Nation of Islam representative to break negative stereotypes

By Sandra Masibay

Have you seen “Malcolm X” and still are not sure what the Nation of Islam represents? Are there questions you have always wanted to ask about this religion?

Tonight at 8 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium you can ask these questions and more from speaker Thaddeus Muhammad.

The NIU Nation of Islam and the Black Student Union is sponsoring the arrival of Muhammad. Muhammad is a representative for Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

He is based in Chicago and engages in much community work and strives for education and empowerment in the African-American community.

The topic of his Monday lecture will be “Education for the Next Century.”

The talk’s emphasis will be on the importance of education and the purpose of “Will education be used to make money or to make a difference?”

As a representative of Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Muhammad chooses to make a difference by speaking to gang youth and visiting prisons and Chicago housing projects, said Yahcolyah X, a member of the NIU Nation of Islam.

“Muhammad encourages students and is very inspirational. This is an opportunity to hear a voice rarely heard on this campus. This is a chance to feel a new spirit yet to be seen,” he said.

Aside from speaking on education, members of the Nation of Islam hope bringing Muhammad to NIU will break some negative stereotypes and heighten awareness about the Nation of Islam.

“Most of the time I get a negative reaction from people when they know I am in the Nation of Islam,” said Anthony X, member of the NIU Nation of Islam.

“When I tell people of my religion, I get a cold and curious response from people who don’t know (about Islam). I believe that (the movie) ‘Malcolm X’ was a beautiful instrument in that it taught people some things about Islam. Those questions left unanswered after the movie were answered by coming to the nation themselves,” Yahcolyah X said.

“This is a chance for people to learn about the Nation of Islam directly from a representative,” Anthony X said.