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British Association for American Studies


Issue 14, Spring 2009: Article 5


Issue 14, Spring 2009: Article 5

U.S. Studies Online: The BAAS Postgraduate Journal

Issue 14, Spring 2009

A Nation Prepares for Change: Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam at a Crossroads

Dawn-Marie Gibson
© Dawn-Marie Gibson. All Rights Reserved

In popular histories of Black America, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam (NOI) have often been positioned as agents of racial divisiveness and anti-Semitism. Louis Farrakhan, a controversial and contentious figure in American race relations, has led the Black Nationalist and pseudo Islamic NOI since 1977. The Black Muslim minister reached what his aides believe to have been the ‘zenith’ of his career in 1995 when he led the Million Man March, and he continues to generate widespread censure, especially concerning anti-Semitic statements he alleges to have never made.[1] Farrakhan relinquished control of the NOI on 11 September 2006 on account of fresh health fears, and rather than appoint a successor, he delegated full control of the Nation to his executive board. Media reports which alleged that the NOI would either die with Farrakhan or buckle under the pressure of factionalism were as equally misplaced as notions that it would embrace orthodox Islam. Farrakhan returned to the NOI in February 2007, but has since made only intermittent appearances to his followers. This paper addresses three aspects of the NOI’s prospective future. Firstly, it examines with what success the executive board has managed the NOI in Farrakhan’s absence. Secondly, it addresses the various possibilities for the NOI when Farrakhan bows out, and thirdly, it challenges popular notions that the NOI will disintegrate when Farrakhan makes his final exit.

Louis Farrakhan is revered by his followers both inside and outside the NOI. NOI converts frequently refer to Farrakhan as ‘our champion defender’. Moreover, many leading figures in the African American community continue to look to Farrakhan as the heir to the Black Nationalist tradition of Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X. Farrakhan has devoted much of his adult life to building and leading the NOI. Following Malcolm X’s exodus from the Nation in 1964, Farrakhan was awarded a number of vacancies once filled by Malcolm by the NOI’s then leader, Elijah Muhammad. In the aftermath of Elijah Muhammad’s death in February 1975, his son, Warith Muhammad, was named the new leader of the NOI and his succession effectively marked the end for the NOI as many knew it. Warith renamed the NOI The World Community of Al-Islam in the West (WCIW) and introduced orthodox Islam at a speed that alarmed many, including Farrakhan. Unhappy with his lowly status in the new group, Farrakhan defected from the WCIW in 1977 and began to resurrect the old NOI, and since 1977, Farrakhan has led the ‘Resurrected NOI’ with little agitation from within. The fact that he has led unchallenged for over three decades is testament not only to his talents but to the fact that NOI converts genuinely believe him to be the rightful and divine heir to Elijah Muhammad. The NOI has depended upon Farrakhan’s charisma and direct leadership throughout its existence. Prior to 1998, the Nation had no noticeable structural apparatus and Farrakhan alone was in sole charge of all matters relating to the group. In 1998 Farrakhan took a leave of absence from the Nation for the first time in his career when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. During his absence, the national media produced a spate of reports alleging that the Nation would not survive Farrakhan’s death. DeWayne Wickman, for example, noted that:

Without Farrakhan at the helm, the Nation of Islam is just another fringe group with murky beliefs and a rabid, but small, following… The loss of Farrakhan also will bring an end to the black nationalism era that began with Marcus Garvey and fed the belief that this country’s race problem could be solved by creating a black nation within the United States.[2]

Farrakhan proved concerned enough about the accuracy of such reports to address structural deficiencies in his organisation on his return to the Nation in 1999. In an interview with Jabril Muhammad, for example, Farrakhan noted that he had been uncertain as to whether the NOI could have survived in its then haphazard state:

…as I laid there, not able to walk well, I mean I was in a very, very difficult condition. My mind, of course, is on the believers, on the Nation and on the future of this when I am no longer in the world. I called Minister Alim to my bedside to share with him my anguish. My anguish was over my knowing that the nation would not survive in its present form. It had to evolve beyond where it was in order to make room for the talented people that are outside the nation…[3]

Throughout 1999 and early 2000, Farrakhan and his senior aides established an exclusive leadership committee. The Nation’s executive board is composed of an upper and lower tier, the upper tier compiled of several senior NOI ministers who have devoted much of their lives to the organisation and the lower tier composed of Farrakhan’s ‘student ministers’. Appointments to positions in the board are made by Farrakhan alone, although it is clear that he does consider recommendations from his senior aides. Farrakhan’s board has proven fundamental to the Nation’s survival during his bouts of illness and it is thus unsurprising that he entrusted his Nation to the board when he experienced fresh health fears in September 2006.

News of Farrakhan’s decision to transfer control of the NOI to his executive board reached his followers and outsiders alike via a letter that he produced for distribution in the NOI’s news organ, The Final Call. In his detailed letter, addressed to the ‘Believers and supporters’ of the Nation, Farrakhan outlined his long battle with prostate cancer and asked his followers to submit to the rule of his board:

In this period of testing, you can prove that the Nation of Islam… is more than the physical presence of any individual, and that will live long after we have gone… I would prefer that the Executive Board of the Nation of Islam help solve the problems of the Nation, without asking me. Then, at this time of testing, it will show me that you are ready to move beyond personality to live and function on the principles that make personalities attractive.[4]

Farrakhan’s initial absence from the various meetings of the Nation’s board provided his subordinates with a rare opportunity to vie for greater influence and control. Though the media failed to get news of any in-fighting in the NOI’s leadership, Farrakhan’s close associate, Askia Muhammad, commented during an interview that the upper tier of the board did expose ‘abuses of power’ and carried out a ‘health cleaning’ during Farrakhan’s initial absence.[5] Revelation of such abuses within the leadership cabinet no doubt went some way towards Farrakhan’s decision to remove all ministerial titles from board members in 2007.[6] Those on the fringes of the executive board, including, Askia Muhammad, believe that the removal of ‘fair weather friends’ has increased the Nation’s capacity to function more coherently without Farrakhan in the future.[7]

Speculation over the NOI’s prospective future intensified when Farrakhan was rushed to hospital in early January 2007 to undergo a ‘life saving’ operation.[8] In Farrakhan’s extended absence, the board elected ministers to appear on his behalf at various events. Unsurprisingly, they repeatedly elected Ishmael Muhammad, the biological son of Elijah Muhammad and Farrakhan’s national assistant at Mosque Maryam in Chicago. During one of his first addresses on behalf of Farrakhan on 15 October 2006, Ishmael made a direct plea for unity in the NOI. At one point during the address, for example, he asked, ‘Can we subordinate our egos to the cause of our people?’.[9] The fact that he made such a plea inadvertently validated notions that the board was unable to manage the personalities in the Nation.

Farrakhan recovered sufficiently from his operation in early January to attend and address the 2007 annual Saviour’s Day convention, an event held in honour of the NOI’s founder, Fard Muhammad. In the days prior to his keynote address, the American media led the way in popularising the speech as ‘Farrakhan’s farewell address’, a belief which appeared to be confirmed when the NOI announced that the convention was be held in Detroit, the NOI’s birth place, as opposed to its traditional assemblage in Chicago. In the Chicago Sun Times, for example, Mary Mitchell construed the decision to move the convention back to Detroit as an effort to provide Farrakhan with an ‘appropriate stage’ to ‘take his final bow’.[10]

Official figures estimate that at least 40,000 people attended Farrakhan’s keynote lecture in the Ford field arena in Detroit on 25February. Much of the press who attended the convention did so in the belief that the event would see Farrakhan attempt to re-write his legacy or offer something of an apology for practising what Magida referred to as a ‘pragmatic anti-Semitism’.[11] Farrakhan did neither. His demotion of the NOI’s deity, Fard Muhammad, to mere mortal status during his lecture failed, once again, to produce any significant doctrinal changes in the Nation’s teachings.

Though there are members of the NOI who adhere closely to orthodox Islam, the group’s racial philosophy, which teaches that Caucasians are ‘devils’ and that their founder, Fard Muhammad, is Allah incarnate, prevents the group’s full acceptance in Muslim America. Farrakhan and his officials are aware of and sensitive to charges that the NOI is a cult. Askia Muhammad, for example, notes that:

…There are spiritual…fundamental differences from Elijah Muhammad’s teachings and the rest of the Muslim World…there’s an asterisk that the Muslim World have with regard to the Nation of Islam…but I think it applies to all African American converts to Islam in America…[12]

Rather than exit the convention atoning for his divisiveness, Farrakhan concluded his address by advertising a list of several ahistorical books, which included the controversial book, The Secret Relationship between Blacks and Jews (1992). The Secret Relationship is authored and published by the Historical Research Department (HRD) of the NOI, and the fact that the book’s authors remain anonymous is some indication as to how controversial the book is. Though authors of recently-published works on Farrakhan’s NOI, including Gardell, Magida and Singh, have accepted that the book is the product of the HRD of the NOI, converts in the NOI are well aware that this is not the case. Farrakhan has on at least one occasion during his addresses at Mosque Maryam stated that the book was authored by Allen Muhammad, an NOI convert.[13] Furthermore, during an interview with Akbar Muhammad he referred to the book as having been authored by a ‘research person’ as opposed to the collective effort of the HRD.[14] The Secret Relationship has all the superficial appearances of a well-researched book. However, a closer look at its content and sources reveal it to be nothing more than an ahistorical narrative based on the work of discredited scholars, with the sole intent of implicating Jews as having been the primary beneficiaries of the transatlantic slave trade:

Deep within the recesses of the Jewish historical record is irrefutable evidence that the most prominent of the Jewish Pilgrim Fathers used kidnapped Black Africans disproportionately more than any other ethnic or religious group in New World history and participated in every aspect of the international slave trade. The immense wealth of Jews, as with most of the White colonial fathers, was acquired by the brutal subjugation of Black Africans purely on the basis of skin color—a concept unfamiliar to Moses. Now, compiled for the first time, the Jewish sources reveal the extent of their complicity in Black slavery in the most graphic of terms.[15]

Farrakhan’s inclusion of the book on his reading list infuriated his long-time critic Abraham Foxman and the Anti-Defamation League. Foxman, for example, noted that:

Minister Farrakhan’s reading list includes books that purport to expose ‘the truth’ about Jews and their control of the federal banking system or their role in the African slave trade… It’s a shame that Farrakhan had the opportunity to change his legacy, and he didn’t.[16]

After the 2007 convention, the NOI withdrew into itself and with the exception of brief interviews with CNN, ABC, BET and Al-Jazeera, Farrakhan kept a relatively low profile. The interviews that Farrakhan agreed to saw him address questions relating to the NOI’s doctrine, succession, his legacy and the prospects for the NOI’s survival. During his interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon, for example, he commented that:

I’m hoping that these (around me) will carry out the principles that Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan taught, so you won’t need any charismatic individual. The group that is leading, infused with the principles, wrapping themselves around those principles will lead the Nation in the proper direction…[Sic] [17]

In his interview with Al Jazeera, Farrakhan played down the fact that the NOI remains a largely racially exclusive organisation. He noted during the interview that:

…our duty was first to our own people, as the Prophet’s was…we are now inclusive of all members of the human family, but it started with the Black man and woman of America who are in the worst condition of human beings.[18]

The NOI’s ‘inclusive’ membership policy is something that is neither publicised by Farrakhan, his ministers nor NOI members. Whilst both Latinos and Native Americans enjoy an equal footing with their African American counterparts in the Nation, whites remain a different matter altogether. In fact, some of the NOI’s ministerial staff and members are still unsure as to whether whites are allowed to join.

Latinos were first permitted to join the NOI in 1975. They took on a more visible position in the Nation in the early 1990s, when Farrakhan appointed Abel Muhammad as one of his many national assistants. According to Teresa X Torres, a Latina convert to the NOI and regular columnist for The Final Call, many Latinos continue to perceive the NOI as an ‘all-black religion’. In an interview with Torres, she commented that:

Based on my own experience I believe that Latinos can identify with the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the pain of racism and self-hatred endured by our black brothers and sisters. As a people Latinos and Blacks have more in common than we do different… [Sic] [19]

Native American recruits now hold many prestigious positions in the NOI also. YoNasDa-Lonewolf Muhammad, for example, was appointed as the director for the Indigenous People’s Alliance in late 2005 and often delivers short addresses at the Nation’s annual conventions.[20]

Whites form a small demographic in the present day NOI. Whites who are registered members maintain a relatively low profile, so much so that many in the NOI, including Torres, are unaware they are allowed to join. According to life-long member Askia Muhammad, whites are involved in the NOI for their own ‘rehabilitation purposes’.[21] Moreover, Askia notes that if whites were to be given a higher profile in the NOI it would ‘lose its black character’.[22] Admitting whites to the NOI has serious implications for the Nation’s doctrine. Farrakhan and his subordinates will be forced to compromise and eventually annul their traditional ‘white devil’ teachings if they are to ever fully integrate the NOI.

Under Farrakhan’s orders his staff spent much of 2007 working inside the NOI, and the year proved relatively uneventful. Farrakhan gave his first official address in the NOI at the 2008 Saviour’s Day convention on 25 February at the McCormick place in Chicago. The 2008 convention lacked both the grandeur and aura that had characterised the 2007 convention, and the most significant moment of his keynote address came when he offered something of an endorsement of Barack Obama. During his address, for example, he noted that:

…as a result of Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign, ‘people are being transformed from what they were. His language is raising them above their racial, ethnic, cultural, religious differences, and he is wedding people into a bond that has never been seen before. You might say, “Gee, I don’t think Barack is Black enough”. He wasn’t supposed to be. If you want a Black leader, there’s Rev. Jackson; there is Rev. Sharpton; and there is Louis Farrakhan, and we don’t apologize,’ said Min. Farrakhan. Sen. Obama is not ‘the Black candidate, he’s the American candidate who wants to unite all the American people. You may not agree with him, then stand on the sidelines and watch… There are Caucasian people, right now, who don’t see Barack Obama’s color, they see that man as the only one able to save this country from itself… That man had empathy for people who are African or Black, but he has empathy and love for people who are White… This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better, because a better man may become her leader…’ [Sic] [23]

The NOI had proven itself reluctant to voice support for Obama throughout much of the primaries. Their silence appeared to stem from a fear that supporting Obama publicly would tarnish his campaign and intensify speculation that he was a ‘closet’ Muslim. The NOI under both Elijah Muhammad’s and Louis Farrakhan’s command has for the most part been an apolitical movement. Farrakhan involved the NOI in the American political process for the first time in 1984 with disastrous results, when his support for Jesse Jackson ultimately hurt Jackson’s campaign and left Farrakhan embroiled in widespread charges of anti-Semitism when he defended Jackson’s anti-Semitic ‘Hymie’ slur. Following the Nation’s involvement in Jackson’s campaign, the NOI reverted back to its apolitical status. With the exception of Akbar Muhammad’s article urging The Final Call’s readership to support Obama, the NOI remained largely silent on Obama’s campaign:

It is our duty to support one of our own when they have the tenacity and will to seek the highest office in this country… He can win, if we support him instead of sitting at home or voting for another candidate… Our vote and support is important to Mr. Obama becoming the next president… As Mr. Obama moves through states with large Black populations, I want to remind him that the way to get the Black vote is to ask for it. Barack, if you don’t, make no mistake that the other candidates will.[24]

The heated response to Farrakhan’s endorsement from Obama, his campaign, and that of his rivals reflected, if nothing else, the fact that Farrakhan remains a controversial figure in the U.S. Farrakhan’s endorsement may have been made in an effort to boost Obama’s support amongst Black nationalists or to put an end to fervent criticisms that the democratic candidate was ‘not black enough’. However, the Obama campaign moved quickly to distance Obama from Farrakhan, and during an MSNBC interview with Tim Russert, Obama assured viewers that he had not ‘solicited’ the support of Farrakhan. In an article for the Chicago-Sun Times, Mary Mitchell noted that:

When Sen. Barack Obama “rejected” and “denounced” the support of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan during the MSNBC debate last week, it wasn’t his finest hour. Fortunately for Obama, most black people understand the game. No matter how many times Farrakhan explains, defends or refutes anti-Semitic comments that have been attributed to him, his kiss is still the kiss of death… At 74-years-old, Farrakhan has paid his dues in the battle against racial oppression and hatred… Farrakhan’s appeal to masses of African Americans is that he is not a politician. And he is free to speak his mind because his organization does not depend on outside support. Obama should have found a way to escape Russert’s trap without denigrating Farrakhan’s legacy. But, like I said, we understand.[25]

Not all journalists were as sympathetic as Mitchell. Washington Post staff writer Richard Cohen, in contrast, noted that:

The New York Times recently reported on Obama’s penchant while serving in the Illinois legislature for merely voting “present” when faced with some tough issues. Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him. This time, though, “present” will not do.[26]

Since his return to the NOI in February 2007, Farrakhan has proven either unable or unwilling to guide his followers towards orthodox Islam, and the path that the NOI may take when Farrakhan bows out generated heated discussion after September 2006. There are at least five possible directions for the group to tread post-Farrakhan. Firstly, as something of a preferred option for Farrakhan, the NOI could be led by his executive board. Secondly, should the board fail to effectively manage the Nation they could elect a charismatic member of its upper tier to succeed Farrakhan. Thirdly, the NOI could split into warring factions with each vying for legitimacy, as happened in 1975 when Elijah Muhammad refused to appoint a successor. Fourthly, and less likely, the NOI may move to align itself with orthodox groups and in time embrace Islamic orthodoxy. Lastly, the NOI may use Farrakhan’s exit as an appropriate point for closure.

Farrakhan has often suggested that he would prefer for the NOI to be led by his board in the event of his death. Although it is commonly speculated that the NOI’s executive board struggled to run smoothly during Farrakhan’s absence, the board’s drive to purge itself of renegades has arguably bolstered its chances of functioning more coherently in the future. The upper tier of the NOI’s board is compiled of individuals who have devoted much of their lives to the Nation’s ministry, and several individuals in the upper tier of the executive board have served in the NOI under Elijah Muhammad, Warith Muhammad and Farrakhan. It is unlikely that these individuals will withdraw from the group when Farrakhan dies.

Farrakhan’s refusal to name a successor is most likely a result of his own fears that doing so would fan the flames of discord in his board. Though media reports have speculated that Ishmael Muhammad and the international representative of the NOI, Akbar Muhammad are serious contenders to Farrakhan’s throne, Farrakhan has never publicly endorsed either. The closest Ishmael Muhammad came to receiving an endorsement from Farrakhan came in March 2001 when he acknowledged the ‘development’ of his ministerial staff during a lecture at Mosque Maryam in Chicago:

…it’s not for me to say who’s next and Allah is already preparing whoever it is that shall come next. I thank Allah that there is a next… I’m proud of the development of Minister Ishmael and there are a number of young men and women writing me with their ideas…we shall be developing these young people… [Sic] [27]

Ishmael Muhammad is known to be positioned at the head of the executive board, and as the biological son of Elijah Muhammad, Ishmael is better positioned than most in the executive board. [28] Though he has previously played down his ambitions to succeed his mentor, Ishmael is well aware that Farrakhan’s throne will likely fall at his feet. Known by his co-workers as the ‘Fireball Minister’, Ishmael’s succession would ensure the survival of Elijah Muhammad’s doctrine. Both Ishmael and his mother, Tynetta Muhammad, are ideologically wedded to Fard Muhammad’s theology: both depend on it to justify their positions in the Nation.

Akbar Muhammad has a wealth of experience in the NOI. Though he is significantly older and less charismatic than Ishmael, he is nonetheless also well-positioned in the board. Alongside a cohort of upper tier ministers, Akbar has served the NOI under Elijah Muhammad, Warith Muhammad and Farrakhan, and has the added advantage of having garnered international support for the NOI for over 30 years. He is better placed than Ishmael to broker financial deals with the Nation’s biggest sponsors in the international arena, such as Libya. Akbar’s succession would no doubt see the NOI break away from its founding doctrine as Akbar is relatively more open and approachable than his subordinates. He is, for example, more willing than his counterparts to concede that questions remain over Elijah Muhammad’s leadership in the Nation.[29] As something of a pragmatic executive, Akbar is well aware that embracing a more orthodox Islam would expand the Nation’s lifeline.

Factionalism has been avoided in the NOI since 1977 but it may emerge in the immediate aftermath of Farrakhan’s death. Farrakhan’s admission that he had spent 2007 working on the inside of the NOI during his 2008 Saviour’s Day address is testament to his own reservations over the NOI’s future. The NOI’s failure to gravitate towards Islamic orthodoxy during Farrakhan’s initial absence suggests that, at present, orthodoxy is not an attractive option for the group. Extracting the racial element of the NOI’s theology would render the NOI nothing more than another ‘racial uplift’ organisation.

It is unlikely that the NOI will die with Farrakhan. Though the American-based chapters of the NOI rely more heavily on Farrakhan’s direct leadership than their counterparts in London, Trinidad and Ghana, there can be little doubt that the events of 2006 have bolstered the possibility that the NOI will survive Farrakhan. Furthermore, according to Dr. Larry Muhammad, director of the NOI’s school in Chicago, Farrakhan has just directed $700,000 of the Nation’s finances towards renovating the Muhammad University of Islam and much more towards renovating Mosque Maryam in Chicago.[30] The present day NOI suffers no shortage of new recruits, and at any given Sunday service, the Nation manages to recruit at least 10 new converts, the majority of which are African American males aged between 10 and 35.[31]

Farrakhan has made greater efforts to integrate the Nation and moderate its teachings over recent months. Altering the Nation’s theology requires Farrakhan to re-market Elijah Muhammad. During his address at the Education Paradigm conference in Chicago in August 2008 Farrakhan hinted that he would be making greater efforts to promote inclusion in the NOI:

I wish that Christians could hear me, I wish that they could understand that we are not enemies of Jesus. I wish that they could understand. I wish that the Muslims could understand that we are not enemies of the Prophet Muhammad; we love him. So on October 19th I’m inviting all to the dedication of the new Mosque Maryam, the new, and if it be the will of Allah, I will introduce you to the New beginning of that which is called the Nation of Islam… You think that you heard Elijah, I want to re-introduce him to you on October 19 at the dedication of the new Mosque Maryam.[32]

Farrakhan followed through with promoting inclusion and tolerance in the Nation during the re-dedication of Mosque Maryam on 19 October. During the address, he noted, that it was his wish for the Nation to take on an ‘expanded mission’, serving all sections of society regardless of race, and defended the Nation’s old teachings:

When Elijah Muhammad came among us he taught what you could call a black theology. A lot of people were offended by that; turned off by that. In the Muslim world they were angry; they said that: ‘Islam does not teach colour; what’s wrong with you people?’ …The man that came to us from Mecca, we call him Master Fard Muhammad, he had a black father and a white mother. That man came to us first because our condition was worse. He was so skilful, he developed a methodology along with an ideology that would start a process of transformation in our lives… That message you call Black supremacy; that fed a broken heart, a broken mind, a broken spirit…[33]

Farrakhan’s recent efforts to amend the NOI’s line of faith mark an important point of departure from his unorthodox teachings in the past. As to whether NOI converts will wholeheartedly accept and embrace the ‘expanded mission’ is yet to be seen.

Farrakhan remains a highly controversial figure in the U.S, as was indicated by the response that his endorsement of Barack Obama generated. Farrakhan’s legacy is—and will remain—hotly contested. That a large segment of Americans believe him to be a divisive figure is reflected in the current historiography of the NOI. The NOI has provided its African American converts, in particular, with a basis for group cohesiveness and self-definition since its conception, and the demand for such provisions will not likely dissipate from within the African American community in the near future. Farrakhan’s NOI looks set to continue well into the 21st century, and given that the Nation continues to attract a steady flow of new recruits, Middle America’s hope that the NOI will die with Farrakhan are misplaced.

University of Ulster


[1] Interview with Akbar Muhammad, 2 October 2007.

[2] DeWayne Wickham, ‘If Farrakhan dies, so will his group’ USA Today, 6 April 1999, p. 15A.

[3] Jabril Muhammad, Closing the Gap: Inner Views of the Heart, Mind and Soul of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (Chicago: Final Call publishing, 2006), p. 261.

[4] Louis Farrakhan, ‘Official Statement’, The Final Call, Volume 25. Number 48, p. 3.

[5] Interview with Askia Muhammad, 13 January 2008.

[6] See comments made during Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day 2007 keynote address: ‘One Nation under God: The Confusion, The Guidance, The Warning’ [on DVD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2007).

[7] Interview with Askia Muhammad, 13 January 2008.

[8] NOI Officials confirm Minister Louis Farrakhan’s surgery, 6 January 2007,

[9] Ishmael Muhammad, Why a Millions More Movement: the 2006 Holy Day of Atonement address [on DVD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2006).

[10] Mary Mitchell, ‘Is today Farrakhan’s last Saviours’ Day speech?’ Chicago Sun Times-Final Edition, 25 February 2007, p. A13.

[11] Arthur Magida, Prophet of Rage: A life of Louis Farrakhan and his Nation (New York: Basic Books, 1996), p. 162.

[12] Interview with Askia Muhammad, 13 January 2008.

[13] Louis Farrakhan, Saviours’ Day 2004, Part 2: Reparations:  What Does America and Europe Owe?  What Does Allah (God) Promise? [on video tape] (Final Call Incorporated, 2004).

[14] Interview with Akbar Muhammad, 2 October 2007.

[15] The Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews (Chicago: FCI, 1992), p. 7.

[16] Farrakhan ‘Reading List’ includes Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel Tracts’. ADL Press release:

[17] Ashahed Muhammad, ‘Minister Farrakhan’s interview with CNN anchor Don Lemon’, The Final Call, 17 April, 2007 p.5.

[18] Ashahed Muhammad, ‘Minister Farrakhan speaks to the Arab world through Al Jazeera’, The Final Call. 10 April 2007, p. 5.

[19] Interview with Theresa X Torres, 16 September 2008.

[20] Interview with YoNasDa-Lonewolf Muhammad, 7 March 2008.

[21] Interview with Askia Muhammad, 13 January 2008.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Askia Muhammad, ‘The Gods at War:’ The future is all about Y.O.U.t.h’ The Final Call, 4 March 2008, pp. 2-3.

[24] Akbar Muhammad, ‘How does Barack Obama get the Black vote? Ask for it!’ The Final Call, 8 January 2008, p. 6.

[25] Mary Mitchell, ‘Why Obama ‘denounced’ Farrakhan: It wasn’t candidate’s best move—but most blacks understand’, Chicago Sun-Times, 2 March 2008, p. 13.

[26] Richard Cohen, ‘Obama’s Farrakhan Test’, The Washington Post, 15 January 2008, p. A13.

[27] Louis Farrakhan, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God, Part 2 [on CD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2001).

[28] Interview with Askia Muhammad, 13 January 2008.

[29] Interview with Akbar Muhammad, 2 October 2007.

[30] See comments made by Dr. Larry Muhammad at the opening of the ‘Educational Paradigm’ conference held at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago on 3 August 2008 [on DVD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2008).

[31] Observation of response to alter calls during weekly NOI sermons from the Muhammad University of Islam and Mosque Maryam, 2007-2008.

[32] Louis Farrakhan. ‘Educational Paradigm’ conference held at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago on 3 August 2008 [on DVD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2008).

[33] Louis Farrakhan, ‘A New Beginning: The re-dedication of Mosque Maryam’, 19 October 2008 [on DVD] (Final Call Incorporated, 2008). A transcript of Farrakhan’s address is also available in the 4 November 2008 edition of The Final Call, pp. 20-21.