Rev. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam

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Although the Rev. Louis Farrakhan denies he is a bigot, and some of his critics have themselves used racist appeals, Farrakhan has in fact made a number of statements concerning Jews over the past few years that reflect disdain and prejudice.

When the Nation of Islam published the book The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: Volume One it helped to clarify any lingering confusion concerning Farrakhan's reliance on historic right-wing conspiracy theories concerning Jewish power and control. The book is a lengthy pseudo-academic treatise that reaches the false conclusion that Jews controlled the slave trade. The text strongly implies that Jewish ownership of and attitudes towards slaves was somehow distinct from and more venal than ownership of and attitudes towards slaves by non-Jews. Left unexamined are the readily-available statistics showing that the vast majority of slave-owners were not Jewish. The book is sold through ads in the Nation of Islam's newspaper Final Call,33 and is promoted as being "Recommended Reading by Minister Farrakhan!" Also listed as "Recommended Reading by Minister Farrakhan!" is the book Behold a Pale Horse, by Milton William Cooper, who is described by UFO Magazine as a "notorious UFO charlatan."34 UFO Magazine also denounced Behold a Pale Horse as bigoted fascist propaganda, and noted that "One of the book's most glaring passages is a complete copy of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a flamingly anti-Semitic tract first published in Czarist Russia...long ago exposed as a forgery."

Yet the most troubling aspect of Farrakhan is not his demagogic bigotry. Writing in the January 28, 1991 issue of The Nation, professor Adolph Reed, Jr. cautions that "demonizing" Farrakhan, or focusing merely on his prejudice, misses the main point, which is the troubling nature of Farrakhan's reactionary political views and anti-democratic "racial organicism." As Reed explains, Farrakhan's use of racial organicism is found in the belief that Black leaders "emerge organically from the population and that the objectives and interests of those organic leaders are identical with those of the general racial constituency." Reed notes that this theory has been used by white majoritarian leadership to justify and manage racial subordination by "allowing white elites to pick and choose among pretenders to race leadership."

Equally dangerous, however, are the themes of authoritarianism and racial nationalism which underlie racial organicism. Reed warns that "because of his organization and ideology, however, Farrakhan more than his predecessors throws into relief the dangerous, fascistic presumptions inscribed at the foundation of that model."

While they are in no position to exert any significant influence over the direction of U.S. politics, it is nonetheless defensible to argue that the Nation of Islam is the only indigenous fascist movement in the U.S. composed of African-Americans. Many of the key elements of a fascist political movement are present in the NOI, including theories of racial nationalism, racial superiority, organic leadership, and the appropriateness of authoritarian measures in support of public safety and security. The Fruit of Islam who surround Farrakhan as bodyguards reflect an attachment to military trappings, and help build a cult of personality around Minister Farrakhan himself. The demagoguery of Farrakhan and some of his key lieutenants periodically strays into scapegoating of Jews as evil conspirators. And if congruence with key elements of fascism is not alone persuasive, consider that members of the Nation of Islam have at times cooperated with white U.S. fascists around a shared interest in racial separatism and racial nationalism.

In July, 1990 Farrakhan granted an extensive exclusive interview to Spotlight where his views of separate development for the Black and white communities was stressed. The interview was presented in an overwhelmingly sympathetic and supportive fashion, with an introduction by the editors where Farrakhan's movement was described as "based on the cultivation of spiritual, education, and family values, as well as racial separation." As mentioned earlier, the Spotlight is part of a quasi-Nazi empire and has praised the Waffen SS, celebrated racist skinheads, promotes white supreacists, questions the factual basis of Hitler's attempted genocide of Jews and other enemies of the Reich, and fills its pages with articles claiming "dual loyalist" Jews control the media, U.S. foreign policy, and CIA covert operations.

Spotlight, the Liberty Lobby, and the Institute for Historical Review were all created by Willis Carto, the mastermind of the international movement that calls itself Historical Revisionism. The Revisionists claim that there was no plan by Hitler to exterminate Jews. One Revisionist author, Dr. Arthur R. Butz, was invited to share the stage with members of the Nation of Islam and other guests at a February 1985 Chicago NOI forum. Butz's only noteworthy accomplishment at the time was a book titled The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, which argued that the gassing and cremation of large numbers of Jews during the Nazi reign was not scientifically possible. Butz is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at Northwestern University.

Racialist nationalism, anti-Jewish bigotry, and fascist principles have also provided a basis in the past for white supremacists and anti-Jewish bigots such as neo-Nazi Tom Metzger to voice support for Farrakhan. The October 12, 1985 New York Times reported on a Michigan meeting of white supremacists where Metzger told his audience of neo-Nazis and Klan members, "America is like a rotting carcass. The Jews are living off the carcass like the parasites they are. Farrakhan understands this." That meeting was attended by Political Research Associates author Russ Bellant, a freelance journalist, who reported the Metzger quote and provided it to the New York Times. Metzger peddles a national socialist brand of fascism and white supremacy.

Bellant also disclosed the attendance of another white supremacist at the Michigan meeting, Roy Frankhouser, a former Ku Klux Klan leader from Pennsylvania who was for many years a top security consultant to neo-fascist Lyndon LaRouche.

In 1990 joint political work between LaRouchite front groups and members of the Nation of Islam was reported in both groups' periodicals. The NOI's newspaper Final Call ran an article by Carlos Wesley on Panama in its issue of May 31, 1990. It was credited as a reprint from the LaRouchian Executive Intelligence Review. The LaRouchian New Federalist ran several articles praising the political work of D.C. area NOI spokesman Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, and his speech at a LaRouchian Schiller Institute meeting in Paris was reported in the NOI's Final Call. Abdul Wali Muhammad, editor of NOI's Final Call, until his death in late 1991, spoke at a 1990 Schiller Institute conference in Chicago. In Washington, D.C., joint work between the LaRouchians and members of the Nation of Islam reportedly continued as late as 1993, even while some NOI leaders were saying such contacts were innapropriate, suggesting an internal power struggle of some sort.

Another group allied with Farrakhan that promotes the idea of racial or national organicism is the political organization run by Dr. Fred Newman, a former protege of LaRouche. Persons who extol Newman's idiosyncratic form of "social therapy" control a variety of political organizations under Newman's influence, including the New Alliance Party (NAP), Rainbow Lobby, New York's Castillo Cultural Center, and various Centers for Short-Term Therapy. NAP promotes the political theories of Farrakhan, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Dr. Lenora Fulani, presidential candidate of the New Alliance Party. The Rainbow Lobby (now defunct except as a consulting firm) forged a working coalition with both the Libertarian Party and the racialist and neo-fascist Populist Party to challenge state laws limiting ballot access. At the same time NAP's Lenora Fulani stood side-by-side with Al Sharpton and other demogogic Black nationalists in the summer of 1991 during an already tense and tragic situation in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn where there has been a long-simmering dispute between Blacks and a sect of Orthodox Jews. The NAP continues to promote support for Farrakhan, even as his anti-Jewish and pro-UFO conspiracism increases.

Many of the key leaders of the New Alliance Party (including Newman, but not Fulani) were members of LaRouche's National Caucus of Labor Committees in 1974. This organizational connection has been thoroughly severed since 1975, which explains why Fulani would write Farrakhan an "open letter" urging him to distance the NOI from LaRouche's groups. Still, the New Alliance Party and the LaRouchites share many similarities in style, structure and reliance on pseudo-psychological theories.

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