Farrakhan condemns killing of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi
MinisterLouis Farrakhan discusses the death of Moammar Gadhafi and their relationship on the Cliff Kelley Show at WVON in Chicago today. (Heather Charles, Chicago Tribune)
“I know something of the good of Moammar Gadhafi that made me to love him as a brother and to feel a great sense of loss at his assassination,” Farrakhan said during a two-hour interview with radio host Cliff Kelley on WVON-AM.
Later in the show, he said: “Gadhafi died in honor, fighting for the Libya that he believed in.”
Farrakhan and Gadhafi, who was killed Thursday by rebels in his hometown of Sirte, were allies for decades. Gadhafi was buried Tuesday in a secret grave in the Libyan desert.
In 1996, around the time Gadhafi shifted from pan-Arab to pan-African ambitions, Farrakhan was criticized for traveling to meet the leader in Tripoli.
The following year, Gadhafi addressed Nation of Islam members via satellite, calling Farrakhan a “courageous freedom fighter” who galvanized African Americans at the Million Man March in Washington and Muslims in nations around the world.
During that speech, Gadhafi criticized America for taxing poor people, who the Libyan leader said do not benefit from space exploration or support of “a Hebrew state,” a reference to Israel.
Chicago's Mosque Maryam, the Nation of Islam's international headquarters, was purchased 40 years ago with a $3 million loan from Gadhafi, but Farrakhan said his admiration of Gadhafi was not tied to Gadhafi’s money or power.
“We were in Libya,” Farrakhan said, sitting in a WVON studio packed with his supporters, reporters and photographers. “We saw Libya being built from the ground up. We witnessed what this man did for the Libyan people … "
Farrakhan acknowledged that Gadhafi had killed people, but he said all other world leaders, including President Barack Obama, are responsible for the deaths of others.
“Did he kill people? Well, hell, did our president kill people? Talk back to me!” Farrakhan said, prompting some of his supporters to say, “Yes,” in reply.
“You have made your president an assassin, that the only value that he has now is that he was responsible for the death of (al-Qaida leader) Osama bin Laden,” Farrakhan said, his voice rising. “He was captured without a weapon. He should have been brought to America, put on trial for the American people to see this man. But he was executed so you will never know the real truth.”
Farrakhan blamed Obama’s advisers -- whom he called “wicked demons” – for what he sees as a flawed American foreign policy that he said serves the interests of the powerful international corporations, not working-class Americans.
“Now, Moammar Gadhafi and his sons lie dead,” Farrakhan said. Former Iraqi President “Saddam Hussein and his sons lie dead. Well, what about your sons?
“They’re dying in Iraq on the basis of a lie. They’re dying in Afghanistan on the basis of a lie. And now (U.S. military) drones are in Pakistan, drones in Somalia, drones in Yemen. When will it stop? America, do you think that you can get away with this?”
Farrakhan said the American media, which he said is controlled by banks, willingly tarnished Gadhafi’s image. During a commercial break, he said the media “is bought and paid for.”
“You don’t have a democracy when you don’t have a free press,” he told the reporters and photographers in the studio during the break. “You’re all slaves, and you love it. So you deserve what you get – the erosion of your democracy. You’ll soon be the laughingstock of the world.”
Farrakhan also said that America and its allies are “in for a shock” if they think that new governments in Libya, Egypt and other North African and Middle Eastern countries will automatically be pro-U.S.
Instead, he said, the U.S. could find itself with a revolution of its own. He pointed to the Occupy Wall Street movement as evidence of growing unrest in the U.S.
“This is going to happen all over the world,” Farrakhan said. “I want you to know that you’re through as a world power. Through, through.”