Wednesday, September 17, 2008
TONIGHT ON THE TERRORDOME: Refugee Camp in the City + the History of Elijah Muhammad
6 pm Mountain Time
When 2007 began, 26 million human beings were on the run or in camps inside their own countries, and that’s just from conflict. Add in disasters, you get another 25 million.
Top it off with the 16 million people forced to flee their own countries, and you get a staggering 67 million people.
Médecins sans frontiers is the international humanitarian medical relief organisation known to Anglophones as Doctors Without Borders. In Old Strathcona’s McIntyre (Gazebo) Park, MSF will be running the Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City, an outdoor, 3-D, full-sensory simulation of life in a refugee camp.
I spoke with Asha Gervan on Monday morning by telephone. She’s a 30-year-old Kingston native who’s MSF project coordinator on the camp.
The Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City will be in McIntyre (Gazebo) Park, 104th Street + 83rd Avenue in Edmonton. It runs Thursday, September 18 to Sunday, September 21. It’s free.
Last week on the ninth of September, Warith Deen Mohammed passed away at age 74. He was the son of Nation of Islam co-founder Elijah Muhammad, and himself the leader of the single largest congregation of American Muslims following his father’s death in 1975 until his own.
A reformer, Mohammed dramatically altered the religious empire he inherited. He transformed the New World mixture of Freemasonry, numerology, Egyptology, Black Nationalism and Islam that was the NOI into a traditional, non-racially specific Islamic community. A well-respected religious leader and thinker, Mohammed became in 1992 the first Muslim cleric to deliver an invocation opening the US Senate.
Tonight, to understand a bit of where the son came from and how much he changed, we’ll hear about who the father was and the quality of his leadership. To do that, we’ll engage a discussion I had in the year 2000 with journalist Karl Evanzz.
Evanzz is one of the planet’s leading authorities on the Nation of Islam, Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad. He’s the author of The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X, and The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad.
Elijah Muhammad was one of the most influential political, religious and social figures on 20th Century American life, yet most people know little about him or the congregation he helped found. Without Elijah Muhammad, other icons such as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Louis Farrakhan would never have moved along the paths they did.
While covering the Million Family March in Washington DC in October, 2000, I spoke with Karl Evanzz in the offices of the Washington Post, where he worked as a journalist and an online editor.