Conrad Muhammad recently announced he left the Nation Of Islam, has turned to
Christianity and will run against popular New York Democrat Charles Rangel for
New York's 15th Congressional District which comprises East and Central Harlem,
the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights/Inwood neighborhoods.
"I call it
a wilderness experience. The black church is a great tradition, but I decided
to go home because there was no context for me to be in Islam," Muhammad
said on Bill O'Reilly's "O'Reilly Factor."
Muhammad, who is
vocal in his criticism of the current state of hip-hop music and the effects
it may have on African-American communities, was educated at the Harvard Divinity
School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
and Judaism, all of these are Abrahamic faiths. My tenure in Islam was good,
it taught me to honor faiths. It also taught me that Christianity has values,
but so does Islam and Judaism. I did find after my research that where I am
in my life, my understanding, I believe that the teachings of Christ is the
salve that can heal our wounds."
Muhammad was known
for his harsh rhetoric against Jews and Christians, saying that Christians practice
a dirty religion" and called Jews "bloodsuckers." "I want
to say that I was 19 when I joined the nation, and I admit to having a tone
and speaking in a manner that didn't lead to constructive dialogue. I hope that
people will not use my past for political purposes. I will always be a fighter
of justice," he said.
Muhammad is running
against long time Harlem Rep Charles Rangel, hoping to unseat him. "I differ
with Rangel on a number of issues. It's time for a new generation of leaders
to step forward. We understand the complexities facing the African-American
community. Rangel has given the keys to business away. You don't give multinationals
money and then tell Mom and pops to compete with them. When he invited Clinton,
over night, the people and businesses experienced a 300 percent increase in
Gentrification's is taking place and Rangel has failed to serve the people."