Askia Muhammad

Scientologist Louis Farrakhan & Former President Obama

In an article entitled The Photo That Never Saw The Light of Day: Obama With Farrakhan In 2005, Talking Points Memo wrote:

A journalist announced last week that he will publish a photograph of then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that he took in 2005 at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting, but did not make public because he believed it would have “made a difference” to Obama’s political future.

The photographer, Askia Muhammad, told the Trice Edney News Wire that he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy.”

“But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover,” Muhammad said.

Asked whether he thought the photo’s release would have affected Obama’s presidential campaign, Muhammad said, “I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”

I respectfully do not agree with Askia Muhammad’s assessment of the photo’s potential impact for two reasons. First, Senator and Mrs. Obama were tremendously popular with the American electorate and the media. Senator Obama was clearly in an historical trajectory that would see him become America’s first Black President. Second, the GOP and the right wing media tried to smear Senator Obama by associating him with the controversial Pastor Jeremiah Wright. This tactic failed. America was voting for a President. The election was not a referendum on Pastor Jeremiah Wright and, I believe, also would not have been become a referendum on Louis Farrakhan. The GOP’s attacks on Pastor Wright missed this distinction.

This 2005 photo also raises an additional question. Mr. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam allied themselves with the Church of Scientology many years ago. However, there is no known photo in which Scientology leader David Miscavige and Louis Farrakhan appear together.

To the best of my knowledge, David Miscavige and Louis Farrakhan have never even made a joint public appearance together.

Why is this?

Does Mr. Farrakhan not wish to be seen with David Miscavige?

Or does Mr. Miscavige not wish to be seen with Louis Farrakhan?

Or do the two have a gentlemen’s agreement to not upstage one another by appearing together? I ask because Minister Tony Muhammad, the Western Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam, was awarded Scientology’s highest honor, the Freedom Medal, in 2017. By the logic of Scientology and commonsense itself, Louis Farrakhan should have received Scientology’s Freedom Medal for his having led the Nation of Islam into Scientology. This omission on David Miscavige’s part is most curious and suggests that a behind the scenes decision was made to award the Freedom Medal to Mr. Tony Muhammad rather than Mr. Farrakhan.

I must disclose my bias in this matter: I personally believe that Mr. Farrakhan would suffer a loss of prestige by appearing in a photograph or on a dais anywhere with David Miscavige. Alternately, David Miscavige would benefit by being seen with Mr. Farrakhan. The best David Miscavige can do, or has ever done, is to appear with minor officials, disgraced former LA Sheriff Lee Baca, or certain LAPD cops who are in Scientology’s pocket.

Mr. Farrakhan on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology in 2012:

Fast forward to 1:48 as Mr. Farrakhan explains Scientology auditing: