A long-hidden photo of former U.S President, Barack Obama posing with controversial Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakhan, has been revealed, 13 years after it was taken, The Sun UK reports.
Journalist, Askia Muhammad who had snapped the pair at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting in 2005, but "gave up" the picture after pressure from the political organisation, has now admitted he “basically swore secrecy” out of concerns it could ruin Obama’s chances of becoming president.
Releasing the photo at the time could have whipped up a storm of controversy because the Nation of Islam has been accused of being a hate group.
Muhammad said: “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 said.
“It absolutely would have made a difference.”
If this photo had been released back in 2005, Obama may not have made it to president, a journalist has claimed. Muhammad said a “staff member” for the CBC contacted him “sort of in a panic” after he took the photo. “I sort of understood what was going on,” Muhammad told the website, Talking Points Memo, which published the photo yesterday. “I promised and made arrangements to give the picture to Leonard Farrakhan,” the minister’s son-in-law and chief of staff. He said he gave away “the disk” from his camera but “copied the photograph from that day onto a (computer) file.” “Realising that I had given it up, I mean, it was sort of like a promise to keep the photograph secret,” Muhammad said. He said he "felt a little bit more at ease" after Farrakhan claimed in 2016 that Obama visited his home in Chicago. Muhammad contacted Farrakhan in autumn 2017 with the "final manuscript" for a self-published book containing the photo. Farrakhan has made Anti-Semitic remarks in the past. In March 2016, Farrakhan praised then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as the only candidate who hadn't taken money from the "Jewish community". Throughout Obama's presidential campaign, conservatives pushed multiple conspiracy theories about Obama's religion and supposed ties to Islam. At a 2008 presidential debate in Cleveland, Obama said he had 'been very clear' in his 'denunciation' of Farrakhan's remarks in the past.