A photo of Barack Obama and Jew-hating black nationalist Louis Farrakhan has surfaced 13 years after it was taken. The photographer, Askia Muhammad, said it was buried to protect the future president politically.
Then-Sen. Obama met with the leader of the hate group Nation of Islam at a Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) meeting in 2005 and posed for Muhammad’s camera. He says he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy.” Last week he announced that he would finally release the photo.
Muhammad says a CBC “staff member” panicked after the photo was taken and he was pressured to keep it under wraps. Muhammad handed over the picture to Farrakhan’s chief of staff and son-in-law, Leonard Farrakhan, where it remained for Obama’s entire presidency and “never saw the light of day” until now, as Talking Point Memo (TPM) reports.
Though he handed over the file to Farrakhan’s team, Muhammad quietly kept a digital copy for himself.
“Realizing that I had given it up, I mean, it was sort of like a promise to keep the photograph secret,” Muhammad said, adding that he was “really afraid of them” if he were to ever leak the photo. He insisted that a photo like this leaking to the press would have “absolutely… made a difference” in Barack Obama’s campaign for the White House.
Muhammad also recounts a story of talking to Obama that evening and asking him, “Has anyone ever told you that you resemble Minister Farrakhan?” Obama told him, “Well, he’s much better looking than I am.”
As TPM notes, Muhammad is the news director at WPFW, a D.C. radio station, and works at the Washington offices of the Nation of Islam paper The Final Call. The report also points out:
During Obama’s presidential campaign, conservatives pushed multiple apparently racially motivated conspiracy theories about Obama’s religion and supposed ties to Islam.
During the 2008 presidential election, conservatives questioned the indirect ties between Farrakhan and Obama, who attended a church that gave Farrakhan an award. At a 2008 presidential debate in Cleveland, Obama said he had “been very clear” in his “denunciation” of Farrakhan’s remarks.
“I did not solicit his support,” Obama said, referring to Farrakhan’s praise for his candidacy. “I can’t say to somebody that he can’t say that he thinks I’m a good guy.”
Reaction on Twitter was swift:
If Obama's friendship with convicted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers didn't shake anybody's faith in the former president, then this picture of Louis Farrakhan won't either. Take it away, Hillary: