CHICAGO, IL (PRWEB) March 14, 2014
“A false and misleading article, titled ‘Game the system’? Nonprofits, including Farrakhan-tied group, enjoy windfall from farm subsidies,’ was written by Emily Boyd Walker, and published on March 9, 2014 at Foxnews.com. The scriptures teach us that the ‘devil is a liar’ and he “accuses the righteous night and day,” said Atty. Abdul Arif Muhammad, general counsel for the Nation of Islam.
“We felt it was important to respond to these mischaracterizations, wicked, vicious and well-dressed lies against the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” he said.
“Here are the real facts,” said Atty. Arif Muhammad. “Contrary to what is implied in the headline and the errant article, Minister Farrakhan has not received any government funding, farm subsidies or otherwise. The funding went to a full-time Nation of Islam farming operation in Georgia. No funds were ever sent to Chicago. Any actual subsidies received went directly to the farm in Georgia, and not to Minister Farrakhan in Chicago.
“The Three Year Economic Plan was technically, ‘not in good standing’ at one point with the State of Illinois. That status was the result of an oversight to file a single annual report form. This very typical occurrence and oversight has since been corrected with the Illinois Secretary of State and all legal requirements have been met with the Illinois Secretary of State,” continued Atty. Muhammad.
Muhammad Farms, a 1,600 acre full-time entity, operates as any of the other 800,000 small farms in the United States.
“The farm made application for appropriate farm subsidies through a Georgia Branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These are lawful subsidies for various farm related activities that any Georgia farm is entitled to obtain,” observed Dr. Ridgely Mu’min Muhammad, Nation of Islam farm manager.
“In an article published in The Final Call newspaper December 19, 2013 we noted that U.S. farming subsidies received by all farms in Terrell County, Ga., from 1995 to 2012, totaled $89,499,000. The Nation of Islam farm I run on a daily basis received a tiny fraction of that amount and was actually 146th on the list of farms who received funds during this time period,” said Dr. Mu’min Muhammad.
“Those farm subsidies (grants) were given and issued directly to the farm in Georgia. Not one disbursement was sent to Chicago, or to Minister Farrakhan. Moreover, the farm in Georgia has not received any government subsidies since 2011,” said Dr. Mu’min Muhammad.
“Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed its rules and procedures, and imposed retroactive restrictions, for the years 2009-2011. These retroactive requirements were unacceptable to us, and consequently, that which was given, was returned back to the government.”
Dr. Mu’min Muhammad added, “Make no mistake about it, this is a working farm with real produce for the people it serves. When it was purchased in 1991 it became the largest Black-owned and -operated farm in South Georgia. We transformed worn out, weed-infested, hard rock clay land into arable land and workable soil and brought back many of the birds and wildlife.
“We have purchased over $250,000 worth of farm equipment and trucks. We have our own flour mill and commercial sifter, which can produce 800 lbs of flour in an 8-hour day. And that farm produces the best-tasting watermelons in the country,” he said.
According to the Nation’s farm manager, the operation annually produces 8,000 lbs. of flour, 400,000 lbs. of watermelons, 12,000 lbs. of different vegetables, 100,000 lbs. of wheat, 100,000 lbs. of field corn and 200,000 lbs. of peanuts.
“We deliver produce to 8 states, and whole wheat flour and other goods to 35 cities and we have provided jobs in Georgia,” said Dr. Mu’min Muhammad.
“Minister Farrakhan is not a man who can be bought off for any price. He said during a February 23, 2014 Saviours’ Day message in Detroit, that there is not enough money in Fort Knox, or that the Federal Reserve can print, that could buy him, and make him sell out the mission of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the aspirations of a people who yearn to be free, justified and equal,” said Atty. Abdul Arif Muhammad.
Minister Farrakhan’s and the Nation of Islam’s commitment to independence and farming were reiterated throughout a 58-week series of webcasts at noi.org/thetime, The Time and What Must Be Done, over the past year. In a message webcast December 14, 2013, the Minister said, “Dear Black people, a warning to you: In the Nixon administration they came to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and they offered him ‘a dollar for every dollar of wealth’ that the Nation of Islam had created under Elijah Muhammad’s dynamic leadership. Some say our wealth was $40 million—some say $80 million. But the government offered to match us ‘dollar for dollar.’ But guess what? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said when he read what they offered, he told me: ‘There were too many strings attached …’ So he rejected it.
“I am saying this to all of you who stand with me: They will not be able to turn me! But they will be working to turn those of you who come after me. And if they offer you anything, look carefully into it, lest the Nation will no longer be tied to the principles that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad desired for us: To make us an independent nation on some of this Earth that we can call our own,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
In the weekly series, Min. Farrakhan also highlighted the crisis of the small American farmer, the loss of farmland and the quality of food consumed by the American people. He warned traditional American farming is under assault as corporate agricultural giants exert inordinate influence.
Farming as an occupation has decreased from 64 percent of the labor force in 1850 to less than 1 percent in 2013, according to Census figures. “America now is down to 2.2 million farms. So what we are looking at is the destruction of the engine of national life,” warned Min. Farrakhan.
Black land loss has been even more extreme, with Blacks owning less than land today than four decades after chattel slavery—land loss caused in part by denial of Black participation in federal farms programs.
“It is the revealing of truth that has caused Satan and his minions to engage in an attack to defame the good name, character and reputation of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam,” said Atty. Muhammad.
“Why not talk about the $700 billion given by the government to the banks in the bailout of 2008-2009? What about the $16 trillion given out by the Federal Reserve to its banker friends all over the world in 2009?” said Dr. Mu’min Muhammad.
“The enemies of the rise of Black people are ruthless in attacking anyone who attempts to advance the independent economic development of Black people. For 400 years these satanic forces have proven to be masters at ‘gaming the system’ said Atty. Muhammad. He concludes by saying, “It is they who are ‘not in good standing’ with the Lord of the Worlds in this final hour. But Minister Farrakhan is here to represent God and Truth to the American people and the world”
The Nation of Islam's response to the FOX News report is available in its entirety at http://www.finalcall.com.