Ramon Espinosa, Associated Press
HAVANA — Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Thursday that he hopes the violence that has erupted over a film disparaging the Prophet Mohammed will die down.
The 79-year-old religious leader, often an outspoken critic of Washington's policies, said the U.S. government was not responsible for the short film's content, but he hinted that he felt it bore some responsibility for what he called an atmosphere of intolerance that helped engender it.
"This is a teaching moment for America and as well a teaching moment for us (Muslims)," he said.
Farrakhan, who has enjoyed a long friendship with Cuba's Communist leaders, was in Havana to meet with President Raul Castro and island religious leaders.
Farrakhan denounced the amateurish anti-Muslim film that was posted on YouTube, but he added that it was "shameful" that some Muslims had used their outrage over its content as an excuse to harm others.
He said he hoped his fellow Muslims would soon realize that nothing in the 14-minute film could possibly leave any lasting mark on the reputation of Islam's founding prophet.
"I hope that as tempers calm down that reason will prevail because there's nothing that film has done to mar the nobility and the beauty of the character of the man who is the foundational stone of modern Islam," Farrakhan said.
After meeting Cuba's president for more than an hour, Farrakhan said they talked about the 50-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba. He urged Washington to eliminate the sanctions and enter into dialogue with its old Cold War enemy.
- Freelancers and millennials help usher in the...
- John Lennon's killer: My life is all about...
- Student evades monitors, spreads Ebola to...
- Mexico authorities stage midnight migrant raid
- Running again? Mitt Romney tells Hugh Hewitt...
- Saudi king says terrorists will reach Europe...
- Corvette Museum to completely fill in...
- Obama to attend wedding of longtime personal...
- A New York Times article said Michael... 43
- Running again? Mitt Romney tells Hugh... 36
- 10 things to know about corporate... 32
- For the first time in American history,... 30
- Doug Robinson: When did Missouri turn... 25
- Obama tamps down prospect of strikes in... 16
- Why the poverty cycle is harder to... 15
- Winning plaintiffs in 3 states want... 14