While many fringe religious movements might be scrambling to disown an aspiring member who had been involved what was being called an act of terrorism, the Nation of Islam isn’t one of them.
No, the group and its ever-provocative leader, Louis Farrakhan, is acknowledging the young man was studying to officially join the Nation of Islam and praising him as a “brother” with the potential to “be a star” had he not apparently succumbed to a mental health crisis that led him to attack two Capitol Police officers on Friday in Washington, killing one, wounding another and losing his own life in the process.
On Tuesday, the Nation of Islam released a statement confirming that 25-year-old Noah Green, who plowed his car into the two officers outside the Capitol building before lunging at them with a knife, was studying to become a full-time member.
“We are saddened by the loss of this brother with such great potential,” the statement said. “With heavy hearts, we offer sympathy and condolences to his mother, father, family, and friends.”
The man who rammed a car into Capitol Police officers, killing one, has been identified as Noah Green. Green was armed with a large blade when he was shot dead. On social media, he identified as a follower of the black nationalist Nation of Islam movement. https://t.co/xqkWe8hYcW
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 2, 2021
In the attack, Greene killed 18-year veteran officer William Evans.
The Nation of Islam statement pointed to “potential mental illness” for spurring Green’s violent acts.
“I am sure, had he been blessed to come through the crisis that he was going through, he would have been a star in the mission of the resurrection of our people,” the statement quoted Farrakhan as saying, after citing a CNN report that Green had been suffering from severe psychosis, including posts on social media in which he claimed to have been subject to attacks, unauthorized operations at a hospital, and “mind control.”
It’s rather striking that the Nation of Islam’s statement on Green’s actions firmly establishes that he had begun the process of becoming a Nation of Islam member, but had never completed it and was in no way a formal part of the organization.
The statement emphasized that while Green may have attended a Nation of Islam convention in Detroit in February of 2020, the group’s mosques and classes were moved online after the coronavirus pandemic began.
The statement explained that record searches showed Green was “not a registered member of the Nation of Islam. It appears that in late summer (August-September) of 2020, he started the process to begin his study to become a member, but he did not complete the process.”
The statement more than establishes grounds on which Farrakhan, on whose behalf the comments were written, could distance himself and his oft-criticized teachings from Green. Instead, the statement opted to honor the man as something just short of a fallen hero.
“We need to know what happened to our brother,” Farrakhan said in the statement also insisted.
The statement said the Nation of Islam is investigating the incident and “we cannot rest until we find out what caused him to take a turn like this.”
The statement made a point of repudiating Green’s actions, as it said the Nation of Islam teaches followers “not to carry any weapons — not so much as a penknife” and that murder is “against our law.”
“We absolutely disavow this act that resulted in the senseless loss of life,” the statement declared. “It is shocking for us to learn that someone who was attempting to be a part of our ranks may have been involved in something as tragic as this.”
The statement also offered prayers for the families of the victims and a full recovery for the officer who was injured.
“For us, human life is sacred. And the violation of human life is a violation of God, Himself, because He’s the giver of life and He’s the ultimate cause of death,” it said.
It also made sure to slam what the group viewed as a “wicked mischaracterization” that tries to “tie this tragic incident to the teachings of the Nation of Islam,” also claiming that “nobody” blames Christianity for the crimes of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, although the McVeigh identified as a Christian.
However, the teachings of the Nation of Islam and, more specifically, of Farrakhan himself, do well enough to cast a poor light on the group all on their own.
While it would be fair to concede that there’s not necessarily any indication Green was spurred by Farrakhan’s teachings specifically when he committed his final violent acts, it is indisputable that the Nation of Islam gives nourishment to seeds of bitterness planted within the fertile soil of an unstable mind.
Green himself wrote about Farrakhan’s influence on his life.
“My faith is one of the only things that has been able to carry me through these times and my faith is centered on the belief of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Jesus, the Messiah, the final divine reminder in our midst,” Green wrote on Facebook recently, according to CNN.
“I consider him my spiritual father. Without his guidance, his word, and his teachings that I’ve picked up on along the way, I would’ve been unable to continue.”
Farrakhan’s doctrine of hate is no different from the false teachings of critical race theory that preaches bitterness and resentment of white people who inadequately repent of the sins of their ancestors, jihadi teachers who recruit angry young men in war-torn regions to give their lives for the glory of Allah, or the Nazi propagandists of the 1920s and ’30s who lured the embattled, bitter, and proud German people with glorious visions of a return to their formal territorial supremacy.
The age of the pandemic has been packed full of national crises that have undoubtedly exacerbated an already crippling mental health crisis in our nation, and there is no question that millions of angry, frustrated, and in many cases likely highly unstable young people are starting to resort to militancy in their unguided despair.
Our nation is uniquely founded on the moral principles of a religion — the great tradition of Christianity — that holds mortal men accountable to a savior God who is the only path towards both exaltation and perfect justice.
It is the God of this faith that the world so sorely needs right now, and millions of troubled minds like Green’s are out there, yearning for truth, yet ever susceptible to the most damnable lies.
Pray for these souls — and pray that we all might be better equipped to minister to them and speak God’s inherent truths in this dark and deceptive age.
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