Prisoner Abuse Seen as Attack on Islam; Farrakhan Accuses Neoconservatives of Waging 'The Battle of Israel'

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Miller, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said yesterday that the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners by the U.S. military was the latest episode of unprovoked violence by the United States against Islamic nations and their people.

"The whole Muslim world is seeing this, and the whole Muslim world is rising in anger and hatred that has never been," Mr. Farrakhan said during a 90-minute speech at the National Press Club.

He accused a group of neoconservatives of leading the United States into a war against Islam, and said he fears a pre-election terrorist attack that would prompt Americans to re-elect President Bush.

"If America is to survive, she must not use the might of America to fight the battle of Israel," Mr. Farrakhan said. "I must say that I know that this president is bound to the neoconservative agenda, and it is in their best interest to have President Bush re-elected."

He blamed this group of neoconservatives - which he said includes former Education Secretary William Bennett, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - for attempting to coerce President Clinton into invading Iraq in 1998.

"Some of these people were on the outside looking in during President Clinton's administration," Mr. Farrakhan said. "And when President Bush became president, many of these people came into government. ... President Bush had already signed on to this before he took office."

Mr. Farrakhan read a letter he had sent to Mr. Bush in December 2001, asking that U.S. military intervention be halted.

In the letter, Mr. Farrakhan, calling himself a "humble servant," quotes the book of Revelation and the words of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. …