Farrakhan praises Gadhafi

March 31, 2011 at 7:50 PM
| License Photo

CHICAGO, March 31 (UPI) -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan expressed support for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi at a rare news conference at the organization's Chicago mosque.

Describing Gadhafi as a "brother leader," Farrakhan told the assemblage: "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. Even though the current tide is moving against him ... how can I refuse to raise my voice in his defense? Why would I back down from those who have given so much?" the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Mosque Maryam where Farrakhan maintains his international headquarters was purchased with a $3 million loan from Gadhafi.

Gadhafi praised Farrakhan in 1997 for being a "courageous freedom fighter" who rallied Islamic communities around the world.

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