Chicago - Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan reiterated his defense of Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, calling the embattled Libyan leader a friend and Muslim brother who's lent the movement $8-million over the years.
Farrakhan, speaking at a rare news conference, railed against the media and said Gaddafi isn't the monster being portrayed by Western governments.
The 78-year-old minister criticised the US government and President Barack Obama - whom he also called a brother - for launching military action against Libya without justification. He accused Americans of just wanting Gaddafi out of the picture to secure oil interests.
“I love Muammar Gaddafi, and I love our president,” Farrakhan told several hundred cheering supporters at the Nation of Islam's headquarters. “It grieves me to see my brother president set a policy that would remove this man not only from power, but from the earth.”
Obama has defended America's military involvement in Libya, saying the US has intervened to prevent a slaughter of civilians. He has ruled out targeting Gaddafi militarily, and the US turned over control of the military operation to NATO on Thursday. Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for decades, has been battling opposition forces.