I was inspired this past weekend to address the ill treatment of women as the country observes Mother’s Day.
What inspired this blog? I was a guest speaker at a conference in Austin on the campus of Huston Tillotson University. Before my workshop, I attended the spiritual seminar in the university chapel. Each speaker represented a different religious sect. Only one of the speakers was a woman, who summed up her inspirational short talk by saying, ‘I came to tell you that you’re not alone.’
As I listened to her beautiful expression of the Word of God I got sad, because I reflected upon how we rarely get a chance to see this in our religious institutions and even our organizations. We lack the beauty of seeing women having the consistent freedom to express their God-given gifts, because so many of us as men beat down women. Women suffer so much abuse whether it is in the home, business, or religion.
I learned that in some foreign nations the birth of a female child is frowned upon. How can you frown upon a little girl, who eventually may be used as a vessel to bring forth new life in the future? I have watched some men use religion and scripture to justify personal oppression of women. However, that is not God’s Way.
As I entered into the Nation of Islam, I saw that we as Black men had our issues as well. Coming out of this society, we are bred in the slums of America to be disrespectful to our women. The Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad trains us to respect, protect and elevate the woman. It is in the N.O.I. that I first heard the words ‘A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Woman.’
That’s a powerful and truthful statement.
Under Minister Farrakhan’s leadership we witnessed something historical in 1998. In that year, Sister Ava Muhammad became the first woman in Islam’s 1400-year history to be appointed to a leadership position over a mosque. Minister Farrakhan appointed her as the Southern Regional Minister, which sent shockwaves throughout the country and the world. ‘How dare he?’ some people questioned and even called it un-Islamic.
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