By: Mark Fitzgerald
Nation of Islam leader alleges Chicago Tribune series was plot
by the newspaper and ‘international bankers’ to destroy him sp.
IN HIS FIRST response to a recent Chicago Tribune series documenting the shabby performance and ethics of Nation of Islam (NOI) businesses, Minister Louis Farrakhan accused the newspaper of plotting with “international bankers” to destroy him.
Speaking at a lengthy press conference and an even longer sermon to the faithful at the Mosque Maryam, Farrakhan denied or dismissed most of the allegations raised in the four-part Tribune series.
He further charged that the “one-sided nature of the reporting” showed that the real intent of the series was to hurt him and the Nation of Islam.
“You have lambasted me and maligned me . . . in hopes that one of my people would assassinate me. I should tell you today, with the help of Almighty God, I’m going to be the one to survive. And those who oppose me, you are destined to disgrace and total destruction,” Farrakhan said.
His remarks March 19 were reported by David Jackson and Janita Poe of the Tribune, Maudlyne Ihejirika of the Chicago Sun-Times and Ethan Michaeli of the Chicago Defender.
Conspiring with the Tribune, Farrakhan said, were “evil families” in the banking industry, who had financed Adolf Hitler and continue to manipulate world politics and finances.
“Little Jews died while big Jews made money,” Farrakhan said at one point, according to the account in the Defender. “Little Jews were made into soap, while big Jews washed themselves with them.”
The Tribune series, published March 12-15, contrasted Farrakhan’s public advocacy of black economic self-reliance with what the paper said was a lesser-known record of Nation of Islam businesses.
Those businesses, the Tribune said, “are riddled with debt, failure and allegations of fraud, while Farrakhan and his family profit and live lavishly.”
Farrakhan and his top aides denied the general thrust of the series while addressing only a few specifics.
The NOI officials, for instance, denied the Tribune’s reports that their highly publicized security guard firm was ineffective and that a for-profit NOI company was merchandising as a miracle cure for AIDS a drug that had already been found ineffective.
“Since no one has accused me of being a thief, why are you so concerned about what I own?” Farrakhan said. “I know, I know, they accused me of taking money from the poor. But I don’t take as much money from the poor as the Tribune, and I’m a lot more faithful to the truth.”
A Tribune spokesman said the paper had no comment on Farrakhan’s remarks.
?(“I know, I know they accused me of taking money from the poor. But I don’t take as much money from the poor as the Tribune, and I’m a lot more faithful to the truth.”) [Caption]
?(Minister Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam Leader) [Photo]