Nation of Islam Associate: Ex-Official Dies After Suffering Hemorrhage
Nation of Islam leader Khalid Abdul Muhammad suffers homorrhage, dies
CHICAGO, Feb. 16 (AP) - Khalid Abdul Muhammad, the one-time Nation of Islam official who became known for virulent attacks on whites and Jews, has died, an associate of the Nation of Islam said Friday. He was 53.
The activist was removed from life support Thursday night at a Georgia hospital, according to Toure Muhammad, a free-lance reporter for The Final Call, the Nation of Islam's newspaper in Chicago.
Khalid Muhammad was rushed to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta on Tuesday, suffering from a brain aneurysm, the New York Daily News reported. Elaine Morgan, a hospital spokeswoman, said she could not confirm or deny any reports about Muhammad.
``It is confirmed that Khalid Muhammad has passed. The Nation of Islam is mourning his death,'' Toure Muhammad told The Associated Press.
The Nation of Islam, which does not release membership figures, is estimated to have as many as 200,000 followers in the United States. It was led for decades by Elijah Muhammad, but after his death in 1975, his son W. Deen led the movement toward orthodoxy. In 1978, Louis Farrakhan broke away to revive Elijah's teachings under the old Nation of Islam name, and Farrakhan's more radical teachings, including criticism of whites, kept the movements apart.
Muhammad was named one of Farrakhan's top lieutenants in the Nation of Islam in 1981. He served at Nation of Islam mosques in New York and Atlanta throughout the decade, and in 1991 became Farrakhan's personal assistant.
Muhammad's new position involved public speaking engagements, and he quickly became known for his harsh rhetoric about Jews, homosexuals and whites. He was dismissed by Farrakhan after a 1993 speech during which he referred to Jews as ``bloodsuckers,'' labeled the pope a ``no-good cracker'' and urged mob murder of white South Africans.
Farrakhan, who has battled prostate cancer, has said that a ``near-death experience'' in 1999 had left him a changed man. Since then he has stressed unity for all races and religions.
In a speech in April 1994, before a cheering audience of about 2,000, Muhammad denounced Jews as ``honkies.''