Farrakhan Praises Obama

February 25, 2008

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Louis Farrakhan took the public stage for the first in a year on Sunday. The Nation of Islam leader used his annual Saviour's Day address to focus on presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Farrakhan stopped just short of endorsing the Illinois senator. But he said Obama has the vision and face that foreign countries will welcome.

FARRAKHAN: This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better because of better man.

ambi of crowd

But the aging leader says he doesn't want to be a liability to Obama's campaign. He told the crowd this was a difficult speech to write.

FARRAKHAN: I love that brother, and I want to see that brother successful. I don't want to say anything that would hurt that brother and I don't want them to use me or the Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan compared Obama to the founder of the Nation of Islam because Fard Muhammad and Obama both have white mothers. Some critics have questioned whether Farrakhan and Obama have a relationship. Obama has condemned Farrakhan's anti-Semitic comments.

Eighteen-thousand people filled a McCormick Place Convention Center Hall to hear the nearly two-hour speech.

Farrakhan's health and battle with prostate cancer are part of the reason he has not been in the limelight.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.