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In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
As Salaam Alaikum.
To: First Lady Nana Agyeman-Rawlings and the Rawlings children Zanetor Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings, Amina Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings
From: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, Mustapha Farrakhan, Joshua Farrakhan, Louis Farrakhan, Jr., Abnar Farrakhan, Maria Farrakhan Muhammad, Betsy Jean Farrakhan Muhammad, Donna Farrakhan, Fatima Farrakhan Muhammad, and Khallada Farrakhan
To Nana Rawlings, the Rawlings family, the loyal followers of President Rawlings and the people of Ghana. It is a great honor to pay our respects to the memory of a great noble brother who has returned to Allah (God) and joined the ranks of the ancestors.
After visiting the islands of the Caribbean and the nations in Central America we decided we would come back to the United States and begin to plan, our journey to Africa and the rest of the world in 1986.
Our planned trip would begin in Nigeria, then Ghana, and include other African nations, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, and possibly Iran. When we embarked on this journey, the first stop was to go through London, England where I was considered persona non grata. I could come through England, but I was never permitted to stay.
When we landed in England, at Heathrow Airport, I was arrested as I got off the plane. There was a 14-hour wait for the connecting flight to Nigeria. Some of those traveling with me were permitted to enter London. But I was offered to go to a local prison for those 14 hours or be quarantined in a part airport until my plane was ready to leave. I chose the latter.
My son, Mustapha, stayed with me and for 14 hours we pondered the next step of our journey.
When the time came for my flight, we were allowed to join the rest of the team. My passport, along with a letter from the British authorities to the authorities in Nigeria were held and given to the pilot. My wife and I and others got on the plane.
The plane took off. After it reached the height of about 32,000 or 36,000 feet and was on autopilot, the door to cockpit opened and two beautiful Black men came out. One was the pilot. He handed me my passport and told me of the letter. The letter described me as a troublemaker and that letter was kept by the pilot. He looked at me and said, “Brother Farrakhan welcome. We are honored to have you and your entourage on this flight. I went to see you at Madison Square Garden and with great pride, we welcome you to Nigeria.” For the rest of that trip, we were at peace.
When we landed in Lagos, if that letter had been given to the Nigerian authorities, I might have been arrested again in Nigeria. We did not know, and we later found out that the U.S. embassies in Africa had been given information by the U.S. government concerning me. That I was masquerading as a Muslim and that I was a communist coming to Nigeria to increase problems between Muslims and Christians and that I was not a real Muslim.
When I landed in Nigeria I spoke at the masjid, the national mosque, as a guest. I had planned to speak at the National Theater, which we had rented, and give a lecture to ease the tension between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Nigeria had just entered the Organization of Islamic Conference, and it had upset Christians in Nigeria. But since we had so much success in America speaking to our Christian family, speaking in Christian churches, being with our Christian brothers and sisters, especially after standing with Reverend Jesse Jackson in his noble effort to win the position as representative of the Democratic Party in the 1984 presidential election, I felt I could help by speaking to Nigerians, Muslim and Christian.
We paid thousands of dollars to rent the National Theater in Lagos, hundreds of dollars went to the local newspapers, students from Lagos University, and the people of Nigeria were excited. The night before my lecture, the leader of the police of Lagos came to my suite and demanded money. We had already paid for everything, so he threatened us that we would not speak if we did not give him money. I did not yield to such a demand. But on the next day, when Brother Khallid Abdul Muhammad and other members of the staff were going to prepare the National Theater for our arrival, they were met by members of the armed forces, who told them there would be no meeting. They threatened to shoot Brother Khallid, if he made any movement toward the National Theater. On that day, the Nigerian people came out to hear the Minister and they were teargassed by the army. So, I never left my hotel and members of the student body of Lagos University, and others came to the hotel where they knew I was staying. It was under those conditions that I met Brother Ahmed Rufai and Brother Ahmed Tijani and our friendship began. But I did not wish to stay in Nigeria any longer.
We made the next stop on our journey in Accra, Ghana, where I was met by Dr. Francis Abdallah Botchway, the Ghanaian minister of culture. The misinformation of the American government was also disseminated to Ghanaian authorities, saying the same things they told the Nigerian government—that we were not Muslims and that we had come to stir up trouble.