Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

February 25, 2013

Farrakhan focuses on economics in Chicago speech


Noticeably absent from Farrakhan's remarks were any major mentions of violence in Chicago and the organization's renewed and more public efforts to combat it. Chicago had an uptick of violence last year with more than 500 murders and last July, Farrakhan dispatched the organization's military-style members to march city streets in an attempt to reach out to community members and those in gangs.

And in a rare move, the minister himself marched in the streets alongside Nation of Islam members.

Muhammad said members of the movement continue to do similar work in the neighborhoods of Chicago, New York and other cities but on a more low-key basis. He said the group would ramp up again in the summer in Chicago and that the organization also is developing anti-violence programs.

Chicago area ministers and anti-violence advocates from CeaseFire confirmed the Nation of Islam has become more active in combating violence in recent months, volunteering security services at a peace summit and workshops, among other things.

"The effort is to promote peace in the streets. Our first effort is to introduce ourselves to the community," Muhammad said. "So many feel neglected and abandoned."

In his speech Sunday, Farrakhan only addressed violence in terms of guns, saying illegal weapons are the problem.

"The Second Amendment has no relevance to the black community in this sense," he said. "All your weapons are illegal and you're using them like a savage people."


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