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Libya's Qadhafi and Farrakhan in NYC next week

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.

To the chagrin of the West, for decades, Qadhafi has been front and center on numerous liberation movements, such as ones focused on freeing Nelson Mandela, the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa and the continued Palestinian struggle. Relations with the West con- tinued to go south with sanctions that wracked the North African nation of Libya. And in 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered a U. S. military offensive that killed Qadhafi's young daughter. But politics and capitalism being what they are means the West has swallowed hard and gone-a-calling to Libya to exploit economic possibilities. Reportedly, lucrative contracts lost during the Reagan administration were picked up again under the administration of oilman President George W. Bush. Qadhafi's handing over of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi after the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland and eventually agreeing to pay $2 billion in compensation to the 270 victims' families began the slow process. Qadhafi agreeing to get rid of Libya's weapons of mass destruction programs led to America deciding to make nice in 2006.

International sanctions were eased and diplomatic relations between Libya and the West were restored. Saeed Shabazz wrote in the September 10 edition of the Amsterdam News:"The Libyans have started a multi-billion dollar building program constructing 27 new universities, airports and seaports, holiday resorts and a massive nano-filtration Wall Street for investors. "Plus, British Petroleum, for example has over $900 million invested in drilling for oil. Libya now has a seat on the 15-nation Security Council until year-end. And the next president of the General Assembly is Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former Libyan ambassador to the United Nations.

"The Libyan government has been voted onto the Security Council this year, and I'm sure the leader will be well received by most of the members of the General Assembly, " said Farrakhan. This year, Qadhafi was elected chairman of the African Union. Farrakhan noted that, as such, "Not only does Muammar represent the Libyan government and nation, he also represents the other 52 nations [in Africa]."

With rallies planned for next Tuesday, September 22 (48th Street at Third Avenue, 11:30 a.m.) and Wednesday 23 September 23 (United Nations, 47th Street at Second Avenue, 8:30 a. m. ), supporters, and perhaps some not so friendly faces, are expected to gather in Mid-town next week. Minister Farrakhan stated, "[The] American people have a right to protest his presence, but we know that hundreds, maybe thousands, will welcome him. He has been a friend to the Black community in general, and the Muslim community and the Nation of Islam in particular. Our friendship goes back almost as long as he has been a leader. "

Farrakhan told the Amsterdam News that Qadhafi knew the late Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, and that for years throughout his extended relationship with the NOI, he had "helped me, " including appointing him the deputy commander of the World(WIPL). Farrakhan praised Qadhafi's persistence in helping to bring into existence the African Union and working diligently towards creating the United States of Africa, first inspired by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's first president, who himself was influenced by Marcus Mosiah Garvey and his Back-to-Africa Movement.