WASHINGTON – The Final Call editor in chief spent a recent weekend in the Nation’s capital speaking to the plight of Blacks in America and the role that media, information, misinformation and disinformation play in the challenges the community faces.
At the invitation of Abdul Khadir Muhammad, mid-atlantic region and eastern region student minister, Final Call editor Richard B. Muhammad enjoyed a homecoming of sorts, speaking to anti-war activists at Muhammad Mosque No. 4 in Washington, D.C. It was in Washington that editor Muhammad started his work for The Final Call and his journey as a Muslim in the Nation of Islam, where he registered in the 1980s in the D.C. mosque.
“I thought it would be interesting for student Final Call Editor Richard Muhammad to share with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Believers and guests of his continuing commitment to helping the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan challenge the distribution of media misinformation with the Final Call’s dissemination of truthful information,” said student Minister Khadir Muhammad.
“Step-by-step, Brother Richard collects, arranges, and organizes truth that is inclusive of the masses, while exposing the message of monopolized media misinformation that’s being distributed throughout the world. I believe that The Final Call is well on its way to becoming a journal. His weekend included a speaking engagement on Liberation Journalism, which was coordinated by Brother Askia Muhammad and Sister Brenda Muhammad and hosted by Brother Eugene Puryear of the Answer Center at the Justice Center; Saturday, he served as Master of Ceremonies at the Mid-Atlantic Saviours’ Day Telethon; and Sunday, he addressed Believers and guests at Muhammad Mosque No. 4 on truth in reporting. Brother Richard’s visit was engaging, enlightening and liberating, and we thank The Honorable Minister Farrakhan for him,” Min. Khadir Muhammad added.
The March 27 weekend visit started with a discussion of Liberation Journalism before a racially diverse group tied to an anti-war and anti-racism group. The media has such power that a good man like Min. Farrakhan can be miscast and lied on because the so-called journalists are more tied to the power structure than the truth, said editor Muhammad. The Minister founded The Final Call Newspaper but takes no money from it, editor Muhammad declared. His work shows he is a sincere and committed servant of God and oppressed people, he added.
Liberation Journalism requires challenging those in power, not enjoying perks and access, he said. The country was led to war in the Middle East because journalists allowed government officials to lie, costing the United States blood and treasure, editor Muhammad noted.
While Blacks are the most in need of spiritual, social, intellectual, moral and economic resurrection, the entire world must be resurrected and that is the work of The Final Call and the Nation of Islam, editor Muhammad continued.
The Nation believes in freedom, justice and equality for all regardless to race, creed, class or color but you would never know that reading reports from a controlled media, he said.
After emceeing a fun and successful Saturday night regional fundraiser via webcast, the experienced journalist was the guest speaker at Muhammad Mosque No. 4. After a stirring introduction by Min. Khadir Muhammad, the editor started his presentation.
One of the cardinal rules of journalism is always to question the source of information and whether the source has an aim, an angle or an agenda that colors or taints the information provided, said editor Muhammad. The audience laughed when he joked, “even with good gossip, you ask ‘where did it come from?’ before you spread it.”
We have questioned information given to us and in particular the understanding of God and religion, the editor argued. Does the track record of the one who mistaught us about religion show that they are credible sources? he asked. Their record is horrible so we need to examine a different understanding that allows us to make progress and see ourselves and the word as it is, the editor said. The Teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Min. Farrakhan contains the understanding that we need to rise and to progress, he said. Nothing can stop us if we decide we want to go forward, the award-winning writer continued. In the teachings are found solutions to problems, not moaning and wailing, he said. Take hold of the truth, think about it, question it and apply that which can improve your life, said editor Muhammad.