'Saviour's Day' in Chicago for Nation of Islam

February 24, 2008 10:21:45 PM PST
The Nation of Islam's annual Saviour's Day event returned to Chicago Sunday, along with Minister Louis Farrakhan, who gave the keynote speech.While the Nation of Islam leader discussed many subjects, Sunday's focus was on saving the youth.

Minister Louis Farrakhan took the stage late, but wasted no time getting to his message: our youth are in trouble.

"You cannot help to raise our people unless you have the mind and the heart of a servant," Farrakhan said.

Although he looked and sounded strong, some of the 20,000 people who attended this year's Saviour's Day still wondered about Farrakhan's battle with prostate cancer and how his health could affect the future of the Nation of Islam.

"I don't know who is in line. There is a whole line of brothers that could possibly step in," said Dennis Campbell, a Saviour's Day attendee.

Last year, thousands packed the annual event which the nation moved it to Detroit for what some thought was to be the final public appearance of a then-ailing Louis Farrakhan.

"Over 50,000 came out to see what they thought was an ailing Farrakhan but one who was healed by God," said Minister Kevin Muhammad of the Nation of Islam.

Sunday's message was about the danger Farrakhan says threatens our youth.

"There has never been advancement in this world without the sacrifice of life itself," he said.

There was also a call to society to help young people save themselves.

"All of our issues are interrelated and it's everybody's business to take care of those whoo are vulerable," said Saviour's Day attendee Jacqueline Bontzolankes.

"He teaches us to?put the guns away and love each other," said Ahlia Muhammad.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama received praise from the former leader of the nation of Islam Sunday.

"He's the hope of the entire world that America can change," said Louis Farrakhan.

Minister Louis Farrakhan used his keynote address Sunday at McCormick Place to give Obama a boost. Minister Farrakhan says he is not telling anyone who to vote for but that Obama's background could make him the leader the United States needs.

"A black man with a white mother may be what could lift America from her fall," Farrakhan said.

Farrakhan gave up his leadership role with the Nation of Islam because of health problems, but he says he has been doing much better over the past year.