CINCINNATI, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Nation of Islam leaders Friday expressed disappointment and outrage after Xavier University canceled a commitment to air a satellite telecast of Louis Farrakhan on campus, calling his message "divisive."
Farrakhan has said his "Saviours' Day" speech scheduled on Feb. 23 may be his last before the United States attacks Iraq.
"This message will contain guidance and warning for the government of the United States, the American people and black people in particular," Farrakhan said in a news release announcing his annual address posted on the Nation of Islam's Web site.
Farrakhan said he had written two letters to President George W. Bush since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks but had not received a reply.
"Iraq, in my judgment, is considered easy pickings in the war room with the war room strategists, because, for all intents and purposes, since the end of the Gulf War in 1991, Iraq has been deprived of weapons of mass destruction," he said.
Farrakhan's speech from the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion was to have been shown on satellite television at Xavier University's Cintas Center. The Jesuit university pulled the plug on the event Wednesday.
University President Michael Graham said officials changed their minds after granting permission for use of the hall because Farrakhan's "message is perceived by many as divisive."
"Xavier University's mission is to build community. Contrary to his mission, Minister Farrakhan's message is perceived by many as divisive," Graham said in a statement.
"Xavier supports free and open dialogue and embraces a wide array of voices on campus, especially on issues pertaining to diversity and social justice. For Xavier to sponsor such discussion, we believe it is best to do so in the context of a variety of perspectives. This event did not offer that."
A Cincinnati-area Nation of Islam minister said more than 500 tickets had been sold and that the event was expected to sell-out. It was moved to a Syrian Temple in suburban Walnut Hills.
"We are outraged that the event would be canceled at this late date," James Muhammad, a Nation of Islam minister, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Xavier claims to be a university that prides itself on being inclusive, but it seems to me that they are being more selective."
Graham said Xavier hoped to host a future program on campus with members of the Nation of Islam in conjunction with the school's Brueggeman Center for Religious Dialogue.
Farrakhan's address will be aired by satellite telecast in more than 100 locations in the United States, England and Canada.