October 18, 2008

Farrakhan Starts Outreach Effort

The Rev. Louis Farrakhan says he is planning "a new beginning" for his Nation of Islam movement with the re-dedication of its Chicago mosque headquarters.

Farrakhan, who met with local Chicago reporters this week in an outreach effort, says Sunday's Mosque Maryam re-dedication will symbolize his efforts to battle "mischaracterization" of the Nation of Islam as a militant group and to further open its membership to Caribbean blacks, Asians and Latinos.

The "new beginning" for the Nation of Islam "represents an expansion of its mission, but its role as a champion for freedom, justice and equality for blacks will not be diminished," Farrakhan said in a statement, adding, "God wants to use blacks, who have experienced the worst suffering in human history, to call the world back to order."

Addressing U.S. blacks, Farrakhan said, "You are an international people and you have got to stop thinking so narrowly. Your rappers are kings all over the world, they are leading young people -- that's your future."