Jewish groups mourned the death of former Nation of Islam leader W.D. Mohammed.
Describing him as a “champion of interfaith understanding,” the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, known as IJCIC, paid tribute to Mohammed, who died Tuesday in Chicago. He was 74.
The son of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Mohammed, the younger spiritual figure is credited with transforming the organization from one rooted in black nationalism to one with more mainstream acceptance.
Under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan, the organization continued the founder’s racially chaged form of Islam, while Mohammed pursued a more conciliatory route, visiting Israel several times and pariticipating in interfaith gatherings.
“Imam Mohammed was a man of deep humanity spirituality and wisdom,” said Rabbi David Rosen, IJCIC’s chairman.
The Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center, which is a member of IJCIC, released a separate statement calling Mohammed “a powerful advocate for peace and unity amongst all races and religions.”