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Farrakhan's Issues Bizarre Legal Threat Against a Bahamian Newspaper -- But Do You Get It?


"These things are so reprehensible..."

Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks during the Saviours' Day annual convention at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Credit: AP

The Minister Louis Farrakhan regularly comes under media scrutiny for the divisive and controversial comments he utters during public appearances, however the fiery Nation of Islam (NOI) leader is now accusing a newspaper of taking one of its reports too far. As a result, Farrakhan has reportedly given his lawyer the green light to pursue legal action against The Tribune, a daily outlet in the Bahamas.

Why, you ask? The Bahamas Press, a separate news source that is actually defending Farrakhan, reports that the NOI head believes he was misrepresented in the Tribune newspaper.

The article that has him so frustrated claims that he recently scolded Peter Nygard, a Canadian fashion designer who invited the faith leader to attend a lavish event -- an allegation he rejects.

Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks during the Saviours' Day annual convention at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Credit: AP

The original report in the Tribune was written under the header, "Nygard Faces the Wrath of Farrakhan" and it focused on comments Farrakhan made in front of an audience at a local university. The faith leader's main contention seems to be that his comments were misrepresented to create unnecessary drama -- but is that really worthy of a lawsuit?

Here's how The Tribune report framed Farrakhan's statements (read the entire article here):

NATION of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan said he was not looking for “sport” or “play” when he accepted an invitation to an event hosted by Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard.

Addressing over two hundred students, college faculty, and members of the public at his lecture held in the Performing Arts Centre at the College of the Bahamas, Minister Farrakhan said he was not interested in the invitation’s affairs, including the Junkanoo show put on for him by the Lyford Cay millionaire.

“You know I’m a very simple man, my staff can tell you,” he said.
“When I go, I come to do a job to teach my people what God has blessed us to have. I to teach them and go back to my hotel. I aint looking for sport and I’m not looking for play. So you can’t send no woman to me except to learn.”
“And I don’t mean sex education,” the 79-year-old minister said.
Minister Farrakhan’s comments about his experience at the Canadian fashion designer’s home stemmed from a subject in his lecture concerning Bahamians and land ownership.
“This is a paradise for everybody else but you and we sit back and we allow ourselves to be put in a condition! And it’s not other people’s fault,” he had said before his reference to Mr Nygard.
 “I was at the home of Mr Nygard way out somewhere, a gated community, some black people can’t even go in there except as a servant, a cook, a butler, to care for the lawn.”

Farrakhan's lawyer, Keod Smith, has publicly said that Farrakhan's comments were taken out of context and that he was not scolding Nygard. He has instructed the faith leader to take legal action against The Tribune in an effort to apparently set the record straight.

"These things were suggested especially when you take out of context this comment about women and sending women," Smith said following the publication of the report, according to the Bahamas Press. "And so these things are so reprehensible that I have now been instructed by my client to take steps toward….finding legal remedy and recourse. It is injurious. Mr. Farrakhan is spiritual and religious leader..."

Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks during the Saviours' Day annual convention at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. Credit: AP

But what, exactly, is "so reprehensible" that it warrants a lawsuit? At the least, one must admit that the article's structure is a bit confusing. As one of the commenters notes at the bottom of what appears to be the original Tribune piece, "I get the message, but this was very poorly written."

Still, one can't help but ask themselves why a lawsuit is being advanced (it is possible that a longer version of the article went to print with more defaming content, but so far TheBlaze hasn't yet located one). We have reached out to the journalist who wrote the article, but we have not heard back.

Confusion abounds as well when one also considers a subsequent media appearance in which Farrakhan explained his rejection of the purportedly malicious and slanderous article. While he noted that he believes the text was designed to pit him against Nygard, he also said that The Tribune quoted his words "perfectly." It is the so-called "spin" that he decries.

"To suggest in a mischief making way that Mr. Nygard invited me to his home to offer me women and play, but they quoted my words perfectly but the spin on my words were vicious and ugly and very untrue," Farrakhan said. "And the reason I take umbrage at reading such an article is because the mischief inherent in that article is, firstly, to say that I came to this island and rebuked Mr. Nygard. Secondly, rebuked all those on this island who have benefited from Mr. Nygard’s kindness…”

Watch Farrakhan and Smith discuss the incident in the news report, below:

Still confused over what Farrakhan may sue over? Read the news report over at the Bahamas Press and try to make sense of it for yourself.


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