CHICAGO (AP) -- The heads of the Nation of Islam and the Muslim American Society are repeating calls for unity between their formerly hostile organizations.
At the Muslim American Society's annual Labor Day weekend conference its leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed, smiled and embraced the Nation of Islam's Minister Louis Farrakhan before a mostly black audience of about 7,000.
Farrakhan said, "These tracks have been running parallel and have now become a monorail going down one track for the glory of Allah.... Today, we are determined to be one family. We are determined to be a nation of Muslims."
Mohammed echoed Farrakhan's comments on unity and also urged Muslims to improve relations with Jews and Christians.
While Mohammed's society was meeting, the Islamic Society of North America, made up largely of immigrant Muslims, held a much larger convention in a nearby suburb. Mohammed was scheduled to speak there but did not appear; Farrakhan was not invited.
Mohammed moved his organization toward Muslim orthodoxy after his father, Elijah Muhammad, died in 1975. Farrakhan broke with him in 1978, reviving the Nation of Islam to perpetuate Elijah's racial separatism and heterodox teachings. But Farrakhan has lately downplayed those doctrines.
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