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.
“I warned him, brother be careful because the steps he is taking will ruin [his] future with Africa and the Middle East,” Farrakhan told the audience.
“I love Gadhafi, and I love our president. It grieves me to see my brother president set a policy that would remove this man not only from power but from the earth,” Farrakhan said.
Throughout his speech, Farrakhan characterized himself as a biblical prophet who is charged with warning America of a coming calamity.
“Death and destruction is at the door of all of us, and we are worse prepared than the Japanese,” Farrakhan warned, and he called the government “arrogant” for thinking that nuclear reactors here are secure when two of them are sitting on fault lines.
The controversial leader derided America’s intervention and the no-fly zone that is under way against Libya as hypocrisy.
“How dare you act like you are against dictators,” Farrakhan bellowed. “When did America not like dictators? We have a record of all the coups that have taken place since the 1950s until 1984,” he said to thunderous applause.
“Your government is not clean. These are gangsters. They rob weak nations and bring down strong ones.”