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October 24, 2013 0

Farrakhan’s Absence From NOI Event Spotlights Possible Successor, Ishmael Muhammad

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Ish­mael Muham­mad with Mayor Johnny Ford at 2013 Holy Day of Atone­ment in Tuskegee, Alabama

Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan’s last minute absence from the 2013 Holy Day of Atone­ment event in Tuskegee, Alabama, on Octo­ber 20, may shed light on the future direc­tion of the group’s leadership.

Far­rakhan was not able to give his annual keynote address due to hos­pi­tal­iza­tion for “an infec­tion,” accord­ing to his daugh­ter Donna. In pre­vi­ous years, his Holy Day of Atone­ment addresses have been marked by his noto­ri­ously anti-Semitic world­view, includ­ing his two-part keynote address last year in Chicago and Char­lotte.

Ish­mael Muham­mad, assis­tant min­is­ter at Mosque Maryam, the NOI’s flag­ship mosque in Chicago, and son of for­mer NOI leader Eli­jah Muham­mad, gave the keynote address in Farrakhan’s absence.

Muham­mad was intro­duced by Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford as one of the “new lead­ers of the Nation of Islam” and as “a new begin­ning.” In Muham­mad address, he deliv­ered “the mes­sage that [Far­rakhan] gave to [him],” pro­lif­i­cally prais­ing Far­rakhan, and announc­ing the NOI’s new “eco­nomic blueprint.”

The day after Muhammad’s speech, he tweeted, “We showed the world on Sun­day that the Nation is not just Louis Far­rakhan, it is Allah’s!!!”

Muham­mad has long been regarded as the most likely suc­ces­sor to Far­rakhan. His pub­lic role grew in 1999 when Far­rakhan was seri­ously ill with com­pli­ca­tions from treat­ment for prostate can­cer. And in 2006, when Far­rakhan issued an open let­ter say­ing that he was relin­quish­ing his lead­er­ship role with the group after nearly 30 years due to ill­ness, Muham­mad con­tin­ued to play a cen­tral role in most major NOI events.

In 2007, W.D. Mohammed, another son of for­mer NOI leader Eli­jah Muham­mad, who rejected his father’s racist ide­ol­ogy and steered a new course away from hatred, reit­er­ated the widely held belief that Ish­mael Muham­mad is the most likely con­tender for NOI lead­er­ship. Dur­ing a lec­ture at the Clin­ton Pres­i­den­tial Library in Arkansas, W.D. said Ish­mael is poised to “clear up the destruc­tion of the reli­gion in the Nation of Islam.”

Unlike Far­rakhan, Muham­mad does not have an exten­sive pub­lic record of anti-Semitism or big­otry, but he has fre­quently defended Farrakhan’s bla­tantly hate­ful messages.

While Muham­mad has dis­cussed his reluc­tance to take on the lead­er­ship of the NOI on sev­eral occa­sions over the years, he con­tin­ues to fill in for Far­rakhan at the most crit­i­cal moments.

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October 16, 2012 0

Farrakhan Blasts Obama And Romney In Address in Charlotte

On Octo­ber 14, Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan deliv­ered the keynote address at 2012 Holy Day of Atone­ment event in Char­lotte, North Car­olina. In addi­tion to harshly crit­i­ciz­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, Gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney and both polit­i­cal par­ties, Far­rakhan advanced the­o­ries of undue Israel influ­ence in the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal system.

Far­rakhan blasted both can­di­dates for what he char­ac­ter­ized as answer­ing to Israeli inter­ests over those of America:

“Mr. Rom­ney, he already went to Israel and bowed down. He went to Israel and wore out his knees, got a patch on his knees. He told Israel and his dear friend Netanyahu: We’re not going to let Iran get a nuclear bomb… Obama, he almost wore out his knees too. I mean he may not have a patch on his knee, but he was down there long enough to rub a lit­tle some­thing in that knee. He told Israel, AIPAC, he told them, even though we’re in an eco­nomic down­town, don’t you worry because the money we’ve been giv­ing to you, we’re going to give it to you again and add some more to it. If that ain’t deep knee bend­ing, now I’m not mak­ing stuff up! We’re in bad shape brother!”

As Far­rakhan often does, he also ques­tioned the claim that he laces his ser­mons with anti-Semitic imagery and alle­ga­tions of Jew­ish con­spir­a­cies. He describes how in 1984 when Rev. Jesse Jack­son ran for the Demo­c­ra­tic nom­i­nee for pres­i­dent, Far­rakhan stood up to the Jew­ish com­mu­nity who “were try­ing to side­track and destroy his bid for the pres­i­dency of the United States.”

He later paused for a stand­ing ova­tion from his audi­ence before adding, “So you have financiers like the oil tycoon Koch broth­ers, casino owner Shel­don Adel­son who have invested tens or hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to buy elec­tions and buy the per­son who gets elected.”

Far­rakhan also crit­i­cized the Repub­li­can Party for what he views as its “overtly hate­ful and racist nature.” He asks his audi­ence “What is it that has blinded Repub­li­cans? It is race, the image of the Black man ris­ing!” He also vows to fight the “schemes or machi­na­tions of our for­mer slave mas­ters” that are part of “a racist sys­tem that wants to keep Amer­ica white.” He claims Rom­ney has no plat­form and is just a “cheer­leader” whose plat­form is “Sis boom bah, rah rah rah! Come on white team! Let’s get that negro out of office!”

This year’s annual “Holy Day of Atone­ment” event, which com­mem­o­rates the 17th anniver­sary of the NOI’s Mil­lion Man March (MMM) in Wash­ing­ton, DC, was attended by approx­i­mately 6,000 people.

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