MESSENGER ELIJAH MUHAMMAD MEETS THE PRESS
Reprinted from the February 4, 1972 edition of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
Chicago, Illinois – (This is Part Two of “Muhammad Speaks'” exclusive presentation of Messenger Muhammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) January 14, 1972, Press Conference)
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QUESTION: Mr. Muhammad, is it true that you are planning to build a new home for your family. I think right adjacent to your present home?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: It is true those houses are my homes.
QUESTION: The press has evaluated the new homes at a half a million dollars.
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I wish I had gotten off with that cheap price, but it is twice that much that these buildings are costing. All four of the homes cost a million dollars a little over a million dollars; about $2,230,000.
QUESTION: I was referring to a new home for yourself and your wife. Mr. Muhammad, that home, sometimes referred to as a mansion, the cost has been estimated to cost one half million dollars.
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I think they are costing a little more for the house here on the corner.
QUESTION: There are reports that you are in the process of purchasing a large tract of land to build low income houses.
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: We have some information from the authorities that they could supply us with an area now for about a hundred thousand, I do not know exactly. I have not gone into any serious questioning about it.
QUESTION: Federal government or local government?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: Local government, the city.
QUESTION: How soon do you expect those to be built?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I do not know. I have not went into seriously, these offers, but I hope to do so soon because we need them. My greatest desire on the South side is to build homes for the Black Man on the South side in Chicago. Again, my greatest desire is to put him up a hospital, which he sorely needs; he really needs a hospital. Again, the third, I would say, it is an educational center to teach him the knowledge of self. The city has not approached me yet to sell me and my followers these houses. But, they have indirectly indicated this would be easy to do, if I wanted to get them for such purposes.
QUESTION: Do you have a date in mind when you would like to begin construction of these one hundred single family homes?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: We would like to go into that as soon as possible with the proper authorities.
QUESTION: Will you also try similar enterprises in other cities?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: Yes, everywhere we are. This group in Baton Rouge, claiming to be Muslims, is there a known leader?
QUESTION: Do you know how many Muslims have been killed in the last few years, either by police or internal strife? Do you keep such a record?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: We try, but I am not saying how many we have on record, today.
QUESTION: You spoke earlier about police brutality. Were you suggesting that this was some kind of police plot? Or are you sure it was a splinter group?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: Yes, we have been attacked and still are being attacked by the police department and there are some few of my followers who have been killed by the police department.
QUESTION: Do you feel that the police might have been responsible for what happened at Baton Rouge or on the West Coast?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I am not eager to say pro or con on this matter, because I do not have too much knowledge of it. But I do know, according to what has passed, that the police department down there could give you better knowledge than me.
QUESTION: You indicate that the numbers of the Nation are increasing. How do you feel about the fidelity that is coming from the individuals who are joining up with the Nation? Do you feel people are becoming more deeply involved or more deeply a part of the Nation of Islam, or do you think the numbers tend to spread things thin?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I think for the last year or so that we have increased in the registry of our people, with very good people. Their morals are good and they are trying now to increase themselves into better morals. Our natural Black people all over the country are trying to do that.
QUESTION: Have you designated a successor for yourself ?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I do not do that. I cannot do that. I did not choose myself. God chose me and if He wants a successor, He will choose that one.
QUESTION: By what means would someone come up?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I do not know that, because I do not believe there is one coming up. The work that I am doing, I don’t think God needs one, because when man and God have come face to face, as the old saying goes, then that is the end of it. When we are face to face with God, that is the end of it and so what would another one do? There is nothing for him to do.
QUESTION: After you are gone, Mr. Muhammad, the Nation of Islam will continue to exist but how?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: It will be a New Islam to what the old Orthodox Islam is, today. It will be altogether a New One.
QUESTION: You mean your successor will preside over a New Islam?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: There will be no successor. There is no need for a successor when a man has got the Divine truth and has brought you face to face with God.
QUESTION: How will your resources be administered?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: That will be carried on by the Nation. After setting up the Nation on the right way, or right path to take care of themselves, they do not need any more instruction on that. They will follow it as the Constitution of America has been followed.
QUESTION: Will it be run by local Mosques?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: No, No, No. After this, the whole entire Nation of Black people will be governed Divinely and the government will be a Divine government and not something that is governed locally, like we have today. We will have a Divine government set up for us, and it will stand forever. We will not need any change.
QUESTION: What did you mean, “new different from Orthodox?”
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I meant just that. We have a New Islam coming up. The Old Islam was led by white people, white Muslims, but this one will not be. This Islam will be established and led by Black Muslims, only.
QUESTION: Will there be a Saviour’s Day affair as it has been in the Coliseum.
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: We have not made preparations there.
QUESTION: Where will you have it Sir.
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: We hope to have it in the Armory over on 52nd and Cottage.
QUESTION: Will you address the gathering, Mr. Muhammad?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: That depends on the Will of God. If He Pleases, I will be there.
QUESTION: Has that changed your plans, Baton Rouge, has it changed your security arrangements?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: No, because I have One Security and that is God, Himself.
QUESTION: How is your health?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: My health? Well, I do very well, I think, if it Pleases Allah. And, all of the afflictions of the former Messengers, to classify Elijah that is coming just before the Great and Dreadful day of God, he must have a taste of all of it.
QUESTION: Why did you appoint a press conference, today?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: They appointed themselves, and I am willing to go along with them, in that I set up a press conference.
QUESTION: When was the last press conference, do you recall ?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: I have not had an actual press conference in quite few years. I think it was in L.A. I had something like questions on certain things, on one thing, about when the Malcolm death took place. That was not, say, really a press conference. We have not had a press conference since quite a few years ago, out in Los Angeles.
QUESTION: Would you tell us the present status of Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay)?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: Cassius Clay is a good believer. I would say the young man is full of sport and he goes along with sport, too, but I think in his heart he wants to be good.
QUESTION: Will he be returned into full membership in the Nation of Islam?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: There is nothing one would do that cannot be forgiven, if he repents.
QUESTION: Have you set a date for when he comes back into full membership?
MESSENGER MUHAMMAD: No, he is actually still a good Believer. As far as certain duties or posts as he used to hold, as teaching the Ministry, I do not know when that will take place.