Nation of Islam Calls Keith Ellison ‘Cowardly’ for Repudiating Louis Farrakhan

Paper founded by Farrakhan says Allah will 'judge and handle the hypocrites'

Rep. Keith Ellison / AP

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The Nation of Islam is calling out Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) for running away from his prior support of Louis Farrakhan as he campaigns to be named chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In an editorial published in The Final Call, a newspaper that was founded by Farrakhan and serves as the mouthpiece for the Nation of Islam, Ellison is taken to task for his "cowardly and baseless repudiation" of Farrakhan.

"Ellison and those who would misuse the Minister’s name for their personal advancement must be confronted and their hypocrisy and cowardice must be condemned," wrote the paper's editor, Richard B. Muhammad.

In Ellison's attempt to distance himself from past actions and move up in the Democratic Party he has said that he has "long denounced" Farrakhan and called him "a hater," but Muhammad said that this is not the Ellison that he knew.

Muhammad said that he met with Ellison personally during his years of association with the Nation of Islam and that there was "no question" that Ellison, who at the time went by Keith Ellison-Muhammad, supported Farrakhan's work.

"Years ago sitting in my Chicago office here at The Final Call, when I was managing editor, there was no question about Min. Farrakhan and who he was," wrote Muhammad. "There was no question when Mr. Ellison, aka Keith X Ellison, aka Keith Ellison-Muhammad, came to Chicago for an urban peace summit in October 1993 that featured Min. Farrakhan, or a vital summit in Kansas City that included Min. Farrakhan as the major speaker and one who helped legitimize the anti-violence movement in April 1993."

Muhammad used Ellison's own writing to show how passionate his support for Farrakhan was.

"Minister Farrakhan is a role model for Black youth; however he is not an anti-Semite," Ellison wrote in the 1995 piece cited by Muhammad. "He is a sincere, tireless and uncompromising advocate of the Black community and other oppressed peoples in America and around the world."

"Despite some of the most relentless negative propaganda anyone has ever faced, most Black people regard him as a role model for youth and increasingly, a central voice for our collective aspirations," Ellison wrote. "The White community, however, must come to the realization that there are too many Black people who have been cleaned-up, taught and uplifted by Minister Farrakhan for us to let anyone gratuitously insult him anymore."

Muhammad wrote that Ellison is allowed to "change his mind"—though he will be judged by Allah for it—but he is not allowed to participate in the "slander and false narrative" against Farrakhan.

"If Mr. Ellison once believed those things about the Minister and changed his mind, that’s his business. We will leave Allah (God) to judge and handle the hypocrites," wrote Muhammad. "But what cannot be tolerated are the lies, the slander and false narrative against Min. Farrakhan."

Muhammad concluded by writing Ellison is "pandering."

"Shame on you Mr. Ellison for your pandering and shame on us if we don’t call you out for it," he wrote.

Ellison is yet to comment on The Final Call editorial. His office did not respond to an email from the Washington Free Beacon regarding the piece.

Brent Scher   Email Brent | Full Bio | RSS
Brent Scher is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he studied foreign affairs and politics.

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