Controversial Farrakhan aide to speak at Baltimore college

February 05, 1994|By James Bock | James Bock,Sun Staff Writer

Despite his demotion as national spokesman for the Nation of Islam, Khalid Abdul Muhammad is expected to speak tonight at Baltimore City Community College.

Michael Graham, a spokesman for Newton-Thoth Inc., the sponsor of the lecture, said the Nation of Islam told the company yesterday that Mr. Muhammad would speak as scheduled.

"We have not spoken with Dr. Muhammad at all," Mr. Graham said. "The only thing we can tell you from our understanding is that he is still a member of the Nation of Islam and will be speaking as their representative on the issue of Malcolm X."

Louis T. Farrakhan, leader of the black separatist Nation of Islam, demoted Mr. Muhammad Thursday for an anti-Semitic November speech that Mr. Farrakhan called "vile in manner."

Mr. Farrakhan also said Mr. Muhammad spoke "truths" and would remain a member of the Nation of Islam.

Mr. Graham said Mr. Muhammad was under contract to present the Nation of Islam's view of Malcolm X, the black leader who split from the group before he was assassinated in 1965. He said Mr. Muhammad would not be asked to speak on other issues.

Newton-Thoth paid $955 to rent a 375-seat auditorium on BCCC's Harbor Campus for two evenings of Black History Month lectures on Malcolm X, said Herbert C. Sledge Jr., a college spokesman.

College officials stressed that the event was not endorsed by BCCC. They said the state attorney general's office advised them that they could not deny rental of space based on what Mr. Muhammad might say.

Mr. Graham said the contract with Mr. Muhammad was signed before his "unfortunate remarks" in a November speech at Kean College in New Jersey became controversial. The speech drew widespread condemnation from black leaders after the Anti-Defamation League publicized it in a newspaper ad last month.

Newton-Thoth is headed by Dr. Patricia Newton, a Baltimore psychiatrist. The company has organized the black history series for three years, Mr. Graham said.

Tonight's program, which also includes James Small, a former aide to Malcolm X, is scheduled for 7 o'clock in the Forum Auditorium of the college's Bard Building, 600 E. Lombard St.

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