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QUESTION: Historically, we have been accustomed to shootings in our cities and large urban areas. What can we attribute to the current spate of shootings on our school and college campuses, our institutions of learning that were once seen as places of safety and relative tranquility?

IMAM EARL ABDULMALIK MOHAMMED: Violence in most instances is an act of desperation. It is an impulsive act stemming from undisciplined thinking, unexamined emotions or undiagnosed sicknesses in society. In the urban environments violence is associated with deficiencies in the populations that are the victims of it. By deficiencies, I am not speaking of any inferiority in the moral or intellectual ability. I am speaking of poverty of resources and poverty of knowledge. Poverty feeds violent and desperate acts. We also know that violence can also be a tool in the hands of oppressors. Rogue states will use violence against their people to control them, or to direct them to some objective they have. America has shown this corruption and desperation. State-sponsored violence was directed against the peaceful and civil protesters during the Civil Rights Era. We remember the images of segregationists Bull Connor and Lester Maddox and George Wallace. We are now seeing what we know existed, but more attention is being brought to the another form of state-sponsored violence in the deaths of unarmed, innocent civilians by law-enforcement officers. It is not so much an issue of an instant de-escalation on the part of the officer toward the civilian as much as it is a mandate in the officer's training for them to anticipate and perceive a certain segment of the population as a threat to the order of society. So, the state now is acting desperately against what it perceives as a perpetual threat. Its arming against the threat. The arms in the hands are one thing, but the arming in the conscious mind of the society is the issue. The leaders are armed and arming against the sacred properties of human innocence.

We are in the Last Days, as they are referred to in Scripture. The Day of Sorting. The Day of Noise, etc. What are its characteristics? Desperation because of a poverty of understanding, and a war perpetrated against innocence.

So, now, as you have pointed out the desperate acts are perpetrated by and against the educated. This is the condition of man's society where not one class of people is distinguished from another as to the degree of abandonment of sacred life principles that hold up the human life as sacred. In this case it is not the urban poor, it is the rich and educated. They are suffering a poverty of knowledge as to their moral condition by way of their corrupted moral reasoning. Who is responsible for this condition? Leadership. They think their drive toward "greatness" is preserving the productive classes, but in fact they are poisoning it. It is not the people who have caused it. Leaders have abandoned the thinking and emphasis of the sanctity of the original American idea of society that respected the sacred human person.

Leaders in America have abandoned the language and the understanding of the sacred American ideas. They are using the language of hype and desperation, calling for 'greatness' instead of excellence. What sacred ideas does America have? That is what someone will say because the leadership has turned away from the pure idea of the democratic order based on life, sacred life; liberty, sacred liberty; and the pursuit of happiness, sacred human destiny. We know it is not all of the leadership, but it is in the most sensitive areas. The political establishment, the commercial establishment, the religious establishment is confused in their focus, they are using confused language, and they have introduced the language of intoxication into the people.

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So, the fact of the public and documented abandonment of America's beautiful, core, and founding principles by American leaders, who refuse to protect the sanctity of human life, have instead and in actuality declared a War on Innocence. It is against the poor, against the rich, against the immigrant, all of these groups looking for the true America. And the effects of this War they have declared is that its own toxin has turned inward and is now poisoning the war makers.

This response requires reflection and disciplined thinking to read and understand it. Our people, the People of W. Deen Mohammed, are a Sign. The bones are coming together for us now after the period of death, and the flesh is being gathered to clothe the bones. Before long, we will be standing again to help interpret the problem and distribute the precious grain from the storehouse to bring America from desperation and Wars on Innocence to the balance in the just order. It is G'd that brings us back to ourselves, the finest human community, the beloved community, in the conscience of one person, or a group. In this time we are that one and that group.