Farrakhan calls on Trump to repent

Religion News Service | 11/24/2017, 2:19 p.m.
Minister Louis Farrakhan called on President Trump to repent for what the Nation of Islam leader called America’s mistreatment of …

By Adelle M. Banks

Religion News Service


Minister Louis Farrakhan called on President Trump to repent for what the Nation of Islam leader called America’s mistreatment of black people over the centuries.

“America is a great nation, but America needs to reflect on her sins,” Minister Farrakhan told hundreds of supporters gathered Nov. 16 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington for an event billed as “a major message” to the Trump administration.

For more than two hours, Minister Farrakhan covered a range of topics from politics to religion, citing Christian and Muslim scriptures. He combined condemnation of presidents past and present — although he was more supportive of former President Obama — with declarations of his continuing devotion to Elijah Muhammad, his predecessor as leader of the Nation of Islam.

“I am here from my teacher, not out of hate, but out of hope that maybe what I say to this 45th president of the United States of America might have an effect to get him off the course that he is on,” Minister Farrakhan said.

He suggested President Trump forego plans to confront North Korea.

“You will never get North Korea to give up what she has as a trump card. That’s over, Mr. Trump,” he said. “Can you live with North Korea with nuclear weapons? I think you’re going to have to, even though you have war plans already to knock out North Korea.”

The 84-year-old leader, his speech accented by images of former U.S. presidents and a poster of a 2010 Nation of Islam book, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” dove into all sorts of controversies — from slavery to the unhealthy water in Flint, Mich., to current reports of sexual harassment by national leaders and celebrities.

The Nation of Islam’s influence has waned since its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s when the movement claimed to have half a million adherents. African-Americans were drawn to its message of self-sufficiency and piety that combined a mistrust of the white establishment and a call for black separatism.

As for recent sexual harassment scandals, Minister Farrakhan maintained all members of Congress might be guilty. And he quoted Allah’s words that are rendered in at least one English translation of the Quran as: “Did I not find you groping and show you the way?”

Minister Farrakhan said it wasn’t “nice” for President Trump to call protesting football players names for kneeling at games and said black people are under attack in other ways.

“You’re under assault, black brothers and sisters,” he said. “Why is the sperm count in black men falling? Because of the food you eat and the water you drink. The lead in the water in Flint is not an accident.”

Minister Farrakhan said he planned to contact President Trump via mail and added, drawing laughter from the crowd, “I don’t go to White Houses.”

His speech came two years after he spoke at the “Justice or Else” rally in 2015 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March.