Farrakhan defends Gadhafi in Chicago speech

April 1, 2011 4:44:17 AM PDT
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spoke at a rare news conference in Chicago Thursday, blasting U.S. intervention in Libya.

Farrakhan came to the defense of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and predicted that intervention will lead to catastrophic consequences for the U.S.

It was a rare news conference for Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan, who spoke in defense of his old friend and benefactor Moammar Gadhafi. He warned President Barack Obama, the U.S. government and its allies to pay close attention to his words that were transmitted by satellite Thursday around the world.

"You're dealing with a man that you're gonna have to deal with," said Farrakhan. "And you can't deal with me the way you deal with your customary negroes."

Minister Farrakhan, in the style of a prophet, predicted that the United States would be punished by God for its intervention in Libya.

"A major earthquake is on its way to you and me and us," he said.

Farrakhan, who has known the Libyan leader since the 1980s, was criticized for traveling to Libya in 1997. He says Gadhafi has given or loaned the Nation of Islam millions of dollars, including money to help buy the former South Side Greek orthodox church that is now the group's headquarters mosque, as well as investments in other Nation of Islam real estate and business ventures.

"What kind of brother would I be if a man who has been that way to me and to us, and when he is in trouble I refused to raise my voice in his defense?" said Farrakhan.

In his 90-minute statement, Farrakhan blamed Zionists for directing U.S. policy in the Mideast and trying to force a wedge between himself and President Obama.

"You don't have no black man in America that has an argument with the Jews but Farrakhan. Well, who in the Bible has the biggest argument with the Jews of that day? Was it not Jesus?" said Farrakhan.

The Anti-Defamation League was outraged by the minister's remarks, e-mailing a statement that said, "(Thursday's speech) further demonstrates how far outside of the mainstream Farrakhan really is."

The minister also took issue with State Department and media characterizations of Gadhafi.

"He's not the mad dog of the Middle East," Farrakhan said. "The mad dogs are biting and growling in Washington, D.C."

The news conference was attended by several hundred people who interrupted Minister Farrakahn with applause several times during the speech.

Farrakhan was not as critical of President Obama as expected, but he certainly appeared to dial up the anti-Jewish rhetoric.