Hip-Hop Minister Conrad Muhammad Switches Faiths, Runs For Office

"Hip-Hop Minister"

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.

"Islam, Christianity

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."