1 10-30-88 03:37 pes Former cult member says collections go for personal use ATLANTA (U

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1 10-30-88 03:37 pes Former cult member says collections go for personal use ATLANTA (UPI) _ The bulk of the money collected by four supposed non-profit organizations from travelers at Atlanta's airport goes to the leader of a Muslim group for personal use, a former group member claims. Ameedah Rachaman, the former personal secretary of Silis Muhammad, says Muhammad's solicitors turn in their earnings and financial statements twice weekly to him, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Sunday. She said Silis' workers claim the funds will buy clothes, food and shelter and will subsidize a day-care center for poor children. Clothing and other donated items are thrown away, she said. The four organizations that solicit funds do so under the names, "Save the Black Family," "Tender Loving Care," "Family Service Center" and the "Senior Citizens Council." They are represented as non-profit organizations dedicated to eradicating social ills in Atlanta to hordes of airport visitors but none of the four are registered with the Georgia secretary of state's office. The newspaper said Rachaman and other disenfranchised followers of Muhammad _ who lives in a large east Cobb County home _ reported that pitches by the airport solicitors can earn up to $4,000 a day. "I complained to Silis myself about helping people," Rachaman said. "I said, `Savior, we've got all this money here. We got to do something here because we've got this money. "I questioned Silis the last time I saw him about helping needy families. I said, `You are suppposed to be helping needy families.' And he told me that as long as he was helping one needy black family, that's all that mattered. The only needy black family that was being helped was his." Muhammad, who has not been charged with any crime, was not available for an interview. His wife said he was recovering from surgery. His wife, Harriett AbuBakr, a lawyer, dismissed criticism of the Lost-Found Nation _ Muhammed's organization _ arguing that Mrs. Rachaman and her husband, Hakim, are in competition with Muhammad's solicitors at the airport. "They are two people that have more or less declared themselves enemies, and they'll do anything they can try to hurt what we're trying to do," she said. "And they have gone around the airport trying to create as many problems as they can." Hakim Rachaman, Ameedah Rachaman's husband who headed Atlanta's mosque at one time and had a falling out with Muhammad, ackowledged that he and his wife collect their own donations at the airport, sending the proceeds to a church in South Carolina run by his mother. Mrs. AbuBakr declined to comment on the collection figures provided by Mrs. Rachaman, saying the amount raised is private information. She also refused to identify any needy family that had been helped by the group and acknowledged that there is no day-care center, although she said one is going to be built. Muhammad's group has attracted the attention of Fulton County police, who have conducted a five-year investigation into various crimes involving its members. Several followers have been convicted on charges ranging from beating of travelers along Interstate 75 to murder. Police say those who have questioned Muhammad's actions or come into conflict with members of his group sometimes pay a steep price. Police allege that after Rachaman had his falling out with Muhammad, an attempt was made to assassinate him. The Texas-born Muhammad, 50, moved to Louisiana in 1960, and from there he moved to California. Seven years ago, he persuaded his followers to sell their homes in Los Angeles and buy shares in what was to be a black, self-sufficient community in south Atlanta, with houses and farms, according to former members who sold their homes. The 20 acres he bought remain undeveloped and wooded. Mrs. AbuBakr said progress has been halted by county red tape in getting sewer permits. AbuBakr is a lawyer and a former daughter-in-law of Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. The couple lived in Chicago until Elijah Muhammad's death. As the Nation of Islam split in factions, Muhammad formed the Lost-Found Nation of Islam and moved with his wife to Atlanta in the eary 1980s, bringing some of followers with them.


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