Minister Louis Farrakhan

Minister Louis Farrakhan has come to the defense of rapper Jay Electronica, after Electronica drew criticism for wearing the uniform of the Fruit of Islam, the paramilitary wing of the Nation of Islam, during a performance at the 2014 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival.

Electronica is signed to Jay-Z’s ROC Nation record label, and performed at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival on July 12 wearing the uniform and with members of the Nation of Islam lined up behind him on-stage. He also used profanity during the performance.

Farrakhan’s letter, published in The Final Call, the news site and official communication arm of the Nation of Islam, addressed the critique that Electronica’s use of profanity was hypocritical and contradicted the uniform.

“Has any of us who have accepted Islam and its required high degree of moral excellence and civilization ever said or done anything that is less than representative of what we believe?” wrote Farrakhan. “I am sure that all of us, if we are honest, would have to say that we have.”

In addition to referring its audience to a passage in the Qu’ran, the letter appeals to the story of the woman accused of adultery and taken before Jesus for judgment in the Gospel of John. Farrakhan enlists Jesus’ rhetorical imperative that the person without sin throw the first stone to turn the accusation of hypocrisy back on those who would criticize Electronica.

“So let us not be like the self-righteous hypocrites of that day when Jesus refused to accuse the woman whom they say was found in adultery,” wrote Farrakhan.

Farrakhan goes on to praise Electronica for his work with youth and concludes the letter by expressing his hope that he might be able to personally help guide Electronica spiritually in the future.



Roberto Alejandro

Special to the AFRO