Tornado terror in AmericaBy Brian E. Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: May 31, 2011 - 1:47:04 PM Region by Region: God's wrath marches through America
The twister left dead in its wake and moved mercilessly, cutting a conduit that measured 6 miles long and 1 mile wide, tearing up everything in its path.
Witnesses to the storm used scriptural war terms like “Armageddon” and “apocalyptic,” to describe the now unrecognizable Joplin. Some walked through once familiar streets that were no longer familiar because “everything was completely destroyed.”
“You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That's really what it looked like,” Kerry Sachetta, the principal of a flattened Joplin High School told the Associated Press.
“I couldn't even make out the side of the building. It was total devastation in my view. I just couldn't believe what I saw,” she added.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said, “It's a very, very precarious situation,” as state and federal officials brace themselves for a hard road ahead in dealing with the disaster's aftermath.
An AP story described how the staff of Joplin's St. John's Regional Medical Center only had minutes to hustle patients into hallways before the tornado hammered the nine-story building, shattering hundreds of windows and rendering the facility useless. The Joplin twister was one of 68 reported across seven Midwest states over the May 22 weekend, extending from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, according to the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
Why so many disasters now?
“The Holy Qur'an prophesies of calamities, one right after the other. This we are witnessing with our own eyes. O America, O America, where shall ye flee?” asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, in “Fall of America,” published in 1973.
“America was founded and built with blood and established in iniquity. She killed the aboriginal inhabitants (Indians) to establish herself as an independent people at the great loss of lives of the original owners,” explained Mr. Muhammad. America has “robbed many people; and the blood of her slaves, the so-called Negroes, has stained the earth here and elsewhere, slain by her hands.”
Mr. Muhammad warned an old world of injustice and corruption is going out and a new world of justice and righteousness is coming in.
When Harold Camping, a Christian radio broadcaster predicted the world was going to end at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, he became the fodder of comedians, cynics and late night talk shows who mocked the very idea. Although Mr. Camping was obviously wrong on his date calculations, can the question about an end time be disregarded in light of nature's fury of late?
For 81 years the Nation of Islam has sounded the trumpet of warning through the messianic voices of Elijah Muhammad and his representative Minister Louis Farrakhan. Both men and the movement they guide have withstood barbs and insults for standing up for the truth. The back to back disasters that have befallen America should not be denied and voices of warning and admonishment ignored as simple doom mongers.
“Wicked people are never pleased at hearing the truth, but we live at a time when there must be present in the world those who are willing to speak the truth regardless of whom or what, and suffer the necessary consequences of telling the truth at the time of the demise of this present world,” said Min. Farrakhan in a February 2008 speech called “The Gods at War: The Future is all about Y.O.U.T.H..
The Minister explained that there is a war between the forces of right and the forces of evil and the world is in a time of judgment and change.
“You have to make decisions today for your life, and you have to be informed to make the right decision. They say that when war is fought, the first casualty is truth. If The Gods Are At War, who are they? Where are they? Can we see them? Because all of us are in The Valley of Decision, can we be taught enough about them that we might choose which one of them we will follow?”
Minister Farrakhan said later on February 28, 2010 that we should “watch the weather” as a sign that Elijah Muhammad spoke the truth and along with God, will back him in his current warning of America and the nations. The Minister gave instructive words of guidance connecting the frequency of catastrophe to the presence and anger of God at the present state of affairs.
“There's nothing that occurs outside of the will of Allah,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad, an attorney, spokesperson and student minister of Minister Farrakhan in an interview.
“Every act of nature is as a result of the active will of God,” she continued.
Min. Farrakhan serves among other things for us as a Warner “who has for years implored us to return to obedience to Allah's Will so that we could be spared the very things that are taking place now.”
“No part of the earth is being spared the great shaking,” she said.
Social conditions and divine wrath
The extreme weather patterns killed over 130 people in Joplin, Mo., and disasters left thousands in a weak, vulnerable and terrorized state in the midst of a world and a nation in peril.
“When you and I think of the conditions in America and the conditions in the world, where in the scriptures do we find a prophecy that fits the condition of America and the condition of the world?” the Muslim leader asked.
“You cannot unite with wickedness if you love righteousness. You can't have fellowship with this world that is in its last days and have the love of God at the same time,” Minister Farrakhan pointed out.
“But if you are dissatisfied with this world, and hate what this world has done and is doing to children, to women, to men, to nations, to governments, then you must be a seeker of truth, because it is only after knowing the truth that you will be able to see clearly. Not only see the condition that you are in, but the condition that the world in which we live is in,” he expounded.The price of chastisement
According to meteorologists assessing weather activity, “the worst is yet to come” and what has already happened is breaking an already strained national and local economy.
Devastating tornadoes, floods, earthquakes overseas and a busier-than-usual hurricane season have U.S. insurance companies bracing for record losses in 2011.
Reuters reported that insurers could suffer as much as $10 billion from weather-related losses in the United States in 2011, which is up from the average of $2 billion to $4 billion, according to EQECAT Inc, which provides disaster and risk models to insurance companies.
For the U.S. government, the Obama administration recently resorted to “robbing Peter to pay Paul” to finance a depleted federal disaster relief fund established to pay for relief and mitigation of natural catastrophes. The administration shuffled the funds to cover the costs of past disasters at the possible peril of the current spate of weather events inflicting America.
Seeking to replenish the disaster fund, the House in April cut funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Coast Guard and local emergency responders and reassigned the money to the fund.
Several U.S. senators are appealing to the Obama administration to authorize an emergency appropriation of subsidies to replenish the fund rather than redirecting funds from disaster responders, potentially causing the kind of government ineptness demonstrated with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 where thousands died and many people were displaced.
FEMA said the fund needs at least $1.56 billion to pay for eligible projects this fiscal year alone—and that doesn't include projects that would arise from a new disaster.
President Obama's budget included an allowance for potential disaster costs. But the senators said actual funding wouldn't be provided without an emergency request. Absent that request, the senators wrote, the budget allowance “is nothing more than an unfulfilled promise to communities recovering from disasters.”
According to reports from Joplin, residents navigating through the tornado aftermath expressed frustration at the substantial red tape among government agencies like FEMA. People searching for missing loved ones have experienced confusion and indecisive government workers who lacked answers and clear direction.
In a nation that is limping from the effects of economic downturns that have added weight to relief organizations like the Red Cross and Catholic Charities which rely on public and corporate donations, times are difficult.
“We are really struggling,” said Roger Conner, spokesman for Catholic Charities USA. “We`ve not seen this number and extent of spring storms in 40 years ... and we just don`t have the outpouring of donations we would like. The need is huge.”
“The disasters just keep coming,” said Red Cross spokesman Roger Lowe, reporting that the organization has spent $41 million responding to a seven-week disaster onslaught, while only raising $33.6 million to cover the costs. This figure doesn't include their costs to serve the wreckage in the Midwestern states, according to AP.
“The public truly has been very generous, but the series of tornadoes and floods is really stretching our resources,” Mr. Lowe said. “The fundraising is not keeping up with our extended needs, and we don`t know how long we need to be providing shelter, food, mental health assistance,” he continued.
The Salvation Army said it raised over $7 million during the April tornadoes in the South, but by comparison, it raised $382 million for Katrina relief efforts.
AP reported the Southern Baptist Convention`s North American Mission Board said it received only about $100,000 in donations for tornado relief efforts.
“That doesn`t go far—to do as much as we`re trying to do,” said board spokesman Mike Ebert. In contrast, the board raised $25 million during Katrina.
Mr. Ebert said the charitable spirit to volunteer in disaster relief exists among the public, “It`s the donation part that seems to be lagging. ... A lot of these folks have ongoing economic issues and are in a recovery mode themselves.”
“In the midst of it all this Allah is a Just God, He's a Merciful God and he doesn't just wreak havoc for no reason, generally speaking the destruction that He brings is a result of the disobedience and a lot of what we suffer in the natural disaster we bring on ourselves,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad.