. Al Sharpton and former Attorney General Eric Holder. In his complaint he maintains that the aforementioned prominent Black men have used their large platforms to incite a race war and are ultimately to blame for the shooting deaths of police officers in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
As I have watched the news stories-one after another-exposing the reality of Black life in America, particularly the deaths coming from the hands/guns of “bad apple” police officers, I have been horrified. It has been equally disturbing to witness news reports of police officers who had nothing to do with the murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile et.al. lose their life via vigilante lone-wolf assassins.
All of what has and is taking place, is making the condition of the American Black man and woman the leading issue of our time. It harkens to my memory something that I once read from the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The November 22, 1963 edition of the Muhammad Speaks newspaper records the following from Messenger-Muhammad.
“You have not realized how precious you are in the sight of God today. You don’t realize that you are the real problem of the civilized world. You don’t realize that without the solving of the so-called Negro problem today there will be nothing done. It is your problem today that the whole world fears. It is your problem that troubles America.”
The violence, police brutality, protests and civil unrest in 2016 is reminiscent of the 1960s. And in 1968 the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad published a series of 4 articles devoted to outlining in the plainest and simplest terms just what the proper relationship between the Black community and the police should be.
In providing guidance and divine wisdom to the police officer, especially Black officers, Mr. Muhammad directs the officer toward policing in the most respectful and noble way. Consider a few excerpts from his magnificent 4 article series:
“If the Black policeman arrest his Black brother who has broken the law that he is out here to enforce, he should not provoke his prisoner to say something or to do something just for the sake of beating him under arrest and shooting him after having already arrested the man, or before he arrest him, for nothing but for the sake of his office, as the officer of law over his Black bother.”
“It is an injustice and is out of the due process of law to arrest a man and handcuff him and then take him to jail, beating him while he is under arrest and then inside of the jail, going in his cell, beating him up.”
“Tell the judge the truth, officer, on your Black brother and do not think of telling other than the truth and do not think of striking your Brother when you have him helpless in your custody.”
“If he curses you or swears at you, he cannot harm you. He is behind bars. The judge will deal with him. You will tell the judge how you were treated by the lawbreaker, but just remember now you have him under control. He has submitted to your arrest, what do you care about him talking? He cannot harm you.”
“BLACK POLICE officers, we do not want you to break the law to show sympathy for us, but we want you to remember the justice of the law in dealing with us. And, Black people will be your friends and obey you and there will not be any hiding behind homes and in the streets to do bodily harm to his Black officers. You are our people, officer, and not our aggressive officer; therefore, when we look and see you we expect you to bring about peace and not increased trouble. That is destroying our peace.”
“If he shoots at you, certainly you should shoot him, try and conquer him. If he runs from you in the streets, do not aim at his body and head; aim at his legs. If you are trying to shoot him, shoot him in the leg, not the head. If you do this, you are trying to murder him. Officers practice target shooting and they can stop a person without killing them.”
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad then turns his attention to instructing the Black community on how we should relate to those who police our communities. And since, in times past it was only Black officers who were assigned to Black neighborhoods, the Black community is here encouraged to embrace the Black police officers as “brethren” and to view them as valued assets to the community. Consider these excerpts:
“We, of the Black community must treat Black Officers in such a way that they would not dare think of doing injustice to us. Once in their power, we should respect the Black Officer with all sincerity, because he is supposed to be our peace officer and not our aggressive officer.”
“Respect the officer. Approach him with a smile and not so with a sour cursing face and murder in our eyes for him, as he is our protector against foreign trouble.”
“A good police officer is loved. Let us love our Black Brother. He is our Brother. And, let us help him by having as little trouble in our community as possible.”
“Obey our Black Officer. Love him as yourself, for we all are brothers. And let us show the world that we can control our Black community as white communities are controlled by white officers.”
With these statements coming from the leader of the Nation of Islam, it becomes crystal clear that, the Nation of Islam has no policy of antagonism or hatred for police. And this is the Nation’s position, despite a long record of suffering harassment, sabotage and even NOI members being killed by rogue elements within the police department.
Last August, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan visited the city of Memphis to promote the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and the commencement of the Justice or Else movement. During a moment of reflection, the Minister praised the Memphis Police Department for their professional and extensive protective detail that they provided for his safety during his stay in Memphis. The Minister’s stay in Memphis was the occasion for a photo taken by social media professional Jesse Muhammad. The viral photo is a beautiful scene of local police officers standing hand in hand with one another and with Minister Farrakhan during a moment of prayer. The officers were Black, white, old, young, Muslim and Christian. Such a photo is indicative of how the Nation of Islam has always considered itself as an ally of all who want a society that is orderly, peaceful and free of violence and crime.
Over the long history of the Nation of Islam in America, which is now 86 years, many police officials have lauded the Nation for its crime reducing presence in the many cities where it is established. A sampling of such complimentary testimonies includes:
“The Muslims have done more to rehabilitate narcotics addicts than any corrective agency in the country.”-NY State Senator Basil Patterson from Harlem at the National Society of Afro-American Society of Policemen’s tribute to the Nation of Islam (July 5, 1969)
“They stand out; they’re conspicuously trying to do something positive, and that’s different in many parts of the community. They have been unfairly harassed in the past.” -Edward L. Kerr, Police Director of Newark, New Jersey (January 1974)
“Religious philosophies such as the Muslims’ can go a long way toward reducing crime even in the most adverse circumstances.” – Sherriff Richard J. Elrod of Cook County (January 1974)
“Compton has become an example relative to the Muslims in that overall attitude of respect. I for one am glad that the Muslims moved into Compton.” -Officer Saul Lankster (November 1974)
“That’s one of the reasons I’ve always respected Mr. Muhammad even before now that they’ve gained a measure of respectability. When everybody else was trying to condemn Him. I had some pretty close friends who belonged to the Nation. They kept themselves clean, they worked and they looked out for themselves. You have to admire the man for the way those people conduct themselves.” -Chicago Deputy Police Superintendent Mitchell Ware (November 1974)
“As a large group of people, the Muslims tend to be law abiding and seem to have a rehabilitating influence in the community.” -Thomas W. Chochee, Police Chief Compton California (February 1974)
“One thing I can say-where ever Muslims go, crime goes down. We policemen are always happy to have them in a community; it makes our job that much easier.” -Chicago Deputy Police Superintendent Sam Nolan (January 1974)
During the rebuillding of the Nation of Islam under the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan the Nation of Islam developed a community security force affectionately known as the “Dopebusters.” From the Nation of Islam Research Group article entitled How Farrakhan Solved The Crime and Drug Problem we see the Dopebusters described in the following description:
“In 1988, the Black men of the elite Fruit of Islam, under the training and guidance of Minister Farrakhan, formed into units and began to conduct security patrols in some of the most drug-infested public housing developments. Armed with only a deep love for their own people and a determination to improve their condition, they became known as the “Dope Busters.” The Muslims in Washington DC marched unarmed into a veritable drug gang war at the Kenilworth Parkside and Mayfair Mansions housing projects and a remarkable thing happened. The Muslims closed open-air drug markets and brought peace and quiet to those neighborhoods. It was a condition that had never been seen in that area since those projects were built.”
And just like the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan’s students and followers achieved wide acclaim for their work and success. A sample of some of glowing commendations bestowed upon the Dopebusters includes the following:
“I am currently a lieutenant in the Metropolitan Police Department, assigned to the 7th District as the Commander of the Special Emphasis Unit and Support Coordinator of all vice, detective and tactical operations. I have been employed with the Department for 26 years in a sundry of assignments. It is most noteworthy that the areas of the city which they[Dopebusters] have contracted to provide security have shown drastic reductions in crime. This, within itself, speaks to the basic tenets of community empowerment policing. Some of the communities in which I personally know that crime has been reduced by their presence are the Clifton Terrace Apartments, the Mayfair Mansion Apartment Complex, the Paradise Gardens Apartment Complex, the Atlantic Street Apartment Dwellings and the surrounding areas. I have had the occasion to observe some of their security training and to participate in the training as a volunteer instructor. I have found them to be professional, courteous and committed to the delivery of service to the communities in which they patrol and provide security.” -President DC Black Police Caucus, Lowell Duckett
“The founders[of the Dopebusters] formed the company after volunteering their services during that period to secure the Paradise/Mayfair community of over 1200 apartments, which had become the largest open-air drug market in the Mid-Atlantic States in the mid-1980s. At the time no security firms were willing to work in the neighborhood only in force because of the very dangerous conditions. The volunteers patrolled the two complexes, confronted dangerous individuals, and testified in court about the activities of accused felons; all at great personal risk. Their leadership allowed the police to become more effective and encouraged the residents of the neighborhood to worked for a safer community. Both Paradise at Pakside and Mayfair Mansions are now healthy, vibrant and safe communities thanks in good part to the efforts of the [Dopebusters].” -Deputy Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Investigations office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Susan Forward
“In terms of bottom line results, they are doing such a good job and the living environment in public housing developments has so markedly improved that I would be reluctant to remove NOI security from those developments.”– Baltimore, MD Kurt L. Schmoke
“Crime at Westview Terrace has fallen drastically since the Black Muslims moved in.”-New Castle, PA Police Chief Louis Piscitella
We pray that what we have shared here of the facts of the Nation of Islam’s history, record and true relationship with police will inoculate the mind of the reader against the flood of propaganda and slander aimed at de-magnetizing the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. For we believe that this is the ultimate aim of this present manifestation of a long-standing commitment by those in the most powerful positions within America to maintain the status quo of “White supremacy/Black inferiority” and its more contemporary goal of “White existence/Black extinction.” To do this, they have determined they must get rid of the Nation of Islam. And negative propaganda (i.e. lies) about the Nation must be implanted into the minds of an unsuspecting public as a prelude to an onslaught against the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. If they can be successful in turning the public against the Nation, the public will be made to feel that any and all actions made to “neutralize” the Nation and the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan is justified.
Demetric Muhammad , July 2016