Nation of Islam's PR Nightmare



"For all my shock at the crime that killed a fellow journalist, I wasn't surprised to hear last week that a 19-year-old, bowtie-wearing handyman at the bakery had admitted to the shooting. Because I've watched Your Black Muslim Bakery spawn mayhem for decades."

What makes that quote unusual is that it's from Askia Muhammad, who served as a student minister for the Nation of Islam in San Francisco during the 1970s. "A Recipe for Mayhem," her opinion piece in Sunday's Washington Post gives a rare perspective on an event that has dominated local news since the slaying of Chauncey Bailey on August 4.

"As big a public relations nightmare as Your Black Muslim Bakery has been, the Nation of Islam has always declined to publicly condemn Yusef Bey," she writes. "'Don't condemn the dirty glass,' Elijah Muhammad always said. 'Put a clean glass beside it.'"