Muhammad Mosque No. 61 invites you

The Ministry of Spiritual Development  
The mission of the N.O.I. as a whole and of each of its parts is the spiritual development of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America and our people throughout the world. The mission of the N.O.I. is the resurrection spiritually of a dead people and the entire focus and meaning of its work is to bring about this resurrection as quickly as possible. This is the purpose that gives meaning to all other activities engaged in and is the criterion by which we expect to be judged by Allah and His Messenger, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. As such, the spiritual dimension must be present in all and excluded from none. (copied from  
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From The Final Call Newspaper

Anti-Black history and hatred serve as backlash against Black progress
By Anisah Muhammad, Contributing Writer
- April 1, 2024

“There has been a great display of anti-Black hatred in the United States of America. There have been many nooses placed in different cities and in different institutions to let Black people know that there still is a great deal of hatred for us in this society.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan shared those words during a message delivered on October 28, 2007, on the topic “Justifiable Homicide,” about increased attacks and wholesale killings of primarily Black, Brown and Indigenous youth in the United States.

Seventeen years later, despite marching, protesting, and the so-called “racial reckoning” after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, there has been little to no change toward racial healing between Black and White people in America. In Rockford, Illinois, authorities are contemplating hate crime charges for a White male suspect who was arrested for the fatal stabbing of a young, Black Walmart employee.

According to the Rockford Register Star, Rockford Police Department officers arrested Timothy Carter on charges of first-degree murder. They say Mr. Carter stabbed 18-year-old Jason Jenkins on March 24 with one of two knives he had picked up while walking through the aisles of the store. “Surveillance footage appeared to show Carter, a White man, ‘wandering around the store and giving all the African American people dirty looks,’ a police officer wrote in a probable cause statement,” the news outlet reported. Mr. Carter also reportedly uttered a “racial slur” before stabbing the teenager.

Other incidents—some violent, some non-violent—that occurred during this year’s Black History Month and beyond have again manifested the levels of racial tension present in American society and the unpeeling of the mask of White civility.

Racism in schools

Several of the recent racialized incidents occurred within the school system. A White teacher in metro Atlanta came under fire for using the N-word in what was supposed to be a “funny” TikTok video on interracial friendships.

“I think that there’s been a resurgence of racial animus and the use of the word since the election in 2016. I think we’re in a very difficult racial climate right now, and people are trying to adjust. Some are trying to use humor. Others are just being outright racist,” attorney Gerald Griggs, president of the Georgia NAACP and the Atlanta branch, said to The Final Call. “We as melanated people need to be aware that these things are very much still alive, and that there’s a constant battle to make sure we don’t go back to either the 1860s or the 1960s.”

Atty. Griggs spoke on the importance of young Black children being vigilant and standing up for themselves.

“If you’re in elementary school, if you’re in middle school, high school, of course talk to the administration. If they don’t want to do anything, talk to the school board. They don’t want to do anything, then it’s time to go to court,” he said. “Because we cannot settle for a time when it’s being normalized, this attack on Blackness, so we have to stand up, and it’s incumbent upon the next generation to understand that now it’s their time to stand up like their ancestors did.”

In Massachusetts, six middle school students have been criminally charged for racial bullying. The students allegedly held mock slave auctions on Snapchat, allowing White students to bid on their two Black classmates. At another middle school in Kentucky, White students allegedly used racial slurs and participated in targeted bullying of non-White students.

Dr. LaGarrett King, an associate professor in social studies education at the University of Buffalo and director of the Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education, shared with The Final Call the long history of anti-Black classroom activities. He cited an example of a 2010 incident where a Black elementary school student was “sold” in a mock auction as part of a history lesson. For Dr. King, these examples speak to the rise in what he called “anti-Black history legislation,” or attacks against critical race theory (CRT).

“Schools have no idea what Black history is. They know little about Black people. They know little about Black people’s history. Typically, the Black history that we learn is not necessarily Black history,” he said. “For Black history to be Black history, that history has to come from a Black person’s perspective. And many times, the ‘Black history’ that we learn is coming from a White person’s lens of looking at Black people through their history.”

He commented on how history teaches that “White people are the most historically important people in the world,” how Europeanism is embedded in every aspect of history, and how White people are looked at as the “cultivators of civilization,” establishing in White people a level of superiority.

DEI rollbacks

The present-day assaults against Black people include the false promises of “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) and the rollbacks of DEI positions within businesses and institutions due to a recent wave by state legislators.

According to a “DEI Legislation Tracker” by The Chronicle of Higher Education, updated on March 22, 81 bills in 28 states have been introduced that would prohibit colleges from having DEI offices or staff, ban mandatory diversity training, prohibit institutions from using diversity statements in hiring and promotion or prohibit colleges from using race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in admissions or employment.

Anti-DEI legislation has more than doubled since June 2023. Just two months shy of one year ago, the tracker recorded 37 bills in 21 states. Alabama recently joined the list of states that have passed legislation prohibiting public schools and universities from maintaining and funding DEI programs.

Terrance Sullivan, former executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, penned an opinion piece for The Courier-Journal on how Kentucky lawmakers are hiding their racism behind anti-DEI and CRT laws.

“To many, DEI is another acronym that means the Black people are getting too close to us, we have to remind them of their place. And as a result of this nonsense, jobs are being cut and some kids are at risk of losing scholarships—all because universities are running scared instead of being bold and fighting back,” he writes.

He concludes the article with the statement: “There are many people who want to remind us that they don’t want us here. That we are not welcome in these spaces, but the acronyms and misnomers are getting old.”

In a new social media trend, White people have redefined “DEI” to mean “didn’t earn it.”

Human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid posted a response about the new label on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“MAGAs are labeling DEI as ‘Didn’t Earn It,’ which is wild because in reality, generating historic wealth through 2 billion acres of stolen land from Native Americans, enslaving Black people for 300 years, banning Asian immigration until 1965, and banning women from financial access til 1974—all without paying a single red cent in reparations or restitution—is the living breathing example not earning it,” he shared.

Others on the platform have been calling out White privilege and how White people continue to benefit from the legacy of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the vestiges of the Jim Crow era.

Dr. King explained the connection between DEI rollbacks and racialized incidents in the school system concerning Black history. “They have this anti-Black sentiment based on the history they have learned about Blackness,” he said.

He described that most DEI programs are just “multicultural celebrations” and are not accomplishing what people think they are.

“What people are thinking is happening in DEI is not happening. There’s not this big takeover or this notion of blaming White people for different things,” he said. “They’re not necessarily getting at systemic oppression within those institutions. They’re not getting at trying to understand racialized experiences of Black people and other people of color.”

Black progress and excellence

Dr. King noted that the reason racist incidents continue to occur is because American society, which was founded on racism, slavery and lynching, is still suffering from racial trauma.

“The racial trauma continues because we continuously fight over the truth of history. Where we can’t tell the truth of history, we will never heal as a nation,” he said. “There’s always people that don’t want us to heal for their benefits, so they can still obtain power.”

Atty. Griggs wants Black people to realize that “we’re not the minority.”

“Once we recognize our collective power and stand up, the world will take notice. I think we’re in the middle of a third backlash to the advancement of African Americans, and we have to do what we did in the first two, that being, reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement,” he said. “We have to stand up and push back in real-time and make people recognize that we are so proud of being Black. It is a wonderful existence, and if you feel intimidated about that, that’s your problem, not mine.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been a longtime proponent of Black excellence. In a speech delivered in 2014 on education, he questioned, “Do you know how to end White racism?” He answered, “Black excellence ends White racism.”

Minister Farrakhan has also shared wisdom on how Black progress equals White intimidation. During his “Justifiable Homicide” message, he explained the tremendous progress Black people made during the Reconstruction era and how “if the so-called Negro was set free and given the material to build an independent existence, he could become a serious challenge to White superiority.”

“… those that would challenge their former slave master by wanting to vote, purchase land, pursue education or striving to do anything but plantation labor—these kinds of Black brothers and sisters would be dealt with harshly by the former slave-masters, and there was no deliberative body that would judge our affairs with justice,” he said.

“Therefore, every killing of a Black man or woman; every lynching of a Black man or woman was excusable,” he added. “… anything that was done to us to maintain White supremacy was in fact an unwritten law. The killing of every Black human being during the 300 years of chattel slavery and even now, 150 years up from slavery, at the hands of White people is generally considered ‘excusable.’”

“Now, this atmosphere is beginning to spread again in America. I want to really make it clear to you today what we are going to face, what we are facing, as it will increase in the days ahead,” Minister Farrakhan warned.

Since then, he has further warned about how the “hatred of Black is manifesting” all over the planet and how the White race’s “mask of civility” is slowly being peeled back, like the layers of an onion, due to the rise of the darker people of the earth.

“Now you see an enemy that hates our shadow. And like Abraham Lincoln said, ‘you suffer from being here with us and we suffer from your presence among us,’” the Minister said in a Final Call newspaper year-end interview for 2016. “This is going to come to a head and the Will of God will be carried out, which is that the Black and the Brown and the Red, we must go free in a land of our own; not under White supremacy but ruled under our own wisdom, knowledge, understanding and the guidance of God.”

From The Final Call Newspaper

Is Free Speech in jeopardy?

By Nisa Islam Muhammad, Staff Writer
- March 25, 2024

Court of Law and Justice Trial Session: Imparcial Honorable Judge Pronouncing Sentence, striking Gavel. Focus on Mallet, Hammer. Cinematic Shot of Dramatic Not Guilty Verdict. Close-up Shot.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Did the Biden administration violate free speech rights during the pandemic when they allegedly pressured social media companies to take down content the government considered misinformation? That’s the case before the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri.

According to court documents the case is about a group of social-media users (Facebook and others) and two states who allege that numerous federal officials coerced social-media platforms into censoring social-media content, in violation of the First Amendment.

Atty. Tricia Lindsay speaks at a free speech rally held outside the Supreme Court of the United States on March 18 in Washington, D.C.

They sued the government in Missouri v. Biden. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit issued a modified injunction last October banning dozens of government employees from “coerc[ing] or significantly encourag[ing] a platform’s content-moderation decisions.” The government appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court justices recently heard a day of testimony and arguments with each side passionately representing their point. The decision is expected in June. Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Neil Gorsuch described the case as “a coordinated campaign by high-level federal officials to suppress the expression of disfavored views on important public issues.”


The government’s attorney, Brian Fletcher, argued that “[t]he government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech, but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers.” The government contends they coerced no one and, on the contrary, all they did was use persuasion. Mr. Fletcher said the lower courts have “mistook persuasion for coercion.”

He added that “government speech crosses the line into coercion only if, viewed objectively, it conveys a threat of adverse government action. And because no threats happened here, the Court should reverse.” The government, in short, “stay[ed] on the persuasion side of the line.” The government contends they were merely offering “information” and “advice” to their “partners” in fighting “misinformation.”

That’s not how the group suing the government saw it. Louisiana Solicitor General J. Benjamin Aguiñaga represented the plaintiffs. He argued there was “unrelenting government pressure,” contended “the government has no right to persuade platforms to violate Americans’ constitutional rights, and pressuring platforms in back rooms shielded from public view is not using the bully pulpit at all.

Activists and concerned citizens attend a free speech rally in Washington, D.C. Photos: Charlene Muhammad

That’s just being a bully.” He argued further that the plaintiffs don’t need to prove coercion to win––only encouragement and pressure. “We don’t need coercion as a theory. That’s why we led with encouragement in our . . . brief,” he explained.

Mr. Aguiñaga presented evidence that government officials such as Deputy Assistant to the President Rob Flaherty “badger[ed] the platforms 24/7,” demanding that they broaden their content restrictions and enforce them more aggressively.

Mr. Aguiñaga submitted emails that alluded to President Biden being unhappy with what the social media platforms were doing and warned that White House officials were “considering our options on what to do” if the platforms protested. The social media platforms buckled under the pressure, and consequently changed their policies as well as practices regarding content.

In emails to the Surgeon General, Dr. Vivtek Murthy, Facebook executive Nick Clegg seemed eager to pacify President Biden. Mr. Clegg explained that Facebook “adjust[ed] policies on what we’re removing;” deleted pages, groups, and accounts that offended the White House; and would “shortly be expanding our COVID policies to further reduce the spread of potentially harmful content.”

Facebook bowed. Mr. Clegg wrote in another internal email that Mr. Aguiñaga quoted, “because we were under pressure by the administration.” Mr. Clegg expressed regret about caving to that pressure, saying, “We shouldn’t have done it.”

The government’s pressure went beyond emails to platform executives to the general public when President Biden accused the platforms of “killing people” by allowing users to say things he believed would discourage Americans from being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Surgeon General Murthy took that even further by urging a “whole-of-society” effort to combat the “urgent threat to public health” posed by “health misinformation,” which he said might include “legal and regulatory measures.”

Filmmaker Del Bigtree also spoke at the gathering.

Piling on were other federal officials who explained that holding social media platforms “accountable” could entail antitrust action, new regulations or expansion of their civil liability for user-posted content.

Mr. Fletcher explained that “when thousands of Americans were still dying every week” the government felt justified with communications that included “intensity” and “anger.” However, he did acknowledge that some of the government’s communications with the platforms “is unusual.”

“[T]he First Amendment isn’t a civility code,” Mr. Fletcher explained, adding that “context matters a ton.” He dismissed claims of government coercion of the social media platform. The platforms, he explained, are “powerful, sophisticated entities” used to back-and-forth government interactions and can independently decide when to remove speech and speakers. They aren’t easily cowed.

Rally in support of Free Speech

The impact of the government’s “persuasion” to remove content they found objectionable was felt far and wide. Many in the scientific world felt the government’s action interfered with people being able to make informed consent when they were only allowed to know what the government permitted to be known.

Dozens gathered at the Supreme Court to support free speech and speak out against First Amendment violations.

Dr. Pierre Kory, President of FLCCC Alliance, speaks at free speech rally in Washington, D.C., on March 18.

Dr. Christina X Parks has a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Michigan Medical School. She was the first speaker at the rally in support of free speech which was held March 18. She told The Final Call, “One of the lawyers just said this was the most important case on free speech in the history of all us.

The actions of the Biden administration, the Surgeon General, and the CDC, explained in Missouri v. Biden, were so egregious that they constitute the biggest threat to free speech this nation has ever experienced. They were so egregious at coercing the social media platforms to basically become arbiters of the government’s truth. If we fail at litigating this correctly and enforcing our free speech rights, we are no longer going to have a constitutional republic.”

Dozens gathered at the Supreme Court to support free speech and speak out against First Amendment violence.

“Average people were the losers because they didn’t have the information that they needed to make informed consent to know the truth about the vaccine, the truth about COVID and to know there were actually effective treatments. So, their health suffered and their family suffered.

They lost jobs, even though now we know, which I was saying from the beginning, that the vaccine didn’t prevent transmission. But at a deeper level, this is enabling tyranny because that’s what that was. If they can censor us when we’re trying to tell you the truth about these things, then they can censor anybody about anything.”

Tricia Lindsay is a civil rights attorney. She told the rally crowd, “When this whole situation started, this atrocity that I call it, it was clear, at least to me, … what was coming, the lockdowns, the mandates, go home, stay away from family members, stay away from friends.

It was a clear assault on our Constitution, a clear assault on our freedoms to assemble, to work, to move about, to travel. We had to ask permission or be limited to whose homes we could go to, when we could go outside, things of that nature. It just didn’t make sense.”

“Today we stand on the precipice of change. We stand at the crossroads between tyranny and democracy, freedom and literal slavery, dictatorship and republic, as the justices of this great U.S. Supreme Court hold in their hands. They have the ultimate power to determine the trajectory of our country, our lives, really the trajectory of our lives that can change our country.”

Del Matthew Bigtree is a television and film producer who is the CEO of the anti-vaccination group Informed Consent Action Network. He also produced the film, “Vaxxed: From Cover Up to Catastrophe.”

He told The Final Call, “We see all the studies, Cleveland Clinic, famous studies now showing us that if you get the vaccine within about 14 or 15 weeks, you’re more likely to be infected. Meaning this vaccine is helping the virus, which was something that we warned about in the High Wire very, very early on.”

“We cannot any longer depend on that television set. We know it lies to us. We can’t depend on those newspapers. We know they lied to us. I keep saying that there’s a real spiritual component to this, which is we all have to sit and get quiet and get with God and really ask ourselves, does it make sense what they’re saying to me?

We have to start trusting that God-given intuition more and trust ourselves and speak our truth. Remember that the Constitution is not designed to control us. It’s designed to control our government.”

Atty. Abdul Arif Muhammad

The Nation of Islam spoke early on COVID and the vaccine which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan encouraged his followers to avoid at all costs. Abdul Arif Muhammad is the student general counsel for the Nation of Islam and successfully argued a case against an insurance company that tried to force Dr. Safiyya Shabazz to stop administering Ivermectin to her patients with COVID-19. They also tried to pressure her to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The impact of this case, if decided in favor of the government, would be to give more power to the federal government to prescribe what exact rights people would have under the First Amendment, particularly concerning matters that the government does not agree with. It would not be limited.

It started here with the concept of the government regulating what people could say about the COVID-19 vaccine, and that they are not permitted to express disagreement with the COVID-19 vaccine or to offer their views of alternative treatments against the COVID-19 virus,” Attorney Muhammad told The Final Call.

“The government did not want anyone to express a view different from their selling point that the Covid 19 vaccine was safe and effective which has been proven to not be true. The government was allowed to condemn people who offered a different view on social media concerning the COVID-19 vaccine and said that the COVID-19 vaccine was harmful as well as offered alternative remedies,” he continued.

Atty. Muhammad explained that as early as July 2020, Minister Farrakhan told people not to take the vaccine even before the vaccine actually went on the market. Recently, in a major speech in February during the Nation’s annual Saviours’ Day convention in Detroit, Minister Farrakhan spoke again on the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccine. He told the sold-out audience, “The government put a great hit on us in a vaccine. My voice was the voice that told you, don’t take it. Don’t take it. They’re trying to kill us softly with a vaccine.”

Atty. Muhammad is very concerned about this case. “All of these things that are in the First Amendment are now in danger. The First Amendment was included in the constitution to grant to its citizens, the right to express their dissent against government actions.

If the court allows the government to use its power to impose itself on social media companies and others to say that you as a citizen don’t have the right to express a point of view different from that of the government, you could be accused by the government of engaging in misinformation,” he said.

“Further this could lead to the government ultimately saying that you are violating some statute that could be criminal in nature, that you could then be arrested for or being charged with crimes. If the court grants this power to the government, it started with COVID-19, what will be the next issue that the government will use this power to suppress free speech?”

From The Final Call Newspaper

Global protests intensify and demands to ‘Free Palestine’ grow
By The Final Call
- March 5, 2024

Demonstrators gather outside the Israeli Embassy to demand a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip in Washington, D.C., on March 2. Protesters also commemorated the U.S. service member Aaron Bushnell who self-immolated outside the embassy. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu via Getty Images

by Nisa Islam Muhammad and Charlene Muhammad

The Final Call @TheFinalCall

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Thousands gathered at the Israeli Embassy in the nation’s capital and in cities across the U.S. and abroad as part of another global day of protest to demand no invasion of Rafah, a ceasefire to end the Israeli killing spree on Palestinians and the lifting of the siege of Gaza. Rafah is in the south of the Gaza Strip which shares a border with Egypt.

An estimated 1.5 million internally displaced Palestinians taking refuge there are facing famine, and Israel has threatened a last-ditch effort to destroy Hamas with a ground invasion of Rafah.

“Our request was for a ceasefire, but we’re 140 days in,” Hazami Baramada, told the media. She is an activist, global strategy consultant, and international public speaker.

“You have a majority of Gaza destroyed, demolished schools, infrastructure, hospitals, all civilian infrastructure is completely demolished. You have 14,000 children who’ve been killed, over 40,000 according to Euro Med (Human Rights Monitor). People have been killed, including civilian populations. There are 20-plus thousand orphans.

The numbers are so staggering and so disgusting and so inhumane that a ceasefire is no longer enough. We demand a change in the U.S. relationship with Israel. We demand accountability,” she continued. Gaza’s health ministry said the number of Palestinians killed in the war has surpassed 30,000.

“We demand answers on why the United States is constantly allowing war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against international law, violations of just basic human dignity to continue to happen. And the hypocrisy! You call out what’s happening in Russia and Ukraine and you’re not willing to hold the same standards to Israel and Palestine. It is atrocious. The American taxpayer dollars are not only paying for this, but our military has normalized it.”

Ms. Baramada argued that misinformation and lies are being peddled and that one of the objectives of the March 2 mass mobilization was for citizens to hold the U.S. and Israeli governments accountable for their actions.

“We can’t hold Israel accountable as individual citizens, but what we can do is expose what they’re doing. We can educate the average American and put pressure on our administration to cut the relationship, to stop unconditional aid, and to start holding Israel accountable for its war crimes.

Protesters rally in front of Los Angeles City Hall during a “Global Day of Protest” in support of Palestinians in Los Angeles, California, on March 2, 2024. (Photo by Katie McTiernan / AFP) (Photo by KATIE MCTIERNAN/AFP via Getty Images)

We have for far too long, regardless of the administration, used our political, social, and economic power to sanction what is happening, but then also to support it. We are actively part of a genocide. We are not just enabling it. We are part of the genocide and this needs to stop.”

Madge Henderson is a White American middle-class woman. After the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas, she said she supported Israel’s right to defend itself. However, after hearing about the tens of thousands of murdered Palestinian women and children she later changed her mind. Ms. Henderson traveled with her family from Fredericksburg, Virginia, to D.C. to participate in the demonstration.

“I’m here to protest the genocide going on in Gaza. Babies (limbs) are being amputated without any anesthesia, people are starving and dying. I can’t believe my government of the United States is using my taxpayer dollars to pay for this atrocity,” she told The Final Call. “I’ve never protested anything in my life. I love all people. I grew up traveling the world with my parents. I love Palestinians and I also love Jewish people. I love Muslims. But today love is not enough. Something has to be done to stop the massacres.”

D.C. was one of more than 120 cities across the United States and dozens of others around the globe engaged in mass actions, on March 2, to protest the continued genocide in Palestine. Israel has threatened to invade Rafah on March 10 coinciding with the beginning of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan. More than 300 organizations supported the protests.

A Palestinian woman reacts after an Israeli strike on Shaheen family house in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Hatem Ali)

“The Palestinian people of Gaza have been faced with months of nonstop bombardment, mass killing, and forced starvation. Even as the occupation army targets various quarters of Rafah, even as it continues its relentless campaigns of annihilation in Shuja’iyya, Nuseirat, Khan Younis, and Jabalia, the colonial regime is additionally threatening to carry a full-scale ground invasion of Rafah. The world must rise up to stop this brutality,” said Jamil Madbak, of the Palestinian Youth Movement, one of the event’s organizers.

More than 50,000 marched in New York City, 15,000 in San Francisco, and many thousands more in mass actions in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago and many others cities. Hundreds gathered in downtown Syracuse for the “Hands Off Rafah” protest.

Event organizers included members of the Syracuse chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and Veterans for Peace. International sites included Havana, Cuba, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Nanaimo, British Columbia (Canada), São Paulo, Brazil and Seoul, South Korea.

Despite moderate to heavy rains, thousands of activists and residents gathered for the #HandsOffRafah demonstration in downtown Los Angeles on March 2. Approximately eight hours before the ANSWER Coalition’s Global Day of Action, themed “Shut It Down For Palestine” began, at least 11 were killed and 50 wounded after an Israeli air attack on a tent housing displaced people next to the entrance of a hospital in Rafah City, according to Al Jazeera.

Palestinians pray over the bodies of their relatives killed in the Israeli bombardments of the Gaza Strip in front of the morgue to pray over them at Al Aqsa Hospital in Deir al Balah on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Representatives from the Palestinian Youth Movement’s Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire chapters participated in and coordinated the gathering. The transnational, independent, grassroots movement of young Palestinians in Palestine and those in exile worldwide exist as a result of the ongoing occupation of their homeland, organizers stated.

The only recourse to justice for their people is the dismantling of Zionism, its genocidal war machine, and its political institutions, said a LA-based Palestinian American youth activist. “Here in the U.S., we not only have a role, but an obligation, a duty to dismantle Zionism.

Our mobilizations have ruined the Occupation’s image and have left Zionism in ruins! We will continue to organize, and we won’t stop until this racist, genocidal project is defeated once and for all!” she added.

She then summarized the atrocities of the genocidal war and nearly 20-year-long siege, pointing out the bombing by Israeli forces of civilians seeking shelter along aid routes in the Gaza Strip. “Shame!” she declared.

“Shame,” roared the demonstrators, many still joining the protest in droves. They filled corners and crosswalks, sloshing through the rain and mud puddles saturating City Park, just across from City Hall. Demonstrators filled the building’s steps, up to the iron barricades protecting entry to the doorway. They nearly spanned the entire block within an hour after the protest began.

‘Genocide is happening’

Global activism against Israeli genocide on the Palestinian people has continued since the October 7, 2023 attack on southern Israel by Hamas fighters emerging from Gaza. That act killed almost 1,200 people and led to Israel’s massive military response, backed by the U.S. government. News reports state the Israeli bombardment has displaced 1.8 million of the 2.3 million Palestinians living in Gaza and turned much of the besieged territory bordering Israel, the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt into rubble and dust.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan addressed the conflict during his highly anticipated Saviours’ Day 2024 message, entitled, “What does Allah The Great Mahdi and The Great Messiah Have to Say About the War in the Middle East?”

The Muslim leader explained that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a second Nakba (catastrophe) in mind for the Palestinian people. The first Nakba on the Palestinians was in 1948 when Israel became a state. More than 700,000 Palestinians were exiled at that time and made “like vagabonds in the earth,” he said.

Mr. Netanyahu wanted to use the pain of the loss of Jewish lives to destroy the whole Palestinian community, not only in Gaza and the West Bank, but also in East Jerusalem, Minister Farrakhan charged. “It was a genocidal attack that he knew would preserve his place as a great Jewish leader,” he explained.

“Who could do to another human being what is being done to our Palestinian family and not think of a humanitarian crisis?” stated Minister Farrakhan, continuing, “Who will pay for the killing of Palestinians—men, women and children? Who will pay for the destruction of Palestinian life and culture?”

The bold leader also expressed sympathy for families who lost loved ones in the Hamas attack. He expressed support for Tal Mitnick, an 18-year-old conscript to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who refused to serve and was sentenced to a 30-day prison term. The Minister asked Allah (God) to sear the young man’s image into his mind.

U.S. Airman Aaron Bushnell was so conflicted by the war that he went to the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. and set himself on fire. The 25-year-old dressed in his U.S. Air Force uniform and said he would “no longer be complicit in genocide.” He shouted “Free Palestine” as he burned, until he collapsed to the ground dying hours later in the hospital. Officer Bushnell live-streamed his ultimate sacrifice, ensuring that his actions — which he described as an “extreme act of protest” — were seen worldwide.

“The decision by U.S. Airman Aaron Bushnell to set himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy while condemning the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide being carried out against the people of Gaza was a desperate act designed to arouse public outrage. He made the ultimate personal sacrifice to end a genocide that the entire world has been witnessing for the past months,” explained Brian Becker, national director of ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). “This was an act of martyrdom by a U.S. service member who was outraged by the actions of a government that speaks in his name.”

“People all over the United States, in the millions, have been involved in mass actions to protest the U.S. support for Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people in recent months. People have also engaged in civil disobedience actions of many types. Many have been arrested and are facing trial, including many whose constitutional rights were violated by violent police repression.”

“The United States government and Israel are killing babies,” said Nazaro Aguero of Peru, pointing to his children who were at the Los Angeles demonstration. “We don’t want any more kids to die! Every kid deserves to live. If you touch a kid, you are not a good person. Palestine deserves to be free.”

His truck included a flatbed covered with flags of Latin America—Argentina, Chile, etc. “We want peace in the world. That’s why from everywhere we are here. Latin America stands with Palestine, always,” Mr. Aguero said.

Sarah and Affan Tareen said their liberation, safety, and dignity of life is interconnected, and they believe that the Palestinians are their brothers and sisters just as much as those of Jewish descent. They came to the L.A. gathering with their young children, ages 6 and 4. “Genocide is happening, and we cannot rest until that is stopped. We will not rest,” stated Mrs. Tareen. She said she’s outraged that U.S. dollars are being used to penetrate this war.

“I am outraged that President (Joe) Biden bypassed Congressional approval in the first place to send aid to Israel. I am angry. I feel that democracy is talked about being attacked by the Republican Party and I see it not being upheld and prioritized by the Democratic Party and I am angry at this country for not living up to its values and the principles it says that we are built on. We have a lot reckoning to do with our own past and moving forward we must change our ways,” she added.

Maaz Bajwa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community drove from San Diego to L.A. with his children, son Isa and daughter Anisah.

“We see this as a prayer, as congregational salat. We see this as everybody praying, ‘Free, free Palestine!’ as a prayer that we’re all praying together, not just Muslims but all people of faith, who just believe in any bit of morality,” he told The Final Call.

“We have a chance, an opportunity to stop a real-live genocide from occurring, something rare in history. And our so-called elected officials and the people that are supposed to represent us continue to stand idle while this keeps going on,” said Javier Guerrero, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition.

He noted predictions that if the impending massacre is not stopped, up to 90,000 innocent Palestinians could die, and called it “nothing short of a blood bath,” poised to be one of the worst human atrocities in world history.

Final Call Staff Writer Nisa Islam Muhammad reported from Washington, D.C. and National Correspondent Charlene Muhammad reported from Los Angeles.