Preaching directly from the Quran before a packed Baptist church, the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told his adoring audience that violent retaliation is the only way for American blacks to “rise up” and overthrow their white oppressors.
Conservative black leaders told WND Wednesday they believe Farrakhan’s statements went beyond the limits of free speech into the realm of criminal incitement, although a noted constitutional attorney cautioned that prosecuting on these terms would be an uphill battle.
“I’m looking for ten thousand in the midst of the million. Ten thousand men who say, ‘Death is sweeter than continued life under tyranny,'” Farrakhan told the congregants at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Miami in a speech that he posted on his Facebook page earlier this week.
He then launched into a poetic tirade against whites backed up with Quranic verse.
“Death is sweeter than to continue to live and bury our children, while white folks give the killer hamburgers.
“Death is sweeter, than watching us slaughter each other, to the joy of a 400-year-old enemy. Yes, death is sweeter.
“The Quran teaches persecution is worse than slaughter. Then it says, ‘Retaliation is prescribed in matters of the slain.’ Retaliation is a prescription from God, to calm the breast of those whose children have been slain.
“So if the federal government will not intercede in our affairs, then we must rise up and kill those who kill us. Stalk them and kill them and let them feel the pain of death that we are feeling.”
The crowd responded with a standing ovation as the 82-year-old Muslim preacher bathed in the moment.
Watch the clip of Farrakhan’s sermon to the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Miami:
One former follower of Farrakhan’s was not surprised by the bombastic tone and content of the speech.
“When I was young I used to go listen to Farrakhan and I bought into his racist and hate-filled message,” author and radio talk-show host Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson told WND. “To young people who don’t have stable families and fathers around to guide them, Farrakhan’s anger and rhetoric seems like courage and strength. In my anger, I would have killed for Farrakhan. I know what it’s like for these angry black people to be manipulated and convinced to mindlessly follow this black racist.”
Peterson said Farrakhan is no different than ISIS calling for an attack on Americans.
“He’s calling for an American version of a suicide bombing,” said Peterson, an exclusive WND columnist and author of the book “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.”
‘At least he’s honest’
Robert Spencer, author of the blog Jihad Watch and several books about Islam including “Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs,” said he admires Farrakhan for one thing: His brute honesty.
“Farrakhan apparently figured his audience knew that the Quran does sanction the murder of unbelievers who are considered to be at war with Islam. He knew that they would see in the Quran the justification for his blood-chilling call to violence,” Spencer told WND. “As monstrous as he is, at least his honesty is a refreshing break from the legion of pious dissemblers who constantly insist that Islam is a religion of peace and that only ignorant ‘Islamophobes’ think otherwise.”
Jack Cashill, a WND contributor and author of the new book “Scarlet Letters: The Ever-increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism Exposed,” said the presidency of Barack Obama has resuscitated and breathed new life into Farrakhan’s ministry, encouraging him to spew ever-more outrageous racial invective.
“The Obama presidency has given the 82-year-old Farrakhan new life,” Cashill told WND. “By racializing just about everything he has touched, Obama has raised black paranoia to new heights, and Farrakhan is exploiting that paranoia with potentially lethal consequences.”
While Farrakhan’s Miami speech has been going viral on social media, Cashill was bemused by the lack of interest from the corporate media. This from the same media that gave wall-to-wall coverage of Donald Trump’s comments about illegal aliens, Paula Dean’s use of the “n” word, and former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist comments to a mistress.
“Still, not a word from the White House or the media on Farrakhan’s call to wage jihad on America’s police,” Cashill said.
Alveda King, an evangelist and pro-life advocate with Priests for Life, said the Islamic leader should take a cue from her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“I would pray to remind Minister Farrakhan that my Uncle Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that ‘we must all learn to live together as brothers [and sisters], or perish as fools.’ Violence begets more violence,” King told WND. “Nonviolent albeit brave and courageous conflict resolution has proven to be very effective throughout the ages. Living by the sword or other human weapons of destruction cause death by the same.”
Farrakhan’s assumption that the “federal government” should intervene in the affairs of black people is misplaced, she said.
“The government cannot deliver a people, only God can do that,” King said. “We must pray to live and not die to declare the works and Word of the Lord.”
Looking to spark race war?
Peterson said Farrakhan is a longtime demagogue looking to tap into black angst and spark a “race war.”
“Farrakhan claims blacks are suffering under the ‘tyranny’ of whites, but the only tyranny that’s controlling black Americans today is their own anger and hatred toward whites,” Peterson said.
Peterson said Farrakhan is deceiving blacks and he’s “leading them to the slaughter.”
“Farrakhan is a racist. He has referred to whites as blue-eyed devils. He’s taking advantage of the anger that exists in the black community for his own personal gain.
“This man is a domestic terrorist and he needs to be arrested immediately for making terrorist threats. This is against the law,” he continued. “No white person could incite and encourage violence toward blacks and get away with it. They would be locked up and shunned. What Farrakhan is doing is evil and it’s not good for America. Whites are not causing the suffering and misery that exists in the major urban areas. The breakdown of the black family, dependency on the government, and lack of moral character are the real issues hurting blacks.”
Christians applaud Islamic preacher of war
The fact that Farrakhan made his remarks at a black church is even more troubling to Peterson, himself an ordained minister.
“That indicates that these men and women agree with his hate speech. There is no way you can believe in God and applaud and cheer for a demagogue,” he said. “There’s no way you can be a Christian and listen to someone who encourages you to hate your fellow man. That is not showing love. The people listening to Farrakhan need to repent. These people are encouraging the next generation to hate whites. At this rate, this race issue will never end.”
With his outrageous words Farrakhan may be bumping up against the outer limits of what is considered free speech under the First Amendment, but getting a conviction would be difficult under the criminal statutes of most states, said Herb Titus, a constitutional scholar and former law school professor at Regent University.
Before a case could come to the level of federal First Amendment rights, it would first have to go through the criminal courts, Titus said.
“The criminal law requires immediacy, particularity and, with a general statement such as this, it’s very difficult to find in the criminal law statutes that he’s actually done anything that you could convict him of. There is no such thing as a threat to murder. And attempted murder is very difficult to prove,” he said. “There’s some catch-all criminal statutes like mayhem but even then there requires evidence that someone is acting on whatever the person is encouraging them to do.”
Terroristic threats may provide the best option, but even that wouldn’t be a slam dunk.
“That’s troubling in itself. What is terrorism? What does that mean? It’s never been clearly defined. So again, that’s going to give wide discretion to the prosecutor. And laws threatening terror are very wide, one of the first things you are taught in law school is you have to define the elements, and oftentimes threatening behavior just doesn’t calculate into criminal behavior.”
Titus cited the landmark case of Watts v. United States that ascended to the Supreme Court in 1969.
Robert Watts, a young black man, allegedly stated during a protest rally in Washington, D.C.:
“They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday morning. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J. They are not going to make me kill my black brothers.”
Prosecutors charged Watts with violating a federal law that prohibits threats against the president. Watts countered that his statement was a form of crude political opposition, according to the First Amendment Center.
A federal jury convicted Watts of a felony for violating the law and a federal appeals court affirmed his conviction. On appeal, the Supreme Court reversed, ruling that Watts’ statement was political hyperbole rather than a true threat.