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Extremism
NOI Holds Savioursí Day Press Conference in Detroit RULE
Posted: February 16, 2007

The Nation of Islam’s (NOI) Executive Board of Directors held a press conference to announce the details for its annual weekend-long Saviours’ Day convention, which will take place in Detroit on February 23-25, 2007.

During the press conference, held on February 15 at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Ishmael Muhammad, the NOI’s National Assistant Minister, discussed Minister Louis Farrakhan’s health, noting that this year’s keynote address at Ford Field may be Farrakhan’s last.

Farrakhan, who ceded his leadership role with the NOI after nearly 30 years due to illness in September 2006, has been recuperating from surgery at his home in Michigan. Farrakhan has traditionally used Saviours’ Day as a platform for his anti-Semitic, homophobic and racist message.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spoke at the press conference, saying “We’re serious about welcoming the Nation to the city of Detroit…We’re serious about wrapping our arms around this event here in the city of Detroit.” Kilpatrick previously expressed his support for the event in November, saying, “I look at this [Saviours’ Day] as a homecoming…We are happy to do business both economically and spiritually with the Nation of Islam and look forward to the Nation of Islam coming home.” Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit in the 1930’s.

Detroit City Council members Monica Conyers, Barbara-Rose Collins, and JoAnn Watson, who is also a member of the NAACP’s Detroit Chapter, attended the press conference as well.

There have been previous occasions when Detroit’s political leadership has recognized the NOI. For example, in August 2005, a special meeting of the Detroit City Council was called to honor Farrakhan with a special proclamation officially endorsing the Millions More Movement in Washington D.C.  At that time, the Detroit City Council joined Mayor Kilpatrick and Councilmember Watson in presenting Farrakhan with the “Spirit of Love” award.  Farrakhan then was presented the Key to the City of Detroit by Mayor Kilpatrick who said he felt “spiritually filled” after hearing Farrakhan’s address to the City Council.

The NOI estimates that 65,000 attendees will take part in the convention; buses to the event are being arranged in numerous cities around the country.

During the NOI’s last Saviours’ Day event at the United Center in Chicago in 2006, approximately 16,000 – 17,000 people gathered to hear Farrakhan’s keynote address, which lasted about 2 ½ hours and included a number of anti-Semitic and homophobic comments.

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