American Samizdat

Monday, February 26, 2007. *
DETROIT Feb 26, 2007 (AP)
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was greeted by cheers, tears and chants from tens of thousands as he returned to the public eye just long enough to say he would be leaving it soon.

Farrakhan, who ceded leadership duties last year because of illness, spoke for nearly two hours Sunday. Looking healthy and fit, he credited the prayers of millions from all walks of life for allowing him to take the stage at Detroit's Ford Field.

His vitality seemed at odds with his message, that his time left in the spotlight was short.

"My time is up," the 73-year-old Farrakhan said, describing his exit from leadership. "I believe … that my time to be with my spiritual father and his sender has come. And your time to go through serious trial has come."

The topic of the speech was "One Nation Under God." But Farrakhan said the world is at war because Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths are divided.

Farrakhan said Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad would embrace each other with love if they were on the stage behind him.

"Our lips are full of praise, but our hearts are far removed from the prophets we all claim," he said. "That's why the world is in the shape that it's in." . . .

He said President Bush should be impeached or at least censured for his "wicked policies," and urged young people to avoid joining a military that will have them "leave one way and come back another." . . .
Minister Farrakhan has been (in my mind) a heroic figure in American, African-American, and black politics.

A controversial man, Minister Farrakhan was also a leader of the Black Nationalist movement and the Million Man March in 1995. He was an associate and student of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and is sometimes implicated in the assassination of Malcom X in 1965 in a power struggle over leadership of the Nation of Islam. He is also credited sometimes with declaring that "the white man is evil" and of being an advocate of black separatism and superiority. His message has evolved over time; for many years, he has been a militant activist in the fight for true justice and equality, not just for black people, but all peoples.

I will miss his voice. A great deal of my own radicalism has been informed by the Minister's message, integrity, spiritualism and strength. I wish and hope you'll stick around for awhile, Minister - there never before has been such a time for all of us to cry out in your name.
posted by Unknown at 2:52 PM
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