Michael Z. Muhammad, Contributing Writer (Final Call News)
Sitting at the top of South America in its northeastern corner lies a jewel, Guyana, the area’s only English-speaking country. Rich in minerals but impoverished the nation is governed by its former slaves who were brought to the land from Africa by English colonizers.
Nation of Islam Student Minister Dennis Muhammad of Guyana hosted Student Minister Nuri Muhammad on a whirlwind tour of Guyana with visits to three cities and appearances at mosques, Christian churches, TV and radio stations. The occasion was the 1st Anniversary of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Week, in tribute to the patriarch of the Nation of Islam.
According to Student Minister Nuri Muhammad, the love he received from the Guyanese people was humbling and overwhelming. Accompanying him were Student Minister David Muhammad from Trinidad, Min. Farrakhan’s Eastern Caribbean representative; Fruit of Islam Student Captain Brent Muhammad of Trinidad; Mikal Muhammad of St. Vincent’s; Phillip Muhammad, a Guyanese native currently residing in Canada and Daniel Muhammad, F.O.I. Student 1st Officer of Mosque No. 74, the home base for Min. Nuri Muhammad.
Before his arrival, the popular firebrand minister had been showcased on Guyanese television allowing the people to become acquainted with him. “This created a buzz, and the people begin to inquire about me, so Brother Dennis set up my visit for the anniversary tribute week for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” he told The Final Call.
Nuri Muhammad said the primary purpose for the trip was to bring the message of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to the people. “We went to Guyana with the intention of doing the best we could to give an accurate appraisal of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his chief student, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, by teaching on them and giving the teachings from them,” he explained.
“We went to three cities starting in Linden (the second largest town in Guyana) doing a radio program hosted by Brother Stan Gouveia (a popular radio personality with the hit show “The Midday Mix). Then we met with the mayor of Linden, Carwyn Holland, who is greatly influenced by the teachings,” he noted. “From there we spoke to middle and high school students from five different schools.”
Students were actually off from school celebrating “Teacher’s Week,” a part of World Teachers Day celebrated in the country in early October, said Nuri Muhammad. “They came dressed in full uniform to hear what we had to say motivated by lectures they had seen by me on television,” he said.
A highlight of the trip occurred in Linden where Student Min. Nuri Muhammad delivered a keynote address to over 1,000 teachers from across the country at the McKenzie Sports Club Grounds. His theme was “Education as the Bedrock for Nation Building.” It was the crowning event of World Teachers Day festivities. From there he and his delegation traveled to the Linden Islamic Center, under the leadership of Imam Saleem Kadir. Student Min. Nuri Muhammad delivered the khutbah, or sermon, during traditional Islamic Friday prayers known as Jumu’ah. Next was a television appearance and onto the main event, which took place at Egbert Benjamin Hall. His topic to the Guyanese people was “Elevate and Protect Black Women.” And that was just the schedule for day one—the visit lasted from Oct. 5-Oct. 9.
Day two brought the articulate Muslim minister to the capital city of Georgetown where he did a radio interview. From there it was on to Paradise Village for his second primary address titled, “The Return to Our Greatness” at the Paradise Government School.
In analyzing the major social issues facing the people, Nuri Muhammad pointed out how the same problems face Black people in America. Raised under a system that taught love of White and degradation of Black, “self-hatred is the main issue,” he observed. “They were slaves, and they still have the White man’s concoction disguised as Jesus’ teaching. Most are Christians, hog eaters and full of self-hatred, admiring White,” Min. Nuri Muhammad said.
His tour ended on a Sunday in Georgetown, Guyana, with two premier events. The first happened in the morning at the Jehovah’s Mystic Shrine of Truth Church. “We taught on, ‘Jesus: Too many fans and not enough followers,’ ” said Min. Nuri Muhammad. That evening at the National Sports Hall, the energetic student minister delivered his main address, “Unlocking the God Power in Black Youth.”
“The love the people have for Minister Farrakhan is tremendous in Guyana! Everywhere we went, the people were chanting FARRAKHAN! as we walked the streets. Hundreds came out for almost every event, government officials, business people, pastors, and local TV personalities were there,” said Nuri Muhammad.
Bro. David Muhammad, who was part of the delegation, told The Final Call, “Brother Nuri was very well received by the citizenry. It was as if the audience traveled into a new realm of knowledge. He introduced many powerful ideas through a dynamic and thought-provoking representation of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. It was three days of pure enlightenment.”
David Muhammad also pointed out misinformation concerning the racial makeup of Guyana. According to the statistics, the majority of the country is made up of Indians from India who were former indentured servants under British colonialism. “This not true,” David Muhammad, who is based in Trinidad, noted. “You have Blacks and Indians but also have a mixed category. Herein lies the trick. Dark skinned as well as light-skinned Indians are the same. Black-skinned Guyanese are distinguished from light-complexion Guyanese, yet both have African roots.”
The experience of the African slave in Guyana was similar to that of the American slave, who lost all identity, Bro. David Muhammad continued. The Indians retained their cultural identity and hence have an advantage, he said. Interestingly “Cuffy” (Kofi), the African-born father of an 18th Century Guyanese slave revolt, was thought to be Muslim according to the literature of the time, added Bro. David Muhammad.
The lecture Min. Nuri Muhammad delivered at the Georgetown church was outstanding and stood out, said Bro. David Muhammad. “The church was African Methodist Episcopal. We didn’t know what to expect. It was hot in the crowded church with candles burning everywhere, and the ceiling was low adding to the heat. His message on Jesus was incredible and well received by those in attendance.”
“The student minister in Guyana, Dennis Muhammad has been doing a beautiful job representing the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” according to student first officer Daniel Muhammad. “The Minister is on television and radio weekly. The people were ready for Brother Nuri.”
Source: The Final Call (Vol. 37 Number 6)