FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Louis Farrakhan has a new job: Iraqi publicity agent.
The controversial leader of the Nation of Islam, most remembered for his 1995 recruiting venture known as the “Million Man March,” was reported by the Iraqi News Agency July 5 to have expressed his “admiration for the Iraqis’ steadfastness against aggression and continued embargo” during a supposed peace mission to Baghdad.
Most shocking was the INA’s claim that Farrakhan had pledged solidarity with the Iraqi government and expressed his desire for a Muslim victory if the United States should be foolish enough to attack Iraq.
Farrakhan and his international representative, Akbar Muhammad, scrambled to undo the whole fiasco, claiming that the “minister” said no such thing. Muhammad, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, called the statement issued by the INA “ridiculous.”
Farrakhan also refuted the charge in an interview posted on the Nation of Islam website, saying he “never, never asked for victory in war.” He admitted that he found the Iraqi people resolute in the face of crippling sanctions and that the Iraqis do not want war with the United States. He believed he was only in Iraq as a prophet of peace.
“The victory must be peace and an end to murder and an end to war,” Farrakhan said. “That is the victory that I pray for. I would never ask God to allow the American people, of whom I am one, to be slaughtered in a war, or to die in a war for really what I see is a vendetta of our government against Saddam Hussein.”
During his recent visit to Baghdad, Farrakhan was, in fact, denied a meeting with the Iraqi dictator. He has, however, cavorted with likeminded miscreants during previous visits to Iraq, Libya and Sudan in 1996 and 1998. In other words, such remarks would not have been out of character.
Whether or not Farrakhan actually verbalized what most would regard as treasonous words against his country of birth is irrelevant, for he has, since the inception of his reign over the Nation of Islam, consistently criticized the government of the United States as arrogant, aggressive, hypocritical and even murderous.
Double-speak is nothing new for Farrakhan. Shortly before his departure for his Middle East peace mission, CNN reported that Farrakhan characterized Congress as a “lynch mob” and President Bush as the “leader of the lynch mob.” He even went so far as to claim that universally accepted reports about Saddam Hussein rushing to develop weapons of mass destruction and of the dictator gassing his own people were unsubstantiated.
But in a statement issued from Iraq July 7, Farrakhan appealed “to President Bush and his nobler self” for aid in relieving the pain of the Iraqi people. I was unaware that leaders of lynch mobs had nobler selves.
What was Farrakhan’s purpose in undertaking the trip to Baghdad? Was it to promote peace without justice? Was his purpose to call attention to the plight of the Iraqi people while Iraqi leaders live in palatial surroundings? Was it to gain an air of legitimacy for the Nation of Islam as a “true” Muslim organization? One can only guess.
Farrakhan himself believes he is an individual supremely concerned with peace who holds a unique “spiritual point of view that may be able to connect the three branches of Abraham — Jews, Christians, and Muslims.”
I admit that I huffed, “Not likely,” upon reading the statement on the NOI website.
Three monotheistic faiths can be traced to Abraham. That much is true. Farrakhan’s premise, however, depends wholeheartedly on the notion that the greater, more truthful monotheistic faith must be that which was revealed last, or his own version of Islam.
In order to hold such a premise, he has convinced himself and his Nation of Islam followers that the foundational document for Christianity and, therefore, its testimony of Christ has been corrupted and must be correctly reinterpreted in the light of the Koran or by Nation of Islam leaders.
NOI articles of belief claim, “WE BELIEVE in the truth of the Bible, but we believe that it has been tampered with and must be reinterpreted so that mankind will not be snared by the falsehoods that have been added to it.”
Denial of the authenticity and reliability of the Bible is a denial of the very Christ to whom it attests. It is a denial of his lordship over the affairs of nations, of his claim that he will one day rule the world, and of his offer of salvation even to an Iraqi dictator.
Sadly, Farrakhan believes he can save the world from its wars by his own hands, neither of which was ever pierced by a Roman nail for the sake of any human being.
As for the matter of how Farrakhan feels about the United States and its place in attacking Iraq — that is for the individual to decide. He is certainly free to espouse whatever rhetoric he wishes and, although I may choose to listen, I equally am free to cast his words upon the rubbish heap of previous failed attempts at peace between the nations and religions of the world.
True peace has long been available to the world through Christ. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:14-18:
“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”
Paul, of course, was writing about Jews and Gentiles, but the same truth applies today for Arabs, Jews and all other people. Christ, and not Farrakhan, has the power to lead the nations to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.