The Washington, D.C. government and a member of Congress recently honored a photojournalist and radio show host who works as the senior editor for the Nation of Islam’s The Final Call and frequently features Louis Farrakhan on his radio show. Recently, he has shared tweets praising Farrakhan’s book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, which blames Jews for the slave trade, and content from a famous Holocaust denier.
On April 2, the D.C. government voted to honor Askia Muhammad for his 40 years in the radio industry. Days before, the U.S. congressional record shows Washington, D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton shared remarks asking her colleagues to join her in “honoring” Muhammad.
By honoring Muhammad, the Washington, D.C. government and Norton praised the accomplishments of someone who built his entire career—and has gained most of his influence—from defending a notorious anti-Semite.
This is not the first time the D.C. government honored Muhammad; he was also honored in April 2009, to mark his 30 years in the radio industry.
A summary of Muhammad’s career posted by local DC public radio show WAMU highlights Muhammad’s work for The Final Call, his “more than 25 years” as a commentator for NPR, and his current radio show on WPFW, “Yardbird Sweets.” According to a recent article featured on the front page of The Final Call website, Muhammad still serves as senior editor of the publication. Muhammad is simultaneously also the news director for WPFW.
Neither the Washington D.C. government nor Norton mentioned Muhammad’s work for Farrakhan’s The Final Call when honoring him.
In his 40 years of journalism, Muhammad is perhaps best known for taking the now-infamous photo of former president Barack Obama and Farrakhan. Muhammad said he kept the photo a secret until after the election out of concern for Obama’s political ambitions.
Just days after being formally recognized and celebrated by the D.C. government again, Muhammad sent out a tweet mocking the idea of Jewish “allies” and defending Farrakhan against claims of anti-Semitism. In the tweet, which was a response to the Nation of Islam’s Research Group, Muhammad referred to Jews as “co-religionists in the Zionist entity” who are too afraid to be seen as supporting Farrakhan:
Throughout his years on Twitter, Muhammad has repeated, over and over again, a quote about “Jewish power” that he claims vindicates Farrakhan’s views on Jews:
On his Twitter, Muhammad shares tweets from the NOI Research Group defending why Farrakhan refers to Jews as members of the “Synagogue of Satan” and references Farrakhan’s book, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews:
Muhammad has long been a supporter of Farrakhan. His Twitter bio links to his personal blog, blackjournalism.com, where he has written defenses of Farrakhan. Although he has not posted on the site since 2012, one of the last posts on the blog is titled, “Louis Farrakhan, a man for all time.” The blog posts reads in part:
Long live the Spirit of the Million Man March! Long life, good health and continued success to Louis Farrakhan, who led those of us who participated in it to an astronomical achievement Oct. 16, 1995, that day 17 years ago.
Now, I wish I could help people who don’t know and admire him, get to know the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, like I know him.
First and foremost, he is not an anti-Semite. He is not a race hater. He does not teach race hatred. He does not teach hatred of Jewish people.
But he is a fearless and uncompromising champion for the upliftment of Black people. Such rigidity as his can easily earn enemies in this world. Just look at the hatred being shown to President Barack Obama, who is a Black man who is a champion of accommodating, compromising leadership, not just for Black people, but for all Americans–the kind of leadership in strength that is required of anyone who would be a political leader in this country. Louis Farrakhan is not that kind of leader.
Second, his name: his friends and admirers refer to him as “The Honorable Minister.” Why shouldn’t Louis Farrakhan wear the title “honorable?”
In the Washington Informer, a black issues paper, Muhammad defended Farrakhan in a piece on the so-called Farrakhan “litmus test” that praised the Women’s March leaders for not condemning Farrakhan. Muhammad also wrote another piece aptly titled, “I Stand With Farrakhan!” which detailed Muhammad’s personal relationship with the NOI leader.
Back in 1994, Muhammad wrote an article for the Baltimore Sun titled, “Why Farrakhan represents black people’s last, best hope.”
Also while writing for the Washington Informer, Muhammad defended Ward 8 D.C. councilmember Trayon White. For those unfamiliar with the controversy, White said the Rothschild family controlled the weather in Washington D.C. Then, during a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, White argued with a tour guide over whether Nazis were actually protecting a woman accused of having sex with a Jew before abruptly leaving the tour.
In addition to his defense of White, who behaved bizarrely at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, Muhammad has also retweeted content from famous anti-Semitic Holocaust denier Michael Hoffman:
On his website, Hoffman features a page dedicated to his books that have been removed from Amazon: “Judaism’s Strange Gods,” “Judaism Discovered,” “The Great Holocaust Trial: The Landmark Battle for the Right to Doubt the West’s Most Sacred Relic.” Hoffman runs a website called “The Truth About the Talmud” where he shares his conspiracy theories about Judaism.
Farrakhan is a frequent guest on Muhammad’s WPFW radio show. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) confirmed to the Capital Research Center that Farrakhan was speaking to Muhammad when he made these remarks about Jews:
I think we have made a grave mistake; we have been deceived into thinking that the Jews have been our allies in our recent civil rights struggle… Yes, he poses as your friend. He’s with you as an agent, he’s with you as a manager, he’s with you as an investor, he’s with you as a guide in economic development, but he has never asked you to do what he has done. He networks with other rich, influential Jews and he buys, he invests, he’s in trade and commerce. — Interview with radio station WPFW-FM, Washington, DC, 4/1/10
The Final Call was so excited about Muhammad’s 40 years on the radio—and the DC government honoring him—that they wrote a glowing profile on Muhammad. In the piece, The Final Call noted the controversy surrounding Muhammad’s history with and support for Farrakhan:
Forty years later the show is still going strong and the Washington, D.C. City Council enacted a resolution, April 2, commemorating that achievement. Despite his connections to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who can be heard on the show on any given Tuesday, the D.C. City Council recognized Mr. Muhammad even though one council member said the Minister was not welcome in D.C.
Muhammad’s journalistic history consists of him defending and working for Farrakhan. The Washington, D.C. government and Norton, by choosing to honor Muhammad’s years in journalism, honored someone who made his career by supporting anti-Semitism.