Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told a crowd of 18,000 in Detroit on Sunday that African-Americans should set up their own courts after being failed by the U.S.' own justice system.
“Our people can’t take much more. We have to have our own courts. You failed us," Farrakhan said during the keynote speech of 2014's annual Nation of Islam Saviours' Day convention, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“How long must we let people stand their ground, shooting us and getting away with it while we don’t get justice?” Farrakhan told the crowd, referencing stand your ground laws in several states. “We want justice. Equal justice under the law. We want the federal government to intercede to see that black people get justice in accordance with the law. Otherwise, I’m going on record with this today … we have to have our own courts.”
Standing on stage in front of U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, Farrakhan told the crowd to look to the Quran and the Bible for guidance in setting up separate courts that would be more fair to African-Americans.
The Nation of Islam (NOI) religious movement, founded in Detroit in 1930, calls for uplifting the condition of African-Americans. The separatist group has been accused of being "deeply racist," anti-gay and anti-Semitic; the group's beliefs and practices are not embraced by traditional Muslims.
The Nation of Islam's "Muslim Program" calls for equal justice for African-Americans under the law. But it also calls for NOI followers to establish their own state under the law to be subsidized for 20 years by "our former slave masters;" an end to taxation on African-Americans if a separate state is not created; "separate but equal" schools divided by race and the release of all NOI followers from prisons and jails.
"We want an immediate end to the police brutality and mob attacks against the so-called Negro throughout the United States," a list of demands posted on the Nation of Islam website reads. "We believe that the Federal government should intercede to see that black men and women tried in white courts receive justice in accordance with the laws of the land–or allow us to build a new nation for ourselves, dedicated to justice, freedom and liberty."
During his Saviours' Day speech Sunday, Farrakhan also compared himself to inventor Henry Ford, another famous Detroiter, and one with notedly anti-Semitic views.
The Nation of Islam leader championed Ford's success in improving the living conditions of his employees, saying Ford was "a great man who was called an ant-Semite," the Associated Press reported. Addressing accusations that the Nation of Islam is also anti-Semitic, he quipped, "I feel like I'm in good company," but added, "I don't hate Jews. What I hate is evil."