Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan defended Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as a “brother” during a two-hour news conference on Thursday, while refraining from condemning President Obama personally for America’s support of the rebels.
“It is a terrible thing for me to hear my brother called all these ugly and filthy names when I can’t recognize him as that,” Farrakhan told his followers who packed Mosque Maryam, the group’s international headquarters on Stony Island.
“What kind of brother would I be if a man has been that way to me and us, and when he is in trouble I refuse to raise my voice in his defense?” he asked.
Gadhafi has been a friend and financial benefactor of the group since 1971 when he loaned the Nation of Islam $3 million to purchase the building that became the national headquarters for the Nation of Islam.
In a column that appeared in the organization’s Final Call newspaper in 2009, Farrakhan claimed that Gadhafi also loaned the group $5 million for “economic development, then forgave the loan.”
“Why would I back down from those who gave so much?” he asked.
“A dangerous trick” is being played on Obama, Farrakhan said.