Ishmael Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad and student minister of the Nation of Islam. Ian Allen/Photographer
(Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com) On Sunday, October 19, Jamaica will host several thousand people from the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and parts of Europe at the Million Man March's 19th anniversary celebration. Earlier this week, Ishmael Muhammad and an advance party from the Nation of Islam (NOI) visited the island to make preparations for the significant visit.
Already, most of the capital's hotels are fully booked as several hundred people prepare to arrive for the event scheduled to be held at the National Arena in Kingston, starting at noon. Muhammad stresses that, though the target is men, it will be a celebration for the entire family.
In an interview with The Gleaner, Muhammad, who is an assistant to NOI head Louis Farrakhan, said Jamaica was chosen for a number of reasons, including the fact that Farrakhan's roots are here and the island is regarded as a leader among Caribbean nations. "Just as the physical heart of the body pumps the life fluid into it, so does Jamaica in the Caribbean. You have produced many great minds from Marcus Garvey to Bob Marley, and Minister Farrakhan chose the Caribbean and Jamaica because he feels he owes it for helping to nurture his development into the man he is," Muhammad said.
But of equal significance is Farrakhan's view that the Caribbean is a productive element in the global society that is now being made into a playground for the world's middle class, rich and super-rich. "There is a trend in the Caribbean where land and citizenships are being sold as foreign investment," Muhammad said, adding that loss of land means destruction of a people's future. "Land is a pathway to wealth, and we cannot hope that foreign investment will provide the jobs that are needed, so we cannot allow the Caribbean to become the playground of Europe, Asia and elsewhere. To that end, the young people of Jamaica must be encouraged to use the land for farming to feed ourselves and not depend on imported foods," he said.