It’s just halfway through February, and already 15 people have died violently in Birmingham this year. The local leader of the Nation of Islam told the Birmingham City Council this week it’s time for the community to take action to stop the violence. He’s introduced a plan to do it.
Minister Tremon Muhammad says he’s tired of seeing violence claim lives and disrupt peace in Birminghams. Muhammad is leader of the local Nation of Islam. On Tuesday, Muhammad announced a plan to quell the violence in high crime communities.
“We’re going to bring in experts from around the country that will teach regular everyday citizens conflict resolution,” he says. “Once they are certified, then they’ll become part of the team that can be dispatched to some of the hot spots around the city.”
Trainers for Birmingham’s conflict resolution efforts are members of the Nation of Islam who have already had some success in New Orleans and Atlanta, Muhummad says. Participation in the training is not limited to Muslims, because it takes all residents working together to stop the violence, but he says members of the Nation of Islam know how to work in the inner city and can teach residents to mediate potentially volatile situations before they become violent.
“We don’t carry guns, and we don’t carry as much as a pen knife,” Muhammad says. “But there is something in what we have been taught about ourselves that makes us able to deal with the dark mindset that is out in the community.”
Muhammad says the first conflict resolution session is in Ensley in March. Mayor Randall Woodfin has said he will announce a crime plan for the city later this week.