Source: The Associated Press
The Nation of Islam, a secretive movement generally closed to outsiders, has planned a rare open-to-the public event at its Chicago-based headquarters in what the Minister Louis Farrakhan deemed a "new beginning" for the group.
Hundreds of religious leaders of different faiths have been invited to the event planned for today, a rededication of the group's historic Mosque Maryam on the city's South Side. Farrakhan is scheduled to speak.
The event comes just weeks after the death of Imam W.D. Mohammed, the son of Nation founder Elijah Muhammad, who broke with the group and moved thousands of African-Americans toward mainstream Islam.
The Nation purchased the mosque, a former Greek Orthodox church built in 1948, in 1972 and has since been making renovations.
While the Nation has espoused black nationalism and self-reliance since it was founded in the 1930s, in recent years members have reached out to other groups. For instance, the Nation has a Latino liaison and has become involved in immigrant rights rallies and marches.