Farrakhan Draws 30,000 in N.Y. `A Friend to All' Chides Jews, Giuliani, U.S. as Root of Evil

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - People across the world should atone for violence, murder and war, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told about 30,000 people yesterday in front of the United Nations, marking the one-year anniversary of the Million Man March.

Speaking from a podium encircled with bulletproof glass, Mr. Farrakhan seesawed between offering peace in the face of impending doom and portraying the United States as the root of all evil. In his fiery 2 1/2-hour address, he also chided Jews for not meeting with him here.

Quiet throngs of mostly black men gathered in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza outside the United Nations for the religious group's "World Day of Atonement" and listened intently as Mr. Farrakhan told them: "I come not as an enemy, but as a friend to all."

The Nation of Islam had estimated 50,000 people would attend the daylong event, an approximation far below the hundreds of thousands who showed up for the Million Man March last year in Washington, D.C.

The Day of Atonement opened with a Muslim prayer and a memorial to influential blacks throughout U.S. history: Harriet Tubman, Paul Robeson, Malcolm X and recently slain rapper Tupac Shakur.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani stayed away, saying the demonstration would be overshadowed by Mr. Farrakhan's "rhetoric of hatred."

"Look at the atmosphere the mayor tried to create for me in the city of my birth. I was here before you were, Giuliani," said Mr. Farrakhan, whose protection needs were met by his group's security force, the Fruit of Islam, and New York police officers.

After his speech, Mr. Farrakhan visited the U.N. headquarters under the sponsorship of Libya's mission to the United Nations, where he enjoyed a red-carpet reception. …