A photographer has printed for the first time a photograph he took in 2005 of then-Senator Barack Obama with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Talking Points Memo reported.
Askia Muhammad, the photographer, said that he took the photo at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2005, but was contacted by a Congressional Black Caucus staff member and asked to withhold it. He said he later gave the photo to Farrakhan’s chief-of-staff, but kept a copy.
Farrakhan is among the most controversial figures in American religious life, and has been widely described as an anti-Semite. Obama, at the time, was a fast-rising African-American politician.
“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 told Trice Edney News Wire, which first reported the existence of the image.
Farrakhan endorsed Obama in 2008, but Obama denounced the endorsement. He was later criticized for ties to another controversial Chicago-based African-American religious leader, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.
Farrakhan And Obama Photo Hidden Since 2005