Cityview, Wednesday, March 25, 1998, Pages 5


    Geoff Fein was woefully inaccurate in his portrayal of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam ("One Nation Under Allah," March 4) and thereby misinformed the people as to the real purpose of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
    I attempted to make our purposes clear in the nearly two-hour interview with Mr. Fein: We are here to warn the people of Iowa that America is under Divine Judgment, a country being dismantled by Almighty God for her evil and obstinate refusal to repent and atone for that evil.  Minister Farrakhan continues to issue Divine Warnings to America to "Obey God," so that her doom may be averted.
    The article was replete with diversionary tactics: charges of anti-Semitism; that we are not real Muslims; and that we lack community involvement.   All of which are untrue and further indicts detractors for not informing the people of our purpose for being in Des Moines.  Such is no justification for not heeding the Divine Warning of Minister Farrakhan to "Obey God."
    The Jewish community leadership has been invited to show Minister Farrakhan where he has erred in his remarks regarding certain facts of their actions.   I told Mr. Fein of our challenge to debate the issue of anti-Semitism.  No one has accepted this challenge.
    Minister Farrakhan is accepted by the scholars of Islam all over the Muslim world as a Muslim Brother, as a leader; was crowned Imam of the Islamic world; and has addressed millions of Muslims in every major Muslim country in the world.
    Finally, in my last six years of work in Des Moines, outreach has included Christians, Jews, Muslims, activists, educators, politicians and businesses.   But most run for cover, distancing themselves from the Nation of Islam out of fear of censure from powerful Jewish and Gentile leadership.
    We've mediated several gang disputes and promoted peace in our streets.   We've been involved in the political process, registering hundreds to vote.   And by God's grace, we have helped transform the lives of men and women to productive citizenship.
    It is not true if Mayor Preston Daniels said he is "unaware of our activities in the area."  When a city councilman, he donated to the awards dinner "in recognition of black leadership," a fundraiser of the Million Man March.  For Mr. Fein to shortchange the readers of Cityview seriously undermines his credibility as a reporter.  Please remember our purpose: Obey God.

Preston Muhammad
Minister, Iowa Nation of Islam

Heil Farrakhan?
   In your story on the Nation of Islam, Pastor Michael Hurst of the St. Paul AME Church is quoted as saying: "I lift out the positive things they stand for.   This is an organization that stresses discipline, responsibility, self-help and self-esteem. ...  If Farrakhan is doing something positive, I'm an advocate for it."
    I would like to retort by saying that the Nazis stressed discipline, responsibility, etc., and that Hitler was not only responsible for the economic turnaround of pre-war Germany, but the resolution of a world-wide depression.
    It is so easy for advocates of the Nation of Islam to look at the good that the group does while forgetting the evil that is at its roots.  The Nation of Islam is a group which, like the Nazis, attempts to elevate itself at the expense of others.  Rather than tackling the difficult job of creating a cohesive message that brings all people together (as did Dr. King did), their message seeks to drive people apart.  Rather than looking for a way out, they look to find fault.
    I would argue that by reinforcing the differences between people, by setting themselves apart they have made themselves targets, and have no right to complain when people take aim.  (Figuratively, of course.  I do not advocate violence.)

L. C. McMullen
Des Moines

Wednesday, March 25, 1998, Pages 5