Farrakhan's ex-aide denies split in Nation of Islam

February 06, 1994|By James Bock | James Bock,Sun Staff Writer

Demoted but not silenced, black separatist Khalid Abdul Muhammad told an overflow crowd at Baltimore City Community College last night that there is no division in the Nation of Islam.

Despite his demotion Thursday as the Nation of Islam's national spokesman, Mr. Muhammad spoke as an official representative of the group headed by Louis T. Farrakhan.

At the outset of his talk, Mr. Muhammad immediately declared his allegiance to Mr. Farrakhan, "a man I love with all my heart . . . the champion of the liberation and salvation of the black nation."

Mr. Muhammad, flanked by a brace of security guards, received a standing ovation from the crowd.

There was little hint of the black-Jewish tension engendered by Mr. Muhammad's speech on Nov. 29 at a New Jersey college in which he attacked Jews, the pope and whites.

Outside of the Baltimore college auditorium, A. Robert Kaufman, a veteran Baltimore activist, drew some jeers at the door when he distributed a statement calling Mr. Farrakhan and Mr. Muhammad "cowardly and ignorant."

"If you want to help black people, why don't you just leave?" one man shouted at Mr. Kaufman, who is Jewish.

Inside the college, which rented space for the event to private sponsors, vendors sold Afro-centric literature and several types of anti-Jewish literature.

The crowd of about 400, some in African-style garb, packed an auditorium at the college's Harbor campus a bit over its seating capacity. Nation of Islam security men frisked all who entered. African drums punctuated Mr. Muhammad's speech.

"I did not come to Baltimore to teach black people to hate white people," he said in a talk that was part of a program put together to honor the memory of Malcolm X. "But I did come to Baltimore to teach you to love your black brother."

He continued: "To whites in this audience . . . after 400 years under slavery, suffering and death . . . I must say to you we could never treat you the way you treated us, because God just didn't make us that way."

He also told the whites in the audience: "This is a family meeting, but you wanted to bum-rush the party. You are here now, guys; you might as well enjoy yourselves."

In demoting Mr. Muhammad, Mr. Farrakhan said his subordinate had spoken many "truths" and would remain a member of the black separatist group.

The ruckus began in a speech on Nov. 29 at Kean College in New Jersey, where Mr. Muhammad told a receptive audience that Jews were the "blood suckers of the black nation," called the pope a "cracker," urged blacks to "kill everything white that ain't right in South Africa," and referred to the Nazi Holocaust as "white-on-white crime."

The Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith published excerpts of the remarks last month, igniting a controversy in which black leaders condemned Mr. Muhammad's anti-Semitic statements but haven't severed ties with the Nation of Islam.

Mr. Muhammad was contracted last fall by Newton-Thoth Inc., a small company that brings speakers on African-American topics to the Baltimore area, to speak about Malcolm X as part of a Black History Month observance.

Newton-Thoth, which is headed by Dr. Patricia Newton, a Baltimore psychiatrist, rented an auditorium at Baltimore City Community College for the program.

College officials stressed that they had not endorsed the program. After consulting with the Attorney General's Office, the college decided it could not deny Mr. Muhammad a hall because of what he might say.

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