Farrakhan leaves hospital, Nation of Islam says

Leader expected to make speech Feb. 25, perhaps last major public address

MSNBC News/January 30, 2007

Chicago -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has been released from a hospital and is expected to speak next month in Detroit in what could be his last major public address, the organization announced Tuesday.

Farrakhan, 73, had a five-week hospital stay that included major surgery, the organization said in a statement on its Web site. He was hospitalized Jan. 5 for a 12-hour abdominal operation to correct damage caused by treatment for prostate cancer and was released Sunday.

He recently ceded leadership of the organization to an executive board because of ill health. However, he is scheduled to speak Feb. 25 at Detroit's Ford Field as part of an annual Saviours' Day observance.

The Nation of Islam has declined to reveal where Farrakhan was hospitalized. He had prostate cancer surgery in 2000.

"He's not where he needs to be; it will take several more days and we celebrate this victory, but there's still some days ahead and weeks for him to have a full recovery, but the doctors say he has already exceeded their expectations," said Ishmael Muhammad, Farrakhan's assistant minister at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, in the statement.

Farrakhan "doesn't see himself coming before the public on such a major stage as we are preparing in Detroit," the statement said. He may honor lesser engagements, though.

Farrakhan is to continue recuperating at home, according to the statement, which did not specify whether he would be at his home in Chicago or his farm in southwestern Michigan.

A man who answered the phone at Mosque Maryam said the group had no further comment.

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