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Farrakhan Poised For Key Speech

Tuesday, February 20, 2007Brother Mustafaa

Farrakhan poised for key speech

The Detroit News

DETROIT – The Nation of Islam is preparing for what could be the last major address given by Minister Louis Farrakan. Savior’s Day, which is an annual national convention and conferences, begins next week, and dozens of officials and clergy laid down the welcome mat Thursday.

“As we seek to move beyond our theology and embrace our humanity, this event is significant because this is the birthplace of the Nation of Islam,” said the Rev. Sam Bullock, president of the Council of Baptist Pastors, who was one of about 150 people at a related news conference Thursday at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who lured the Savior’s Day convention from event planners in Atlanta, said the swaying was evidence of the city’s ability to attract major events. The event is typically held in Chicago.

“All of us are coming together in a major way in our community to hear from the minister, but also to have some real dialogue with each other,” Kilpatrick said.

Farrakhan, 73, left a hospital Jan. 28 following abdominal surgery resulting in a five-week hospital stay. He has made no public appearances since August 2006. Farrakhan has said he may never again address a large audience like the 65,000 expected to hear him at Detroit’s Ford Field next Sunday.

His followers say he will discuss a new spiritual role for himself in the 77-year-old religious movement, described as a fusion of Islam and Black Nationalism. Representatives of the Nation of Islam have denied the possibility of the minister naming a successor during the event, or of rumors about a substantial shift and alliance with mainstream Islam.

Ishmael Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad, the former Detroit auto worker who became the leader of the Nation of Islam in 1934, said the annual Savior’s Day event will focus on health, building stronger marriages, education, police brutality and Black-on-Black crime. It will also seek to foster greater interfaith unity.

“We plan to sit down with each other and share what each faith has in common and destroy – with the help of God – existing divisions,” Muhammad said.

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