Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan raised eyebrows yesterday with his suggestion that the African-American community set up its own court system because the U.S. judicial system is biased.
“We want equal justice under the law,” Farrakhan said to an approving crowd of 18,000 at the Joe Louis Arena on the last day of the Nation of Islam’s annual convention in Detroit. “Our people can’t take much more. We have to have our own courts. You failed us.”
The comments came amidst outrage and consternation in the Black community over the recent verdicts in the murder trials of George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, whose juries were unable to reach murder convictions after both men shot and killed unarmed Black teenagers Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.
Farrakhan said the African-American legal system should be based on the tenets in the Quran and the Bible.
“Has America been just to us?” he asked the crowd.
“No!” the crowd roared back.
“So … if we retaliate, you can bring out your soldiers. We got some, too,” he said. In the past, the fiery minister has called on the Black community to defend itself by any means necessary.
Congressman John Conyers sat behind Farrakhan for his nearly three-hour speech, as did Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.
Farrakhan pushed for unity among Muslim and Christian leaders.
“Jesus and Mohammed would be arm in arm,” he said.
He excoriated Muslims for warring against each other in the Middle East.
You’re “slaughtering your own people for America” and the “European infidel,” Farrakhan said. He told the crowd that if the U.S. launched a war on Iran, “we ain’t fighting. We’re not killing no Muslims for these infidels.”
As he has in the past, he said the U.S. is headed for destruction unless it starts to obey the word of God.
Farrakhan also attacked Christian pastors who endorse gay marriage, saying, “God has never sanctioned that kind of behavior.”
Farrakhan denied he was anti-Semitic, a charge that has been leveled against him for decades.
“Did Jesus have a problem with the Jews of his day?” he said. “He’s not a hater. Neither am I. I don’t hate Jewish people … what I hate is evil.”
He pointed out facetiously that both he and Henry Ford have been accused of being anti-Semitic: “I feel like I’m in good company.”
Before his speech, Farrakhan spokeswoman Ava Muhammad had said that African-Americans needed to separate because eventually “planes are going to destroy every area that is not dominated by Islam.” She added that Detroit—the city where the Nation started 84 years ago— might be where Nation of Islam members choose to migrate in order to form their own community.
About Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who Farrakhan urged to take care of neighborhoods, not just downtown, Farrakhan said, “First time in a long time you’ve had a white mayor. We hope he’ll be successful.”