MOSCOW (Feb. 3)
Authorities in southern Russia have expelled Louis Farrakhan.
Officials in the autonomous region of Dagestan expelled a delegation of foreign Muslims led by the Nation of Islam leader, saying Farrakhan and his group lacked the proper documents.
But the leader of Union of Muslims of Russia, an umbrella group that invited Farrakhan to Russia, said the expulsion was politically motivated and was due to the fact that Dagestani authorities “erroneously described Farrakhan as an extremist.”
Farrakhan’s delegation was to have traveled to the Dagestani-Chechen border to meet with the leadership of the former breakaway Russian region of Chechnya. Chechnya, like Dagestan, is predominantly Muslim.
Last week, Farrakhan told more than 5,000 Russian Muslims gathered in Moscow’s central mosque to spread Islam throughout the country.
Russian Jewish leaders said they did not understand the purpose of Farrakhan’s visit, which marks the halfway point of his worldwide tour.