Oakwood University educator discusses Farrakhan's visit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Oakwood University educator discusses Farrakhan's visit

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Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to speak at the University of Alabama A & M Tuesday. Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to speak at the University of Alabama A & M Tuesday.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan will make a stop in Huntsville this week, but not without some controversy.

Student coalition groups invited Farrakhan to speak at Alabama A & M's Elmore Building at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Some religious groups, however, are concerned about what sort of message he will bring. Local faith groups said Farrakhan's past statements have divided groups.

But an educator at Oakwood University said it has the potential to do the opposite. Dr. Keith Burton is the coordinator of Oakwood University's Center for Adventist-Muslim Relations.

He was a guest for Oakwood University's radio program Second Chance on Easter Sunday to discuss Farrakhan's upcoming visit.

Some faith leaders reacted against the invitation, saying Farrakhan's comments spread hate and are at times, anti-semiotic.

Dr. Burton himself said he doesn't agree with everything Farrakhan says.

"I've learned over the years to filter and that's what we do. We're talking about dialogue in dialogue. And especially talking to people who have different views than we have, we learn to accept what we can and filter out which we disagree with," Dr. Burton said.

Dr. Burton says this is a chance for people to hear the Nation of Islam minister for their self and form their own educated opinions.

"There are people who have opinions and views and they'll probably have those same opinions after they leave, but I do believe that if we give an open ear, we'll be able to sift out some things that are relevant and those things that are irrelevant we can put them out of the way too," Dr. Burton said.

Alabama A & M president Dr. Andrew Hugine issued a statement regarding the visit, saying the views expressed at the event do not reflect or embody the university.


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